Analyst Takes Aim at Coinbase Charity Project for Venezuela

Udi Wertheimer, a Bitcoiner, coder based in Israel, has criticized San Francisco-based exchange Coinbase’s approach to handing donations to needy families in Venezuela, a country as we all know has been plagued with crippling hyperinflation, internationally imposed US-led sanctions, and rampant corruption by the ruling Elite.

Describing what he considers a BS charity move, Wertheimer wrote that the “Venezuela meme” has been “overused by ‘crypto’ scammers.” Although it has been years now, Wertheimer said he was “shocked to see Brian do the same.” That’s Brian Armstrong, the Coinbase founder and CEO who proudly announced a Zcash (ZEC) donation  to needy families in Venezuela.

Armstrong: Give USD Cash To Families In Venezuela, Not Zcash

Going on to ridicule Armstrong’s charity initiative, Wertheimer questioned why Armstrong chose ZEC. He pointed out:

“Coinbase does not support shielded txs so it’s not for privacy, and you’re not expecting them to run full Zcash nodes to produce shielded txs themselves right?”

Adding more flame, Wertheimer also tweeted:

“And are you seriously giving away $10,000 in total? That’s probably what you spend on lawyers *per second* to try and get away with listing all this crap. We’re supposed to be proud of you? Dogecoiners raised triple that for clean water initiatives *in mother****ing 2014*!!!

While it’d be interesting to see how Wertheimer has contributed to needy families in Venezuela – which he probably hasn’t, it’s worthwhile noting that charities, or in the name of charity type stuff, have been used by organizations in an effort to make them look good. But to be fair, let’s go through this Coinbase blog post explaining the charitable initiative.

As explained in the post, Coinbase is dedicated to developing the future “open financial system” which involves helping people buying cryptocurrency and to use it in their daily lives. To that end, was founded by Armstrong and as mentioned in the post, the crypto donations are meant to make cross-border transactions easier for people, help them make micro-payments, and also do “real-time transfers.”

Subsidizing Physical Shops

Wertheimer suggested that “if any of you DASH-inspired scammers wanted to help, you could subsidize physical shops that would help people” in Venezuela “convert crypto to cash.” This, Wertheimer explained would motivate them to export their products and services via the internet,  in exchange for digital currencies. The crypto received could then be sold for food, Wertheimer recommended.