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Crypto And Blockchain Firms Pitch In To Help Coronavirus Victims (#GotBitcoin?)

Some blockchain and cryptocurrency firms have pledged to help victims of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Cryptocurrency exchange Binance pledged to donate 10 million Chinese yuan ($1.44 million) to the effort. Crypto And Blockchain Firms Pitch In To Help Coronavirus Victims (#GotBitcoin?)

Treatments And A Possible Cure For Coronavirus

Crypto And Blockchain Firms Pitch In To Help Coronavirus Victims

In a tweet on Jan. 25, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that Binance made the pledge but did not make any announcements after a Twitter user tagged him in a news article about cryptocurrency donations being accepted for the cause:

“For #Wuhan, not realistic to do crypto to end beneficiaries. Binance pledged 10m RMB ($1.5m USD) to help #coronavirus victims. We didn’t make any announcements. But [Binance Charity Foundation] BCF/Binance team has been busy for the last few days. Still need help to arrange logistics locally.”

According to a Jan. 25 WeChat post by blockchain marketing service firm Krypital, the firm also launched a charity donation effort to acquire medical supplies for Wuhan coronavirus victims.

Krypital also announced that it will create a blockchain-based donation system that allows for greater transparency and efficiency. The firm accepts Tether (USDT) on the Ethereum blockchain.

The company is also recruiting volunteers for group administration, material purchase, sorting and transportation management, media announcements and graphic designers.

Updated: 1-27-2020

How Coronavirus Outbreak In China Could Weigh On Crypto Prices

Jason Wu had to cancel a dozen meetings with his crypto clients in China after the coronavirus epidemic broke out this month.

“We planned a 10-city tour to talk with potential clients in China,” Wu, the CEO and founder of non-custodial crypto lender DeFiner, said. “Nobody wants to attend any crypto-related conferences or any meetings at all because of the virus. We have to rearrange everything.”

Since the first patient was identified on Dec. 8 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in central China, the virus has claimed 80 lives. There were nearly 2,000 confirmed cases as well as 10 cases abroad, including five in the U.S. as of Sunday evening.

Given China’s status as a crypto investment hub – it has the most exchanges in the Asia-Pacific region, which in turn has 40 percent of the world’s top 50, according to research firm Chainalysis – professionals like Wu are concerned, to varying degrees, about coronavirus’ potential disruption of business and the impact on prices.

Wu said marketing events are crucial for underground crypto investment firms in China to raise money and invest in digital assets, and they are likely to slow down due to the virus.

“The market might take a heavy blow if the money stops flowing into these crypto asset classes as it usually did before,” Wu said.

While Wu could not estimate how much money Chinese investment has brought into the crypto market, he cited PlusToken, one of the largest illicit crypto firms, as an example.

The defunct company gained its notoriety among Chinese crypto holders by raising over $3 billion through a Ponzi scheme. It attracted 789,000 ether, 26 million EOS and 200,000 bitcoins, which is equal to one percent of the outstanding supply. It was shut down by the Chinese government in June 2019.

Besides the virus outbreak, the crypto market could be hit with a double whammy with the Chinese New Year, according to Wu. Many Chinese crypto retailers tend to cash in on cryptocurrencies right before the holiday and reinvest in the market in the next year.

The Chinese New Year fell on Jan. 25 this year.

“The outbreak happens to be at the end of that cycle,” Wu said. “We are not sure when and how much of the money would come back after the holiday.”

Murky Market

While Chinese crypto investors are a considerable market force, it is statistically difficult to conclude a one-to-one correlation between the outbreak and moves in the crypto market, said Lingxiao Yang, chief technology officer at Trading Terminal, a San Francisco-based crypto hedge fund.

“It is really hard to single out one reason that affects crypto trading volumes and market prices, given the data is not always available and transparent in the first place,” Yang said.

Furthermore, the whole market cap of cryptocurrencies is small compared to the stock market, which means many factors could make an impact on the market.

However, Yang described a few traits of Asian crypto investors that could make the coronavirus a significant factor to influence the market.

Most crypto investors from Asia tend to be retail investors, and historically they became more active around major holidays such as the Chinese New Year, Yang said.

“We can’t predict the market prices, but based on our past experiences it tended to get more volatile around those times,” Yang said. “I can see the virus outbreak could potentially lead to more crypto trading for retail investors since they would just stay at home and have even more time to check the market.”

It is also difficult to predict market prices as digital assets like bitcoin have a unique set of return drivers, said Kostya Etus, a senior portfolio manager at money management firm CLS Investments.

“Bitcoin isn’t really viewed as a safe-haven asset like gold or cash and it doesn’t have much in common with risk-on assets like stocks either,” Etus said. “While most assets are specific to risk-on and risk-off environments, in which you could predict price reactions to certain events, bitcoin is not one of those assets.”

Fluid Situation

Since crypto is highly speculative, the coronavirus could conceivably have a significant impact on the global market, according to Samuel Lee, a financial advisor at Chicago-based SVRN Asset Management.

“The crypto market might overreact to the outbreak since it tends to be irrational compared to the traditional financial market,” he said.

On the other hand, Lee said the outbreak is more likely to have a limited effect.

“We have seen bitcoin as an asset class went up at the same time when there was the possibility of a war between Iran and the U.S.,” Lee said.

“However, the coronavirus might not be that big of a geopolitical influence.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) is still debating whether to declare the outbreak an international public health emergency as of the time of writing.

“Chinese residents are not scared enough that they want to flee the country,” Lee said.

The S&P 500 turned positive even after WHO summoned an emergency meeting on how to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, although Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index and Shanghai A Shares Index have experienced sizable dips recently.

“Most previous regional epidemics appear to have had very limited impact on the equity market, except for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS),” said Wilfred Daye, a senior advisor to boutique investment bank Bardi Co. SARS is an aggressive viral respiratory illness caused by a similar strain of the new coronavirus.

“When prolonged epidemics become a market driving factor, the cryptocurrency market will react more sharply,” said Daye, who also worked as the former head of financial markets at OkCoin.

Updated: 1-28-2020

BTC Price Back At $9,000 But No, Coronavirus Isn’t ‘Good for Bitcoin’

Bitcoin (BTC) may be gaining thanks to “economic fear” over coronavirus — but only up to a point, analysts are concluding as the disease spreads.

The cryptocurrency hovered at around $9,000 on Tuesday, capping 4% gains for the week in which coronavirus sent China into partial lockdown.

Coronavirus Uncertainty Creeps Into Markets

Fears are now surfacing about the impact on Chinese economic growth, while global signals also suggest investors are more cautious about the short term.

