Coronavirus News Asia

Global crypto community unites against Covid-19

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With cases of the deadly coronavirus still popping up at an unprecedented rate around the world, many prominent members of the blockchain and crypto industries have heeded the global cry for help and have swiftly engaged in meaningful action – be it in terms of direct research-related participation, or through the donation of funds or resource materials, such as masks, sanitization equipment, etc, Cointelegraph reports. 

For example, as early as January, premier cryptocurrency exchange Binance had already donated $1.4 million worth of medical supplies to Chinese authorities in a massive effort to combat the devastating effects of the coronavirus. Dubbed as the “Binance for Wuhan” project, the effort has seen the crypto trading platform donate a total of 366,000 pairs of gloves, 56,800 masks, nine sterilizers, 5,280 bottles of hand sanitizer, 20,000 testing kits, 7,850 protective suits, 20,000 pairs of goggles, 388 oxygen concentrators, 1,000 germicidal lamps and roughly five tons of disinfectant. 

According to Jarred Winn, senior vice president of Binance Charity – the exchange’s social outreach wing – seven batches of medical supplies have reached 124 hospitals, medical teams and command wings. The germicidal lamps were sent to Wuhan University People’s Hospital and then distributed to 74 medical teams and health centers, as well as the hotels that accommodated the medical teams. 

Winn further told Cointelegraph that the germicidal lamps have the ability to produce ultraviolet light that can result in the deactivation of bacteria, viruses and protozoa, providing a clean living and working environment for the medical teams.

Additionally, Binance Charity has also embarked on a new initiative wherein the company is looking to raise a total of $5 million in cryptocurrencies to acquire essential medical items for all of the countries that have been affected the most by the Covid-19 crisis. In this regard, a bulk of the funds will be used to quickly disseminate key medical equipment and supplies across countries like Italy, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Iran, Turkey, the United States and the United Kingdom. 

Commenting on the developing coronavirus situation, Changpeng Zhao, the founder and CEO of Binance, was quoted as saying: “We encourage the community to take part in this initiative as we unite against Covid-19, and together, we’ll drive impact.”

On the role that blockchain technology has been playing in helping Binance with its aforementioned efforts, Winn told Cointelegraph that a long-lasting dilemma related to charity has been the question of “Where did my money go?” In regard to this point, he added: “With blockchain technology, transparency and immutability allow any user to see that funds have been transferred to an individual with 100% certainty, and subsequently, in this case, there are no secrets in giving.”

Some notable efforts

The Giving Block

Recently, non-profit fundraising platform The Giving Block launched a crypto donation drive to combat the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. According to The Giving Block Co-Founder Alex Wilson, the #cryptoCOVID19 alliance is being facilitated in partnership with Gitcoin – an open-source bounties platform on the Ethereum blockchain. In this regard, Wilson told Cointelegraph that Gitcoin and Vitalik Buterin will be matching donations up to $100,000 made in Ether (ETH), Dai (DAI) and ERC-20s. He further commented: “In total, there are over 20 industry partners helping support our efforts, each contributing in a unique way. For example, another one of our partners, Brave, is providing free ad inventory as part of their ad grants program to help drive traffic and awareness to the #cryptoCOVID19 campaign page.”

Wilson also pointed out that donations made through The Giving Block’s official widget will go directly to the aforementioned nonprofits — with each of these entities having its very own institutional Gemini account on the backend so that incoming funds are directly passed to the beneficiaries. Lastly, while donations are possible via a host of digital assets, Wilson told Cointelegraph that a vast majority of the funds that have been received up until now have come in the form of Bitcoin (BTC), ETH, DAI and Zcash (ZEC). 

COVIDathon

The Decentralized AI Alliance, or DAIA, recently launched #COVIDathon, the world’s first decentralized artificial intelligence hackathon that has been designed to help assist the global medical industry in creating solutions to combat COVID-19. 



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