Bitcoin charity platform Helperbit has raised €8,000 in Bitcoins in its first charity trial to help those affected by last August’s earthquake in Italy.


Helperbit partnered with Italian charity Legambiente to raise funds to support reconstruction efforts following the earthquake, as part of a campaign fronted by Legambiente, Libera, Altromercato, Federparchi, Alleanza Cooperative Italiane Giovani, Alce Nero and Fondazione Symbola. 


Helperbit provided the infrastructure to create a multi-signature Bitcoin wallet for the charity, with the objective of providing an international tool with greater transparency than traditional fundraising methods. It also provided traditional fundraising support for cash donations received by the campaign. 


The wallet is a secure technology for managing Bitcoin with three keys managed by Legambiente and a backup key managed by Helperbit. As well as verifying the amount raised, it also includes a notarisation service. So far, the Italian Bitcoin Earthquake Relief Fund has raised 8.34 Bitcoins from 113 donations


Swiss Re is the biggest supporter of the campaign, and has donated five Bitcoin to the Bitcoin Italian Earthquake Relief Fund. The first beneficiaries of the fund were the owners of Società Agricola Etiche Terre S.S.: local producers of saffron, garlic and black truffle who lost everything in the earthquake. The service enabled the farmers to ask for funds by uploading Helperbit’s first invoice onto the platform, which activated a refund request to Legambiente.


Legambiente was able to verify the request through the platform, and then transferred an amount in Bitcoin equal to the value in € of the refund. The operation was visible in the public Blockchain, and also showed proof of expenditure, with a cryptographic reference to the invoice.


The document certifying the request and the transaction are linked in the platform’s public register, enabling the verification of the sender, the recipient and the reason for the request. As well as offering a higher level of transparency of the process, it notifies the donors how their funds have been spent.


According to Helperbit, Legambiente is the first major non-profit organisation in Italy to accept donations in Bitcoin as well as the first NGO in the world to autonomously use Helperbit’s multisignature wallet to manage Bitcoin.