For Cointelegraph Markets analyst Mati Greenspan, the sentiment is already palpable. Uploading a chart of United States bond yields, he noted one-month performance delivered higher returns than the longer seven-year options.

“It means investors are expecting trouble in the short term,” he explained in comments.

Such economic uncertainty and unease on markets have often sparked increased bullish action for Bitcoin. As Cointelegraph noted, the Iran crisis earlier this month was just the latest geopolitical event that appeared to buoy the Bitcoin price.

While Greenspan noted Bitcoin remained a highly non-correlated asset, mainstream media claims that Bitcoin was defying traditional markets and gaining purely on the back of coronavirus were widely panned.

A report by the Financial Times with the headline “Coronavirus is good for Bitcoin” came in for particular criticism. Notably, the report cited two random Twitter accounts dedicated to altcoin XRP as sources.

As Cointelegraph reported, Bitcoin has long exhibited increasingly strong technical fundamentals, which preceded recent price moves.

Vays: Virus Would “Hurt” BTC In Epidemic Scenario

Discussing the impact of coronavirus, trader Tone Vays nonetheless stopped short of agreeing with the idea that the disease could perpetually fuel further gains.

If it were to spread internationally, for example, panicked investors would likely reduce speculative activity, meaning less interest in non-traditional assets such as Bitcoin.

On the latest episode of his Trading Bitcoin YouTube series, Vays told viewers:

“The coronavirus does bring some economic fear, so the fear that the coronavirus could start to spread is certainly helping the rise of Bitcoin versus hurting the rise of Bitcoin.”

Vays also noted that Bitcoin would need to stay above $9,000 for several days to cement its recent bullish gains.

Meanwhile, data from Google Trends appears to underscore the lack of correlation between the crisis and Bitcoin, with search interest in the latter remaining comparatively flat throughout the past month.

Updated: 1-30-2020

Coronavirus Controls In China Are Delaying Crypto Miner Deliveries, Firms Say

Two leading manufacturers of crypto mining hardware notified customers their shipments would be delayed at least a week because of the coronavirus quarantine in China.

This week MicroBT, Bitmain and Canaan notified customers the application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) they ordered would not be immediately sent, as the Chinese government extended New Year holiday hours due to the outbreak, according to Artem Eremin, product manager of the ASIC retailer 3Logic.

MicroBT published a notice on WeChat referencing a decision made by the Guangdong provincial government to extend the Chinese New Year holiday through Feb. 9, an additional week.

“The production, delivery, after-sales service, and send and receive documents and other arrangements” would be delayed as a result, MicroBT’s notice said.

Eremin told CoinDesk that Bitmain and Canaan sent similar notices to customers.

The coronavirus, referred to formally as nCoV-2019, was first seen in the Chinese city of Wuhan in January. Officials quarantined the entire city of 11 million people, as well as several other regions nearby.

The virus has reportedly killed 170 people, with more than 7,700 infected worldwide.

Updated: 2-4-2020

Bitspark Shuts Down Amid Restructuring, Coronavirus And Protests

Hong Kong-based blockchain remittance startup Bitspark has abruptly announced its closure, citing internal restructuring issues.

On Feb. 3, Bitspark co-founder and CEO George Harrap officially announced the platform’s plans to shut down its services on March 4, 2020.

According to the statement, Bitspark users will be able to withdraw their cryptocurrencies from Feb. 3 to March 4 as the platform’s functionality will stay intact over the period. After March 4, account logins will be disabled for a period of 90 days, with users being able to withdraw their funds via Bitspark customer support, the announcement reads.

Harrap emphasized that the firm’s abrupt closure comes despite the “excellent performance” that Bitspark has seen since the release of its new remittance service Cash Point in 2019. According to Harrap, Bitspark saw a 400% month-over-month growth after releasing the product.

Restructuring Complicated By Political Turmoil

Co-founded by Harrap and Maxine Ryan in 2014, Bitspark emerged as a major blockchain-powered financial services company for the Asia-Pacific region, serving countries like Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Bitspark’s closure comes a month after its co-founder Ryan announced her intention to step down from her position as chief operating officer. According to the official announcement, Ryan’s decision caused internal restructuring issues that have been exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak in China as well as anti-government protests in Hong Kong, which drove Bitspark to close the firm:

“Unfortunately due to internal restructuring that hasn’t worked out, and a decision taken by shareholders internally, we have made the decision to close our doors. While the HK protests and now virus epidemic haven’t affected us much, it hasn’t helped either.”

In A Twitter Thread On Feb. 3, Ryan Confirmed Bitspark’s Reasons For The Closure:

“What caused the closure. As of a month ago, I made the decision to step down from my position as COO of Bitspark. This naturally caused a need to restructure the company which unfortunately landed this result […] This paired with the landscape of Hong Kong with protests and the coronavirus where Bitspark HQ is located. The team and shareholders decided this was the best way forward to prevent integrity decay of the company.”

Despite claiming that Ryan and Harrap “lost [their] dreams” as founders, Ryan still emphasized that Bitspark’s closure does not mean that the crypto and blockchain industry is in decline:

“Whether you call it #bitcoin #crypto #blockchain, this industry is an incredible one. Please do not take this as a sign of its decline as it’s stronger than ever and I cannot wait to see what its future holds.”

Bitspark conducted an initial coin offering amid the ICO hype of 2017, launching its Zephyr (ZEPH) rewards token ICO in November of that year for a project specializing in the transfer of fiat money on a blockchain.

Updated: 2-5-2020

Blockchain Charity Platform To Fight Against The Coronavirus Outbreak

Hyperchain’s Feb. 4 press release announced the launch of its blockchain-based platform to fight against the coronavirus epidemic. It will serve as a medical supply donations portal to support hospitals in central China.

The recent outbreak of coronavirus has killed more than 400 people in mainland China. The entire country and Chinese citizens overseas have been mobilized to donate. But doctors are still not getting enough crucial medical supplies. Red Cross China has come under fire for failing at delivering the urgent supplies to the front line hospitals.

Together with Fuxing Group, Xiongan Group and other well-known enterprises, Hyperchain has prepared to build a platform to ensure the donation process is immutable, traceable and reliable. It will be a transparent portal for information exchange and allows donors to see more thoroughly where their funds or donations are going. It will provide proof of need and proof of receipt to ensure that the donations reach immediately to the intended party.

Hyperchain, Hangzhou Qulian Technology Co., Ltd , established in 2016, is a high-tech company that provides technical products and application solutions of blockchain. It specializes in developing the underlying blockchain platform, data sharing and security platform, BaaS platform, supply chain finance SaaS platform and digital evidence service platform.

