Crypto-world vs COVID-19: how the crypto community fights the virus pandemic
Binance, TRON, Ripple Labs, dozens of other companies, and thousands of ordinary users are trying to contribute to the global war against the spread of coronavirus. We have compiled examples of blockchain companies channeling their resources into the fight against the pandemic.
Computing power for research COVID-19
Research and development of vaccines require an incredible amount of computing power. And the crypto world is ready to share them.
So, a number of crypto companies have joined the project of the University of Washington Folding at Home, which, using distributed computing, studies viruses and diseases, and also develops pharmaceuticals against them. Now the researchers of the project are trying to understand how the proteins of the coronavirus work — this will help develop methods to combat it. The project recently simulated the work of an Ebola virus protein and helped scientists develop a drug. Part of their resources was donated by the American developer of Ethereum tokens CoreWeave, the Dutch blockchain company Bitfury, the decentralized computing network Golem and the blockchain platform Tezos, The Cardano Foundation and others. You can also share the computing power of your computer and join the Folding at Home job.
You can provide your computer for virus research through the LiquidApps CoVax application. It directs unused PC resources to vaccine research. The application works in several stages: gathering a community and launching a separate LiquidChain network, selecting validators, and, finally, connecting to research. Now the project is at the first stage — the infrastructure and services in the dApp network are built.
Some crypto companies have launched vigorous charity work to help hospitals and people affected by the pandemic around the world.
So, in December last year, Binance launched its own charity project “Binance for Wuhan”, transferring $1.4 million into it. By early March, the company had donated several batches of medicines and protective equipment to three hundred hospitals, medical teams, and command and control centers for prevention and control in Wuhan diseases.
Binance also launched the Crypto Against COVID initiative, which aims to raise money to fight the pandemic through its Binance Charity foundation. The company hopes to raise $4 million that will go to purchase medical supplies for countries affected by the virus, including Italy, Germany, and the United States. Anyone can transfer cryptocurrencies to the Binance fund. So far, 316.2 MTC has been raised — $2.2 million, of which Binance itself donated $1 million. It is unclear where and what exactly this money will go to — the company said that it intends to buy all the necessary supplies and send it to hospitals in the affected countries.
Binance also announced that it was ready to donate up to $1 million to fight the virus. True, it chose a dubious method for this — it would donate a dollar from each repost of the tweet. At the time of the publication of the article, reposts were done 10,300 times — the amount is too modest. The company also promised that if a million retweets are collected by April 1, it will double its donations, but, unfortunately, this did not happen.
In late January, the Chinese blockchain company Krypital launched a charity campaign to purchase medicines for coronavirus victims in Wuhan.
The company also announced that it will create a blockchain donation system that will increase the transparency and efficiency of fundraising. A similar platform is being developed by another Chinese crypto company, Hyperchain.
On March 12, the Helperbit charity blockchain platform announced the start of fundraising for the Italian Committee of the Red Cross — the Colli Albani Committee, which is fighting a pandemic. $10,000 will be used to diagnose cases of the virus, all other money will be used to purchase the necessary medical equipment. The stated purpose of the collection is 3.8964 MTC, and at the time of publication of the article 3.26 MTC was collected, or about $22,700. The Red Cross also supports the crypto startups Young Srl and Blockchain Education Network Italy.
In late March, the Giving Block charity crypto platform announced the creation of the #СryptoCOVID19 alliance. It includes companies such as Gitcoin, Brave, Gemini, and more than a dozen others. The Gitcoin project also announced a $100,000 collection in favor of projects working on the COVID-19 study.
Traffic Augmented Reality gaming application announced a $10,000 collection for the World Health Organization (WHO), but only about $1,500 was listed at the time of publication. For a donation, you need to buy one of the special items in the game: toilet paper, a disinfector, or a protective mask.
On March 25, Ripple Labs donated $200,000 to the Tipping Point Emergency Response Fund and the Silicon Valley Anti-Coronavirus Foundation.
In the midst of a pandemic, it is necessary to support not only the healthcare system but also business. So, crypto trader and founder of Onchain Capital, Ran Neuner, opened a fund of $10 million to help cryptocurrency and other startups in a difficult situation due to the market situation. Neuner himself has launched several startups and knows firsthand that sometimes companies can change the world, but they need help to survive difficult times. In addition to helping with money, the trader also promised to help with his business contacts and mentoring. Neuner’s initiative was joined by former Techstars blockchain managing director Yossi Hasson, who plans to expand the fund to $50– $100 million.
A wave of free connections to services has reached the crypto world. Orchid startup, a decentralized VPN service, offers journalists free access. This should help those avoid censorship and transmit information no matter where they are. To get free access, you must write to [email protected], confirming your status as a journalist or indicating past publications.
You can help not only with money but also with your own knowledge. So, lawyers Grant Gulovsen from the law firm Gulovsen and Rafael Jacobi from Crypto Lawyers have teamed up to offer members of the crypto community free 20-minute legal advice in an online format. Experts help crypto companies comply with regulatory requirements and corporate law.
Blockchain Benefits in Fighting a Pandemic
On March 27, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the blockchain platform to combat COVID-19 — MiPasa. It should help in tracking and predicting regional and global epidemiological trends, finding asymptomatic carriers of the virus, infection hotspots, and sharing pandemic data.
MiPasa is built on the Hyperledger Fabric platform in collaboration with companies such as IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft. A number of national healthcare institutions — the United States, Canada, Europe, and China — are also contributing to this project.
Several dozen blockchain applications have been launched in China to help combat the spread of the virus. They are used to manage personal data of citizens, track and protect the information collected, implement pass systems, distribute medical supplies, and collect charitable donations. For example, the technology startup FUZAMEI launched a blockchain platform designed to increase the transparency and efficiency of charitable activities and the exchange of medical data. Blockchain also helped circumvent censorship — Chinese journalist Sara Zheng used the Ethereum network to publish an interview with a doctor from Wuhan.
Blockchain is also considered as the most effective means by which it would be possible to distribute financial support for citizens. So, in late March, the US Congress considered (but was rejected) a bill to launch a digital dollar in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Messari data aggregator has launched a new resource for tracking statistics on the distribution of coronavirus in the United States — COVID-19 Tracker. It collects up-to-date information on the spread of the virus in all 50 states, several regions, and the Grand Princess cruise ship. A similar service, CoronavirusAPI, was also launched by BlockSeer founder Danny Young.
Algorand Foundation launched iReport-COVID, a site that collects data on people’s health through questionnaires. The creators of the project believe that this information can be useful even after 10 years when the researchers continue to study the virus.
Enigma is developing the SafeTrace platform, which allows you to track the contacts of people with the infected while maintaining their confidentiality. The same system within the framework of the online hackathon “WirVsVirus”, initiated by the German government, was developed by the IOTA community. It is called TrackCovidCluster and allows you to track the location of the patient and the circle of his contacts. The data is anonymous, and potentially infected people may receive a risk warning. People with a positive coronavirus test can use this app to share this with their contacts. Then uninfected people can find out that they were in the immediate vicinity of the infected. Analogs also work in China, South Korea, and Taiwan.
At the end of March, the Decentralized AI Alliance (DAIA), an alliance of more than 50 companies, laboratories, and nonprofits engaged in research and development in the field of artificial intelligence, launched the COVID-19 hackathon. The event will last for 8 weeks. Its goal is to develop and launch open-source code and tools that can be used by the medical community to defeat COVID-19.
It’s great that in difficult times, the crypto community is trying as much as possible to help and contribute to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. This will help the industry in positioning itself as socially responsible and move further away from the image of the financial pyramid.