By CCN: The crypto community has remained curiously silent in response to a bitcoin donation drive that was launched to raise money for rebuilding the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.
900-Year-Old Catholic Church Ravaged by Fire
The iconic 900-year-old Catholic church was destroyed by a massive blaze on April 15. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.
The tragedy devastated millions of French citizens, as well as the estimated 1.2 billion Catholics around the world.
This is the moment the iconic spire of the Notre-Dame cathedral collapsed, as a fire engulfed the 12th century building in Paris.
🔴 Here’s everything we know about the #NotreDame fire: https://t.co/qkqRQ9a0rw pic.twitter.com/RAliM87Rt5
— Sky News (@SkyNews) April 15, 2019
Crypto Journo Wants to Spotlight Bitcoin’s Utility
Hours after the tragedy, French crypto journalist Grégory Raymond launched a bitcoin donation drive to raise money for restoration efforts. In his tweet, Raymond included a bitcoin wallet address where people can send contributions.
Raymond said it was a good opportunity to show that:
“Bitcoin can be an amazing way to send funds quickly, without borders and for a good cause.”
French bitcoin association Le Cercle du Coin (“Coin Circle”) tweeted that it supports these efforts.
CCN has not yet heard back from Grégory Raymond and cannot independently verify the authenticity of the fundraising drive.
President @EmmanuelMacron has announced a subscription to rebuild #NotreDame. Hey bitcoiners, let’s prove to the french authorities #Bitcoin can be an amazing way to send funds quickly, without border and for a good cause ! #bitcoinfornotredame 1JX3k1e1acXENqoKqaAtKKEdE9C2j4WsDB pic.twitter.com/Xu1zULMqL1
— Grégory Raymond (@gregory_raymond) April 15, 2019
Notre Dame Bitcoin Wallet Has Only Received $1,000
On its website called Notre Dame Des Cryptos, the owners of the multi-party wallet were identified as Le Cercle du Coin, Grégory Raymond, and blockchain developer David Prinçay.
However, the fundraising efforts have failed to gain much traction. As of this writing, the wallet has received about 0.193 BTC, or a little over $1,000.
Part of the foot-dragging on the part of the crypto community could be leeriness about sending bitcoin to a wallet whose authenticity is unverified.
Two French Billionaires Donate $339 Million to Rebuild Notre Dame
However, another reason for the reticence among crypto fans could be because two French billionaires have already pledged a combined 300 million euros (or $339 million) to rebuild Notre Dame.
As CCN reported, François-Henri Pinault — CEO of the holding company for luxury fashion brands Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent — has pledged 100 million euros to restore the medieval Catholic church.
Similarly, Bernard Arnault — the chairman of LVMH (the world’s largest luxury-goods company) — is donating 200 million euros. The combined net worth of these two French business titans tops a staggering $123 billion.
In addition, the French charity, Fondation du Patrimoine, has also launched a donation drive, as has the U.S.-based French Heritage Society.
Fans Sent Bitcoin Donations After Assange Arrest
This is the second time in less than a week that a bitcoin donation drive was launched for a worthwhile cause.
Last week, bitcoin fans sent donations for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who was arrested April 11 in London under an extradition agreement with the United States.
Bitcoin Donations Pour in for Wikileaks After Disturbing Assange Arrest https://t.co/Hw98Wt53tl
— CCN.com (@CCNMarkets) April 12, 2019
The anti-establishment Assange is a longtime bitcoin fan, who has touted its merits for several years.
As of this writing, the bitcoin wallet address for Julian Assange’s legal defense fund has logged 422 transactions. Contributions now top 8.3 BTC, or roughly $43,600.