Blockchain Is Believed To Have A Quantum Leap After The Epidemic

The People’s Daily reported on Feb. 4 that the blockchain technology along with internet, big data and AI will be one of the applications that will be implemented to improve administrative functions.

“The modernization of the national governance system and governance capacity inevitably requires the modernization of government governance system and governance capacity. The modernization of the government governance system and governance capacity requires the improvement of the national administrative system.”

Censorship and lack of transparency has been one of most debated issues during the epidemic outbreak. This has been a wake-up call as to the need for a more transparent and credible mechanism-based society.

Updated: 2-5-2020

How The Long Tail Of The Coronavirus Might Slow Bitcoin’s Hash Power Growth

The coronavirus outbreak in China may impose a longer-term impact on the bitcoin network’s mining activity at a time when an estimated 65 percent of its computing power is located there.

While Chinese miner manufacturers see rising demand for new equipment ahead of bitcoin’s scheduled halving in May, they estimate the disease may limit growth in bitcoin mining power if the situation isn’t resolved in the near future because it is difficult to expand or build new machines, according to Kevin Shao, general manager of Canaan Creative’s blockchain arm.

Shao told CoinDesk that while there is little doubt miners can maintain the current level of computing power, there is a shortage of new mining machines.

So far, almost every bitcoin miner maker in China – Bitmain, Canaan, MicroBT and InnoSilicon – faces delays in production and delivery. Bitmain and Canaan, the world’s top two miner makers by market share, have published notices saying the delay of after-sale services until Feb. 10.

Customers want new, top-of-the-line mining models to expand existing mining facilities and replace older machines in anticipation of the bitcoin halving, currently expected to occur sometime in May 2020.

“One of the most affected businesses is our mining machine production,” Abe Yang, chief operating officer at PandaMiner, told CoinDesk.

Founded in 2013, the Shenzhen-based firm makes mining machines and provides computing power services with nine mining farms.

“Not only us, most miner makers have been affected by the outbreak since their factories are based in cities like Dongguan and Shenzhen in Guangdong province,” Yang said. “During the extended vacation until Feb.10, almost all the production will be halted.”

Meanwhile, the lockdown of the city of Wuhan has had a more direct impact on InnoSilicon, whose headquarters is located in the outbreak’s epicenter.

“The delay currently has not affected our businesses that much since the extension [of the holiday break] will only be several days,” Shao said. “However, the impact could be much more significant if the outbreak continues for a longer period of time.”

According to data from, bitcoin’s mining difficulty – a measure of how hard it is to compete for mining rewards on the bitcoin network – posted 6.57 percent and 7.08 percent growth on Jan. 2 and Jan. 15, respectively.

The growth rate dropped to 4.67 percent on Jan. 28 and is estimated to decline to 3 percent in about three days. Bitcoin’s mining difficulty adjusts itself about every 14 days – it goes up or down in positive correlation to whether there are more or less participants racing on the network.

“The coronavirus outbreak timespan overlaps with bitcoin’s halving event. The dual factors are apparently affecting the maintenance of mining equipment as well as the delivery of new miners,” Wang Xin, marketing director of WhatsMiner maker MicroBT said in an interview. “As such, the recovery of bitcoin’s hash rate growth will be delayed.”

Rising Demand

Hash power has more than doubled from around 50 EH/s compared to the same period of last year as bitcoin’s market price climbed over $9,000, according to Shao.

“Second-hand miners [mostly older models like Bitmain’s AntMiner S9] that are aiming at a faster payback period, now have a larger risk as they enter a shutdown period ahead of the halving, compared to more powerful new models [like WhatsMiner M20 or AntMiner S17],” said MicroBT’s Wang.

Based on f2pool’s profitability index, models like the most widely used AntMiner S9 would have a 30 percent gross margin at bitcoin’s current price with an electricity cost of $0.05 per kWh.

However, a lower number of new miners could be good news for those that have already invested in mining equipment with facilities up and running.

Existing miners could see more steady mining rewards because there wouldn’t be more competitors to enter the market due to the lack of new mining machines, Canaan’s Shao said.

But he added that one way the outbreak would affect existing miners is that many mining machine providers might not be able to offer timely post-sale services to fix malfunctioned devices.

Logistics Issues

Wang said assembly factories have delayed their return-to-business schedule, citing the Chinese government’s extension of the Lunar New Year. Businesses in the country have been ordered shut until at least Feb. 10.

This is not a crypto-specific issue either. Reuters reported Monday iPhone sales may take a hit because of the coronavirus, if the health emergency can not be contained in the near future.

Shao said one of his company’s concerns is slowing logistics, adding, “while we can make all the plans to prepare for the outbreak on our part, logistics is something we can’t control.”

Local infrastructure now prioritizes distributing necessities and supplies to those who are affected by the virus over less important deliveries, Shao said.

Therefore, some of Canaan’s customers who pre-ordered miners might not be able to receive the machines on time, and it will take longer to deliver new orders if the outbreak continues, Shao said.

Even if Canaan’s employees all return to work, they cannot assemble miners unless their suppliers provide the necessary parts.

“If the supplies can not be delivered to us on time, we are not going to be able to assemble the production,” Shao said.

One way companies can take advantage of their inventory is to run the machines themselves to offer computing power to their clients without selling the actual machines, Yang said. This assumes they have the necessary parts to complete assembling miners.

“However, the service is not sustainable if the outbreak continues because we would eventually reach full capacity without new machines, creating a shortage in computing power,” Yang said.

Mining Farms

Mining farms remain unaffected for the moment, but existing quarantine controls and the possibility of an extended outbreak may soon take a toll.

Yang said PandaMiner is able to maintain operations for its existing farms, but there will be significant delays in constructing new farms.

Two-thirds of the company’s employees did not go home for the Chinese New Year, and have instead been working at the mining sites. However, for those who did go home it will take weeks to return to work, Yang said.

Many cities now require a two-week quarantine for people coming back from other areas before letting them go back to work, he said.

For example, the Xinjiang autonomous region, an area that hosts a significant portion of mining farms due to its cheap electricity, has implemented strict policies to quarantine not only those coming back from the Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, but also any other province or region, Yang said.

“We asked our employees to come back to Xinjiang as early as possible so that they can start the two-week quarantine and go back to work,” Yang said, noting policies may vary among different areas in China.

The company’s mining farm in Guizhou is subject to a stricter policy. “We are allowed to let our employees work on site and can only keep a few people to maintain the operation,” he said.

Sichuan province, which controls over 50 percent of bitcoin’s hashrate, also requires the two-week quarantine, according to Yang.

