Coinbase’s AirDrop Of Zcash (ZEC) In Venezuela Accused Of Being A Marketing Gimmick

Coinbase's AirDrop Of Zcash (ZEC) In Venezuela Accused Of Being A Marketing Gimmick

In the spirit of the holidays one of the major exchanges, Coinbase was running “12 Days of Coinbase” from December 9th until December 21, revealing a new announcement each day. The first announcement allowed users to use cryptocurrency to purchase e-gift cards for their friends and family, and the offers encompass Uber, Nike and more.

However, the second one was a bit more controversial. As a gift for the distressed family in Venezuela, Coinbase decided to donate $10,000 Zcash (ZEC) to, a nonprofit organization that distributes cryptocurrency to people living in poverty.

Their blog post said:

“At Coinbase, we’re dedicated to creating tomorrow’s open financial system, not only by allowing people to buy crypto, but also to use it. takes some of the best parts of that system — cross-border accessibility, ease of small payments, and real-time transfers — to empower those who don’t have enough in our legacy economy.”

The $10,000 ZEC donation will assist’s project in the Venezuelan border town of Santa Elena de Uairen. With the donation, the nonprofit organization will put $1.00 USD worth of crypto into the crypto wallets of over 100 families in Santa Elena every day for 3 months. The recipients will come from families registered in’s program and they can spend it through Bonnum, a mobile wallet and crypto ecosystem designed to bank the 1.7 billion unbanked.

In Santa Elena, there are local stores who accept crypto and sell basic supplies and food. The $1.00 USD worth of crypto a day will allow families to buy 1 – 2 kilos of protein or 2 kilos of starches and vegetables every day.

Public Skeptical Of Coinbase’s Intentions

As soon as the post went live it started attracting negative comments from the public. In the poverty-stricken country, earlier even Dash was used as a guinea pig for a marketing gimmick, Coinbase is now doing the same.

José Rafael Peña, an editor of a crypto blog said:

This loosely translates to:

“I do not see how donations from # cryptocurrencies help individuals in (Venezuela). I have seen so many campaigns to give away crypts to individuals, that I only see it as an advertising strategy for those who plan to donate them.”

It looks like people have been using tragedies for marketing purposes for a long time now. Let's just hope the remaining 10 giveaways for Coinbase is in better taste.

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