While the whole world is in disarray, there are many people on the front lines of the battle: healthcare workers and medical researchers risking their lives and exposing themselves to the virus every day; public transportation workers and taxi drivers who make sure the flow of life in the cities doesn’t stop completely; grocery clerks, cooks and delivery courier workers who provide people with essential items while everyone is in self-isolation mode.
Ordinary people tend not to be in the first line of defense against this chaos but can still give much needed support. Volunteers deliver food and medicine to those who are unable to get it themselves, celebrities and other well-to-do people endorse and donate to research efforts and relief organizations, housewives are cooking ready-to-eat meals for essential staff and give out self-made face masks. Everyone is trying to do what they can.
The crypto community has also come together to recognize the power of people and stand as a united front. In this article, we will look at some of the activities that crypto entities have organized during the pandemic. It could be helpful to see the actions taken and give you some ideas as to how you personally can contribute right now.
One of the first responders to the scene was cryptocurrency exchange Binance. This entity began to organize its efforts as early as January and by now has donated $1.4 million worth of medical supplies to Chinese authorities. This massive effort to assist those combating the effects of the COVID-19 was dubbed as the “Binance for Wuhan” project. They have raised funds on Binance Charity with their “Crypto Against COVID” campaign.
The company is still aiming to raise up to $5 million to acquire essential medical items for the countries that were affected the most in this pandemic. Much of the funds will be channeled to distribute medical equipment and supplies across countries like Italy, Germany, Spain, Iran, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Meanwhile, Binance is also donating its computing powers to Rosetta@Home, which is using BOINC Network infrastructure to model Covid-19 proteins that may be drug targets. Anyone can donate their computing powers to this research.
There is another initiative that takes donations of unused GPU and CPU computing power and then distributes it to an international processing power network to research COVID-19 and other diseases. Folding@home was started in October 2000 by the Pande Laboratory at Stanford University and is the talk of the town for its efforts in understanding how viral proteins work and how to design therapeutics to stop them. The computing power is currently being used to find information related to the coronavirus. Similar to bitcoin mining, one of the users might detect a “solution” to the problem and then distribute this information to the rest of the users involved.
Other projects have joined Folding@home. For example, CoreWeave has been contributing over half of its overall computing power to coronavirus research. The Tezos community has also supported the efforts and urged people to form teams with a chance to earn some XTZ by being the most productive team. 20 groups of Tezos miners have been contributing their hashing power to the cause during the month of March with many others donating to the prize fund.
Another major project has emerged to join forces with the Folding@home initiative. CureCoin is a cryptocurrency that utilizes protein folding while incentivizing people to donate their computing powers to earn CURE coins. Any user with means to help can join by signing up at the Curecoin folding pool cryptobullionpools.com and folding on the Curecoin team.
In two recent exclusive interviews for HitBTC, CureCoin CEO, Josh Smith, and a contributing bioinformatics and data analyst, have shared the idea behind the project and its main goals. The cryptocurrency exchange had previously announced that they will be doing their part to help out socially important crypto projects that are working to combat the disease. As the first result of this initiative, CureCoin has been listed on the platform providing it with a wider audience to raise awareness.
The largest crowdfunding platform for Ethereum development, Gitcoin, has announced that its next round of fundraising will include a category focused on public health in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Grants are aimed at general relief options as well as specific locations that are at risk of suffering the most from the epidemic. During Round 5 of Gitcoin Grants that ended on April 14th, 60 COVID Research and Response projects participated with 6 projects maximizing their funding goals with more than 50 contributors and matching CLR donations.
In addition, Gitcoin is organizing a Stop Covid-19 Hackathon with ConsenSys Health. This hackathon aims to converge healthcare science experts with next generation technologists to design solutions that prioritize public health without sacrificing privacy and security while aiding researchers, scientists and healthcare professionals understand and stop the current pandemic.
Ripple Labs has stated that their organization has donated $200,000 to non-profit organizations. Specifically, they chose Tipping Point Community and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The efforts of these organizations are mostly aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19 throughout the United States. The Tipping Point Community, which is based in San Francisco, has recently launched its Emergency Response Fund seeking to raise a total of $1 million for the COVID-19 response initiative. The Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s COVID Regional Response Fund will focus on the containment of COVID-19 within the Silicon Valley region.
Standing Together Against the Virus
In this trying time, it’s heartwarming to see the crypto community standing together in the face of adversity. The projects mentioned above are definitely not the only ones who contribute to the efforts of stopping the COVID-19 spread and neutralizing its effects on the economic and social well-being of the world. And, in some sense, the research and development we see now in response to the critical situation, can lead the way to a better future. There are many ways in which each of us can put in their part and there is nothing stopping us right now from doing just that.
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