The lack of on-site staff has already negatively impacted the management of mining farms, Yang said.

Employees are responsible for ensuring mining machines are connected to the Internet and have a consistent supply of power. The employees would also need to fix broken circuit boards and other hardware to maintain operations, Yang said.

“We usually have at least 10 people on staff to maintain a mining farm,” Yang said. “With much fewer employees, it is hard for us to keep as many machines running as before.”

According to Yang, in some extreme cases where the local government prohibits all employees from working on site, companies need to negotiate with the government to leave two or three people on duty.

Updated: 2-07-2020

Chinese Startup Donates $14K To Fight Coronavirus While Launching A Blockchain Data Platform

Chinese startup FUZAMEI has rolled out a philanthropy-focused blockchain-based platform for tracking and managing data.

Dubbed “33 Charity,” the platform is designed to boost the transparency and efficiency of businesses’ internal processes, including charitable organizations, according to a press release published on Feb. 7. The platform appears to be a shared network where organizations can register, store and manage information about individuals.

Improving The Social Trust System

Donors and recipients are able to make requests under their own names, while medical institutions can apply for certificates of authority through identity authentication agencies to obtain signatures.

CA certificates contain information about an entity or person, including their name, contact details, public key and expiration date for the certificate. Such certificates help verify identities and link them to cryptographic key pairs with digital certificates.

Along with the launch of its platform, FUZAMEI announced a 100,000 Chinese yuan ($14,280) contribution for fighting against the current outbreak of the coronavirus. The company spent 60,000 Chinese yuan ($8,500) of that sum on medical supplies.

FUZAMEI had previously told Cointelegraph that it had applied for more than 300 blockchain patents, 295 of which were published, and eight of which were authorized by last November.

Crypto And Blockchain Community Fighting Coronavirus

Major crypto exchange Binance pledged to donate 10 million Chinese yuan ($1.44 million) to help push back against the disease.

Blockchain marketing service firm Krypital also launched a charity donation effort to acquire medical supplies for Wuhan coronavirus victims, and announced that it will create a blockchain-based donation system that allows for greater transparency and efficiency.

Hyperchain also revealed the launch of its blockchain-based platform to fight against the coronavirus epidemic. It will serve as a medical supply donations portal to support hospitals in central China.

Blockchain’s potential to ensure fairer, more equitable aid and distribution of donated funds has been recognized by leading organizations around the world, including the United Nations, the Red Cross and World Wildlife Fund. The coronavirus case is just a local example of how effectively blockchain has been helping raise charitable donations in recent years.

Updated: 2-07-2020

China’s Coronavirus Whistleblower Is Now Memorialized On Ethereum

Someone has just created a smart contract on ethereum with source codes in the shape of a monument in memorial of Dr. Li Wenliang, the whistleblower of China’s coronavirus outbreak, who died of the disease.

The source codes of the “Monument” contract, created around 2:30 UTC on Friday, wrote down the biography of Dr. Li in Chinese with a highlighted “R.I.P” and his contribution as a medical expert to alerting others of the danger of the virus as early as Dec. 30 – only to be reprimanded by local police later on.

The creation of the smart contract, which now becomes immutable and can’t be censored on a blockchain, comes at a time when Chinese netizens are showing widespread sadness and furor on messaging application WeChat and social media Weibo.

The news of his death broke late night Thursday China time, which immediately jumped to the top spot of Weibo’s real-time trending topic list.

Within minutes, it was dropped to the 7th position and now it is no longer on the list even though the hashtag #Dr. Li Wenliang passed away# has so far got 1 billion views with over 1 million discussions on the social media.

Meanwhile, another hashtag – #Wuhan government owes an apology to Dr. Li# in Chinese – has been restricted. Searching for this hashtag on Weibo now leads to no results, although it was accessible on Thursday night immediately following Li’s death.

Li, a doctor at a hospital in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, was one of the eight people who sent out early warnings on WeChat to fellow medics about the seriousness of the disease before the local authority informed the public that the disease is contagious.

He was immediately silenced and reprimanded by local police for sending ”false information.“ But Li contracted the virus while treating patient at Wuhan Central Hospital and died of the disease after efforts to treat him failed.

Updated: 2-12-2020

Bitcoin’s Mining Difficulty Stagnates As Coronavirus Outbreak Delays New Equipment

After posting solid gains in January, a key measure of competition among bitcoin miners has stagnated in the past two weeks as the coronavirus outbreak disrupts economic activity in China.

The slowdown in the growth of so-called mining difficulty signals miners have had to pause upgrading equipment after the epidemic prompted Chinese authorities to impose a quarantine and major mining equipment makers delayed production and shipments.

Mining difficulty – which gauges the effort required to solve math problems in order to win newly created bitcoin – adjusted on Feb. 11 to a level 0.52 percent higher than 14 days earlier, data show. That’s a significant drop from the growth rates of 4.67 and 7.08 percent, recorded on Jan. 28 and 14, respectively.

Bitcoin is designed for the difficulty to adjust roughly every two weeks, depending on the amount of computing power connected to the network. When more miners join the race to earn newly created bitcoin, the difficulty rises; when miners drop out, the measure eases.

Before the slowdown, miners were bracing for a new reality: their industry was about to become fundamentally less profitable. In May, mining rewards are expected to be cut in half, to around 6.25 bitcoin ($64,000 at current prices) per block, every 10 minutes or so. This would be the third so-called halving in bitcoin’s history and could result in operating costs exceeding revenue at miners.

“Many miners have been phasing out older mining machines and buying new and more powerful models as we get closer to the halving,” said Jason Wu, the co-founder and CEO of crypto lending startup DeFiner. For example, mining farm tenants have started to replace old machines such as Bitmain’s AntMiner S7 and S9 since the second half of 2019, Wu said.

“The outbreak may have delayed the transition and contributed to the slow growth in mining difficulty,” Wu said.

Running Older Models

Miners now keep running the remaining old machines since a high bitcoin price at the moment (above $10,000 since the weekend) keeps such operations profitable, while waiting for new models to be delivered, according to Wu.

Aside from the availability of new equipment, the virus has affected some miners in a more direct way.

“While most mining farms remain open during the Chinese New Year, there have been incidents where mining farms are shut by local governments due to the outbreak,” said Aries Wang, co-founder and CEO of crypto exchange Bibox.

One mining farm owned by mining pool’s CEO Zhuoer Jiang was shut down by the local government in an unnamed area in China, Jiang said on Feb. 4 via the social media network Weibo.

Among the largest crypto exchanges to come out of China, Bibox (now based in Estonia) has invested several million dollars in the mining industry, according to Wang.

