On Saturday, the Israeli population awoke to a harsh reality they believed they were familiar with—the sound of alarms prompting them to seek shelter from rocket attacks. However, it quickly became evident through social media that this round of conflict was different.
In swift succession, Israel found itself engaged in a war with Hamas, marking almost half a century since the last surprise attack of such magnitude. As reported by local media, over 1,000 Israelis have tragically lost their lives since Saturday, with 2,500 individuals suffering injuries. Additionally, more than 100 children, women, and elderly Israelis have been kidnapped and taken to Gaza.
This war has not only deeply impacted the collective psyche of the nation, but it has also disrupted the day-to-day operations and workforce of Israeli cryptocurrency companies. Often referred to as the “Start-up Nation,” Israel’s economy relies significantly on its tech sector, which accounts for approximately 14% of the workforce.
One notable initiative born out of this disaster is Crypto Aid Israel. Led by numerous Israeli crypto firms, this campaign accepts cryptocurrency donations to assist citizens affected or displaced by the ongoing conflict. Samocha, along with his chief operating officer, played a pivotal role in organizing this effort, which has raised approximately $85,000 within the first 24 hours since its launch on Monday. Samocha noted that all employees at CryptoJungle are actively participating in the campaign.
On Tuesday, local media outlet Calcalist reported that Israeli authorities have frozen cryptocurrency accounts associated with Hamas.
How The Crypto Firms React
Numerous crypto firms are actively involved in organizing volunteer activities, such as food and clothing preparation, to provide support to those most severely impacted by the violence. These activities serve as opportunities for companies to come together and collectively contribute to the cause.
Asaf Nadler, co-founder of Addressable, a company dedicated to helping Web3 marketers engage with audiences while maintaining anonymity, shared that half of his employees have volunteered their time. They have either donated blood or assisted in procuring clothes and food for those in need. Nadler emphasized the deep involvement of his employees in these activities, which has become an integral part of their company culture.
While crypto firms largely remain operational, they have made necessary arrangements to accommodate the reshuffling of employees. Some executives have reported that their employees have been called up for reserve duties in the army. Others have allowed their employees time off to engage in volunteering efforts or to support family members affected by the violence.
Tal Shalom, a partner at Collider Ventures, a venture capital firm specializing in investments in Israeli Web3 companies, stated that no one expects employees to be fully focused on work during this period. The priority lies in ensuring their well-being and providing support. Shalom added that companies are proactively preparing for various scenarios, such as transitioning to full remote work or operating from alternative locations in case physical office spaces become inaccessible.
Additionally, several companies have acknowledged that coming to work may offer employees a much-needed respite from the distressing news headlines that inundate their daily lives.
Itzhaki from Fhenix expressed his company’s desire to provide employees with the opportunity to engage in work as a means of temporarily diverting their attention from the ongoing events. He emphasized that working serves as a productive outlet that helps individuals momentarily detach from overwhelming circumstances.
A crypto analyst residing in the West Bank shared that their work-from-home arrangement has shielded them from significant disruptions, except for the challenge of having their children present due to school closures. Requesting anonymity for security reasons, the analyst revealed that their neighborhood experienced a brief scare on Monday. Reports suggested the presence of a potential terrorist, resulting in the breach of a nearby security outpost and the burning of tires. The analyst and their family took precautionary measures by locking themselves in rooms for approximately two hours until the all-clear signal was given. Local supermarkets are currently facing shortages of essential items such as bread, eggs, milk, and produce, likely due to supply chain disruptions and hoarding.
“Honestly I’m glad to be working,” the person said. “It keeps my mind off things.”
Addressable’s Nadler shared his commitment to supporting employees who have experienced the loss of loved ones at the music festival. He described the situation as horrifying and emphasized the importance of offering assistance and standing by their side during such devastating circumstances. Nadler believes that in such instances, the company evolves from being solely a business entity to a compassionate and supportive family.