“Many investors such as crypto funds and exchanges expect the halving would increase bitcoin price and they are putting their money in mining,” Wang said. “These investors would buy new machines as well as slots and maintenance services from a mining farm, where they can operate the machines.”
Arms-race respite

The situation has given incumbent miners a respite from ever-fiercening competition.

“The slow growth in mining difficulty is good news for existing miners,” said Abe Yang, chief operating officer at PandaMiner, a Shenzhen-based manufacturer and operator of mining farms. “Mining is like an arms race, the slow growth in general mining difficulty means these miners are likely to get higher returns from their mining investment.”

While almost all miner makers have halted production due to the coronavirus outbreak, the low inventory makes new machines even scarcer, Yang said.

“We could have produced more if it were not the stagnant bitcoin price before the Chinese New Year,” which fell on Jan. 25, Yang said. “Furthermore, we did not make any machines during the vacation.”

Although the bitcoin price started to rise after the holiday, there is typically a delay between market price moves and equipment orders, Yang added.

The outbreak already slowed logistics, and the fact that many mining farms are located in isolated, remote areas makes it even harder to deliver the machines to these sites.

A Complex Equation

To be sure, mining is a complex business and many different variables can influence decisions.

“For each miner, they have their own equation that includes factors beyond the mining difficulty,” Lingxiao Yang, chief operating officer at crypto hedge fund Trade Terminal, said. “A drop in mining difficulty growth does not necessarily lead miners to turn on more mining machines and increase their computing power at a faster pace.”

As some deliveries of new mining machines with higher computing power have been delayed, Yang said one of the options to boost mining power growth is to put older machines back into operation. That might not be in the best interest of some miners.

“The decision on whether to increase hash power faster depends on whether miners can make a profit,” Yang said. “If you consider other factors such as the operating cost, some miners might not have that much to gain by turning on the older machines.”

Many mining farms tend to have a mix of new and older machines as they phase out the older vintages while buying the new ones that are more energy-efficient with higher capacity, Yang said.

The cost of operating a machine is based on factors such as spot electricity price at the moment and how many coins the machine can mine. Many mining farms in Sichuan province rely on hydropower that changes seasonally, leading to differences in the electricity price over time.

When hydropower is harder to come by, some of the farms might go to Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia autonomous regions for coal-fired power plants. Even in the same region, mining farms might agree on different electricity rates with the local government since they negotiate separately.

Another factor that a miner takes into consideration is the expectation for future bitcoin prices. “Miners make revenue by selling the bitcoins they mine,” Yang said. “They could make a profit at a price higher than $10,000, but lose money when the price falls below that.”

Updated: 2-19-2020

Crypto Mining Giant Canaan Partners With Blockchain Firm Northern Data.

Two major players in the global blockchain industry have signed a strategic partnership to pool together their technological and operational achievements.

According to a Feb. 19 press release, Canaan Creative, the world’s second-largest Bitcoin (BTC) mining hardware manufacturer, and blockchain infrastructure firm Northern Data AG were joining forces to work across several fields.

In particular, the two firms will cooperate on artificial intelligence and blockchain development, as well as on optimizing data center operations at scale.

Expanding Technology And Global Outreach

Northern Data focuses on building out infrastructure for high-performance computing, whose applications can extend beyond blockchain technology. The company was created out of a merger between Germany’s blockchain infrastructure firm Northern Bitcoin AG and the United States’ Whinstone US Inc., a data center operator.

Canaan Creative’s CEO, NG Zhang, outlined that the new partnership will allow for both technological advancement and geographic expansion:

“Our R&D team is collaborating with Northern Data. Both sides have achieved positive results. In addition, Northern Data will provide computational resources support for our overseas R&D in the U.S. Canaan looks forward to further cooperation in product development, AI, and high-performance computing.”

Canaan’s own field of expertise lies in AI chip development and specialized mining hardware, including ASICs. ASIC refers to hardware that uses Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chips, which are tailored to efficiently mine crypto based on a specific hashing algorithm.

Canaan claims it produced over 150 million ASICs from 2017 through to September 2019. It is also a pioneer of the Bitcoin-tailored 7 nanometer chip and was recently listed on NASDAQ. This is significant insofar as it is purportedly the first China-based AI chip manufacturer with independent intellectual property to successfully float an initial public offering in the U.S.

Northern Data AG has revealed its plans to forge further partnerships with major blockchain and AI developers in the coming months.

Swift Developments

Earlier this week, Canaan’s shares hit a value at $8.04 — a surge of over 80% from its opening price of $4.42. Back in fall 2019, when it first launched its Nasdaq IPO, shares had been valued at over 75% lower than expected, going on to shed a further 40% by mid-December.

In recent developments for Northern Data, the firm has just unveiled a partnership with SBI Crypto, a cryptocurrency-focused subsidiary of Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings.

In fall 2019, Northern Data — then known as Northern Bitcoin — entered its merger agreement with Whinstone to jointly build what will ostensibly be the world’s largest mining farm, located in Texas.

The new site will reportedly launch operations with an initial capacity of 300 megawatts, expected to hit 1 gigawatt by the close of 2020.

Updated: 2-26-2020

Coinbase Releases Its Plan For The Coronavirus Spread

Every day there are new stories of travel disruptions and public gatherings in Asia being cancelled due to the threat of the COVID-19 virus, AKA the coronavirus. Cryptocurrency and traditional markets have also been affected, with Bitcoin dropping 3% in value due to the virus being detected in Italy. When it comes to crypto exchanges handling the spread of the virus, Coinbase is preparing for the worst case scenario.

According to a document shared publicly by CEO Brian Armstrong, Coinbase is preparing a four-tier escalation response to COVID-19. Each phase of the plan will be triggered by an increase in the number of people infected with the coronavirus or local governments responding with quarantines in close proximity to Coinbase offices.

Three Phases Of Coinbase’s Response

Once there have been more than 100 cases of “in-the-wild person-to-person virus transmission”, Phase 1 will take effect. Coinbase’s plan includes minor measures like increasing the frequency of cleaning their offices and restricting “office visitors to essential personnel only.” However, it also gives employees the option of working from home.

The second phase will be implemented when there are 1000 cases similar to those in Phase 1, or some form of government-imposed quarantine is in effect. It escalates the Coinbase response by stopping all visitors to their offices and no longer offering meals on site.

The third phase, however, comes with a disclaimer: “Containment has failed, it’s going to be a wild ride.” Coinbase employees would be required to work from home, and third-party services in offices for cleaning and snacks would most likely be unavailable for an indefinite time. Offices will essentially be in lockdown.

Where Coinbase Will Be Implementing These Measures

The crypto exchange has offices in the United States, Japan, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. A Phase 1 response is currently in place for their Japan office.

At the time of the document’s release, Coinbase has restricted business travel for its employees to China, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, and South Korea. Despite these measures, Armstrong remains confident “the risk of COVID-2019 coronavirus to most employees is low”:

“Our expectation is that the measured mortality rate (once low-severity cases are included in the overall count) will fall significantly and that we’ll see limited transmission in the west, where there will be fewer high density multi-generational housing situations.”

This is not the first problem Coinbase has faced. In June 2019, the cryptocurrency trading platform crashed, causing the price of Bitcoin to fall by $1,400.

Updated: 3-9-2020

Crypto Industry Continues Fight Against Coronavirus With New Contributions

The crypto community continues to help fight the coronavirus outbreak, with Binance Charity donating new batches of medical supplies to hospitals and disease control command centers.

On March 9, Binance Charity announced the completion of the second phase of its philanthropic initiative dubbed “Binance for Wuhan,” wherein the company gave 6 new batches of medical supplies to 130 hospitals, medical teams and disease control command centers.

The shipment included protective suits from Israel and the United Arab Emirates, oxygen machines, gloves and protective goggles.

Crypto Space Stakeholders In The Fight Against Coronavirus

In February alone, an array of cryptocurrency- and blockchain-related companies contributed to combating the virus. Tech startup FUZAMEI rolled out a blockchain-based platform designed to improve the transparency and efficiency of charity and medical data sharing. Blockchain firm Krypital launched a charity donation effort to acquire medical supplies for Wuhan coronavirus victims.

China-based high-tech firm Hyperchain announced the development of a blockchain platform geared to transparency and traceability of donations related to the coronavirus epidemic.

Cash vs Cryptocurrencies Amid Coronavirus

Also in February, the Chinese government quarantined used bank notes in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. The authorities asked local banks to provide individuals with new bank notes if possible.

The fuss around the coronavirus epidemic has led people around the world to set sights on digital currencies. Thus, the search term “Bitcoin coronavirus” overtook “Bitcoin halving” on Google Trends, with the most traffic in Europe.

However, while investors around the world are struggling to find safe-haven assets, some industry experts do not see cryptocurrencies as a suitable option. Campbell Harvey, a professor of international business at Duke University, told Cointelegraph: “When you start talking about safe haven, it becomes really difficult to think are these really safe-haven assets because it’s just not obvious.”

Harvey suggested that much of the value that is attributed to cryptocurrencies is essentially speculative.

Updated: 3-16-2020

How Crypto Is Fighting Coronavirus: Hacks, Info, Perspectives

Well, that escalated quickly. As we catch breath with the pace of COVID19 related disruptions and happenings, this post will update frequently with the latest perspectives, community support efforts, and information from the blockchain community at large.

Have Something To Add? Tweet @CoinDesk #CoronaEfforts.

3D printing at FabLab

Massimo Temporelli, founder of The FabLab in Milan, used a 3D printer to build a needed component for a breathing apparatus.

According to industry publication,, the machine was used to intubate 10 patients over the weekend, possibly saving their lives.

“As the virus inevitably continues to spread worldwide and breaks supply chains, 3D printers – through people’s ingenuity and design abilities – can definitely lend a helping hand. Or valve, or protective gear, or masks, or anything you will need and can’t get from your usual supplier,” David Sher reports.

Mir Liponi, Milan

During the first days was almost like normal life during the summer, when many shops and businesses are closed and few people around. Now, it’s different because we basically can’t move from home. The city is like a ghost town. It’s becoming difficult to get food and I’m starting to see the negatives of the situation.

I’m kinda reclusive, but this is very extreme… Because it’s not only you, but everyone else who is living like this. Italians are great in keeping company and they are discovering digital ways to connect to each other or just singing from the balconies… So you don’t feel so alone after all. We have to find a new routine, a new way to feel good and connect with the others.

Malaysia Dispatch

Reuben Yap, Project Steward at Zcoin lives in Malaysia, which has recorded a total of 553 COVID-19 cases so far, said his wife works at the Sarawak General Hospital.

“She works in anesthesia and intensive care,” Yap said. “I have an elderly father as well who lives in a house down the road from me and my wife has her own family as well.”

Updated: 3-18-2020

Ventilators, Crowdsourcing, VR, Personal Broadcasting: How Crypto Is Helping During the Coronavirus Crisis

Well, that escalated quickly. As we catch our breaths with the pace of COVID-19-related disruptions and happenings, this post will update frequently with the latest perspectives, support efforts and information from the blockchain community at large. Have something to add? Tweet at @CoinDesk with #CoronaEfforts.

Crypto Consultations

Grant Gulovsen of Gulovsen Law Office and Rafael Yakobi of The Crypto Lawyers have teamed up to offer free 20-minute legal consultations to members of the crypto community. The sessions will be conducted via online video conference.

“Rafael Yakobi and I understand there’s a lot of friction and distrust of lawyers in the crypto community and thought this might be a way to break through some of that. Given the social distancing that everyone is being forced to perform as a result of the current health crisis, having these consultations online obviously made the most sense,” Gulovsen said in an email.

Gulovsen said he and Yakobi work almost exclusively with individuals and startups innovating in the crypto and blockchain space, helping them with regulatory compliance as well as the ins and outs of corporate law.

“It remains to be seen exactly how COVID will impact our client base, although I expect it will have the same sort of impact as it does on anyone trying to launch a startup. We are both adapting and responding to different questions that come up, especially as it relates to more traditional practice areas like employment law,” he said.

Banding Together

The Covid-19 pandemic is disrupting all industries, including the arts. Band tours are being cancelled as concert halls are boarded up.

“With such a major revenue stream drying up almost entirely, finding ways to continue supporting artists in the coming months is now an urgent priority for anyone who cares about music and the artists who create it,” Ethan Diamond, co-founder and CEO of Bandcamp, said in a blog.

To help ensure struggling or upstart musicians are able to pay rent, Bandcamp will waive its take of donations and payments made to artists this Friday, Mar. 20. Part of the Web 2.0 revolution, Bandcamp was at the forefront of placing pressure on the once-overpowered arbiters of musical judgement.

“[I]f you’re lucky enough to be in a position to spare some funds, please consider sharing your good fortune by buying music and merchandise directly from artists.”

Sam Altman Steps In

Sam Altman, former president of Y Combinator and CEO of OpenAI, is looking to fund startups and projects helping with Covid-19.

“[I]t’s basically the one thing I know how to do that can help,” Altman wrote on his blog.

This open call to founders is meant to spur work on ventilator production, therapeutic solutions for the disease, and a new vaccine – “i.e., not doing what the big pharma companies are already doing,” he said.

Altman is renowned in the VC circuit for striking early investments in Airbnb, Stripe, Reddit, and the pepper’s staple Soylent.

CoCo Broadcasting Briefs

CoCo Briefs is a decentralized approach to broadcasting, aiming “to empower anyone with an audience to spread positive, helpful, truth-based information – through blogs, videos, social media, and email blasts,” writes John Hargrave, the author of Blockchain for Everyone and CEO of Media Shower, in a company blog.

CoCo provides a template to send actionable and inspiring posts into the ether of the internet, to to battle against the fear and misinformation that coronavirus raises. “The final score will be Humans 20, COVID-19,” Hargrave said.

“We all have an audience, and we all have a voice. Your voice is stronger than you think,” he said.

Perspective: Matthew Graham, CEO, Sino Global Capital

“The COVID-19 quarantine has been the most surreal experience of my entire life. Here in China where I live and work this has been my lived experience for several months now. When the virus first exploded in January, I made the decision to stay in China for family and business reasons. From the extraordinary precautions being taken, it was immediately evident this was an extreme situation. I was staying at a fully booked hotel with a capacity of two hundred rooms.

Very quickly the hotel emptied out until only three or four guests remained. Soon the hotel was ordered to close, and I made the decision to self-quarantine.

Like many, if not most in China, I very rapidly realized that this was a time for extreme steps. I ordered a large quantity of masks for family, friends, and clients, paid a neighborhood kid to deliver food, and closed the door.

“Only in the last few days has China really started to venture back outside.”

Only in the last few days has China really started to venture back outside. The country feels like it’s coming back to life step by step, but yet, it’s not quite recognizable. There are thousands of people on the streets, and every single one wears a face mask. Checkpoints for temperature checks are everywhere, and we scan QR codes for big data contact tracing.

Three days ago I went outside. The first time in six weeks.

I feel safe. Safe, but worried for my friends and family back home.”

Following The Social Buzz

People have been quick to notice how social media has become the de facto source of information since the outbreak of COVID-19. For weeks, the media and governments alike tried to downplay the potential impacts of the virus, to disastrous effect.

That’s why Will Bleakley spun up the Covid-19 Live Display Hub, a real-time stream of COVID-19-related posts on various social platforms. The hub aggregates regionally- and country-specific content, so readers can stay up-to-date on what’s happening around them.

To decentralize the news gathering process, the Covid-19 Live Display Hub sources information from local media organizations, regional World Health Organization Pages, government agencies, politicians, and other public accounts.

Voting Dilemma

While the official line is to “Stay the F Home,” Drew Hinkes, a crypto attorney with Carlton Fields, ventured outside yesterday to cast a ballot.

“Based on what we’re hearing from scientists and specialists, it is smart to take precautions,” Hinkes said in an email. But still, there are some forms of public engagement that take precedence over public health, namely, the health of our democracy.

“I do feel strongly that as Americans, we should vote while it’s still safe to do so,” he said.

Sky Guo

Sky Guo, the founder and CEO of the smart contract platform Cypherium has some thoughts to share about the possibility of a market recovery, following the Covid scare.

The virus has been contained in China, and is now under control in Korea. As long as quarantines and other measurements are adopted in a timely manner, we shouldn’t be afraid of the virus. The crypto markets, like our immune systems, can self-heal and gain strength for future crises.

People in our community are not very worried about the crisis. They’ve been discussing the markets in a very calm and analytical way. People are hoping for a recovery, and for Bitcoin to reach a new all-time high after the halving this year.

DIY Home-Schooling Guide

Jenny Balliet, founder and CEO Lula & Co., a consultancy that advises on blockchain applications among other fields, is curating an ongoing teaching guide for stressed-out parents who’ve never, until the past week’s wave of shutdowns, had to think of home-schooling their kids.

She describes herself as a “diehard Vygotskian” – a reference to the cognitive development theories of Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky, who advocated social learning as a predecessor for cognitive development.

Applying those ideas, Balliet came up with this handbook. The first updates to the guide, she says, will be about oil markets, bitcoin resources, gaming for a cure and writing meta-cognition.

Blockseer Founder’s Nationwide Test Data Site

Test, test, test and test some more. That’s the mantra from pretty much every expert about how communities can get ahead of the coronavirus pandemic and figure out how best to respond and assign scarce resources.

But none of that is good for much if the data on the pandemic is not captured, aggregated and delivered in a reliable way for health professionals, political leaders and ordinary folk to make sense of. This is why an initiative by Danny Yang, founder of block explorer Blockseer, is potentially so important.

The site repeatedly scrapes data from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and aggregates them in real-time, creating easy-to-follow charts. It may well be the most up-to-date, most reliable source of official data available. Check it out here:

Reflections On An Eerily Quiet NYC

Arnold Waldstein is a veteran marketing and business strategist with a passion for environmental solutions and wine. But he’s best known in the crypto community for his interests in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and in pioneering an NFT fundraising model with the “Honu” turtle-cat CryptoKitty, which raised $140,000 for ocean conservation.

Today he dedicated his blog to reflecting on what life in the busiest city in the world has become like in just a few short days.

In doing so, he demonstrated the power of the written word and of storytelling to reach across the void and connect with others – as vital a service as any in this uncertain period of radical social distancing.

Meltem Demirors Shares Her Plan

“Here’s what’s going on,” began the level-headed Meltem Demirors, founder of crypto investment firm CoinShares.

“This is my third crypto bear market and my second financial crisis, and our exec team has seen several macro market cycles and three global re-pricing events, so we are staying calm, analyzing the market, and building for opportunities we believe will we are well-suited to capitalize on in the weeks and months that follow,” she said.

Demirors is focused on communicating and connecting with her team, clients, partners and portfolio companies in this time of uncertainty. In her own words:

1. We’re actively reviewing all of our counter-party exposure, risk exposure, and business continuity plans, and proactively communicating internally and externally. Crypto community has been resilient, our counterparties are doing a great job!

2. Calling all of our portfolio execs on the venture investing side, sharing what we’re hearing, and making sure they’re feeling supported. Helping them secure 12 – 18 months of runway if needed:

3. Publishing fact-based research.

4. Checking in and texting, calling, emailing, and letting people know I’m thinking of them. I’m setting up hangouts to chat, share ideas, and keep the community intact during these difficult times, and joining other people’s webinars and conference calls to hear what they’re thinking about. Also – lots of VR hangouts in bitcoin!

5. Lastly, memes and humor. A little bit of laughter never hurt anyone!

CryptoMondays Goes Virtual Reality

With help from Bits and Tokens, a blockchain media company, and featuring a fireside chat with CoinDesk reporter William Foxley, CryptoMondays was able to avoid the perils of meatspace and convene digitally.

Lou Kerner, the meetup’s organizer said it “was pretty cool, until the trolls came.”

Care Chokepoints

Timothy Mackey, an adjunct professor at the University of California, San Diego, thinks that blockchain can help solve some of the current “choke points” affecting coronavirus patient care.

Forbes reports the professor of health studies has added a blockchain solutions module to his Global Health Policy undergraduate course, which has since gone remote. Mackey believes blockchain is an important tool in helping to spread accurate information about infectious diseases, as well as maintaining healthcare supply chains.

“This is likely just the beginning of a norm of the globalization of infectious disease outbreaks,” Mackey told Forbes. “And we can’t effectively respond without leveraging technology to enable better international cooperation.”

David Shrier

The Blockchain Author And Futurist Writes:

Bunkered in Charlestown, MA, overlooking a now-very-quiet Logan Airport, anxiously awaiting my delivering of TP from Amazon which allegedly will be within days not weeks.

Heavily working the phones and chat groups to similarly isolated colleagues, some of whom are organizing data analytics syndicates to address COVID-19 related global health data sharing (leveraging work I did for the UN on training crisis response teams from UNOCHA and UNHCR on the use of big data during large-scale humanitarian crises).

Insurance Chain

An insurance provider in China used a blockchain-based settlement system to offer quick, one-time payments to victims of the coronavirus.

Xiang Hu Bao, an online mutual aid platform, reportedly began paying out (a maximum of) 100,000 yuan ($14,320) claims to some of its 104 million health plan participants.

Ant Financial, the platform’s parent company, has funded the payments.

“Xiang Hu Bao has been able to process claims and make payouts to participants quicker, due to the decentralised, trust-free nature of blockchain technology,” an Ant Financial spokesman told the South China Morning Post.


Headspace, a meditation app startup, announced it will offer free subscriptions for healthcare professionals working in public settings.

At a $70 value, the subscriptions will run until the end of 2020, according to PitchBook, a financial data provider.

The healthcare startup has reportedly seen a doubling of inbound requests from members since Friday, as well as a 100 percent increase in corporate clients looking for ways to improve employee’s mental wellbeing, according to PitchBook.

Vinay Gupta, CEO of Mattereum

The CEO of the Ethereum-based startup writes:

Some people take whatever solution they have knowledge of, be it cryptocash or cleaning products, and try to wedge it in to the crisis. We are against this.

It’s important to be clear and realistic about the suitability and capability of one’s technology. That said, we are looking at the situation around the rapid, decentralized mass production of ventilator systems and other medical equipment, and wondering about things like certification of schematics, “as manufactured” parts lists, maintenance records, safety recalls and so on. Mattereum’s core operating principles about product authentication work equally well for fine art as for engineering products, but this is a sobering scenario, and we are being responsible as we look at scenarios.

3D Printing At FabLab

Massimo Temporelli, founder of The FabLab in Milan, used a 3D printer to build a needed component for a breathing apparatus.

According to industry publication, the machine was used to intubate 10 patients over the weekend, possibly saving their lives.

“As the virus inevitably continues to spread worldwide and breaks supply chains, 3D printers – through people’s ingenuity and design abilities – can definitely lend a helping hand. Or valve, or protective gear, or masks, or anything you will need and can’t get from your usual supplier,” David Sher reports.

Mir Liponi, Milan

The Bitcoin Meetup Organizer And Entrepreneur Writes:

During the first days was almost like normal life during the summer, when many shops and businesses are closed and few people around. Now, it’s different because we basically can’t move from home. The city is like a ghost town. It’s becoming difficult to get food and I’m starting to see the negatives of the situation.

I’m kinda reclusive, but this is very extreme… Because it’s not only you, but everyone else who is living like this. Italians are great in keeping company and they are discovering digital ways to connect to each other or just singing from the balconies… So you don’t feel so alone after all. We have to find a new routine, a new way to feel good and connect with the others.

Malaysia Dispatch

Reuben Yap, project steward at Zcoin, lives in Malaysia, which has recorded a total of 553 COVID-19 cases so far. He said the country is going into lockdown.

His wife works on the frontlines at the Sarawak General Hospital.

“She works in anesthesia and intensive care,” Yap said. “I have an elderly father as well who lives in a house down the road from me and my wife has her own family as well.”

“The impacts are quite severe for my wife and I. This week she’s undergoing hazmat suit training and if she’s required to intubate or be exposed to the patient, she’ll have to be quarantined in the hospital.”

Today, Malaysia banned all foreign travelers from entering the country. “Malaysians can return and self-quarantine. They cannot fly out,” Yap said.

“Essential shops are kept open but private offices, religious places, all societies and everything are closed. There are mad rushes to stock up now but luckily I stocked up earlier.”

Open-Source Hacks

Bruce Fenton: Why ventilators are so important to most vulnerable, yet are in short supply.

And, what you can do about it.

Ryan Zurrer ‘Helping to Prevent DeFi From Defaulting’

Amid this period of severe market fluctuations, investor Ryan Zurrer is helping to prevent “DeFi” from defaulting. Zurrer, founder of Dialectic, a Swiss-based crypto-asset firm and former chief commercial officer at the Web3 Foundation, has taken on “very conservative” collateralized debt positions (CDPs) to keep MakerDAO functioning.

MakerDAO nearly collapsed last week after the Ethereum blockchain failed to keep up with investor demand. To this end, Zurrer has also spun up a Keeper bot in anticipation of the potential auction – which could draw in a huge wave of investors, again – later this week.

“For me, MakerDAO is DeFi and one of the most compelling projects on Ethereum, so I will not let it capitulate to a full-on Black Swan event without doing everything in my power to protect it,” Zurrer said.

17-Year-Old Tracks Instances of Coronavirus

Avi Schiffmann, a high school junior from Mercer Island, just outside Seattle, launched a website to track instances of coronavirus in late December. It has since become a vital resource for researchers and the public working to stay safe in questionable times.

Using the most recent figures from the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control, Schiffmann’s site presents the most up-to-date local, national and global information in an easy to read format. This includes information on the amount of confirmed and recovered cases, and deaths, as well as a Wiki and newsletter to provide basic facts about the virus.

The site has been visited by millions of people.

“The main goal of it was to provide just an easy way to see the straight facts and the data, you know, without having to make a website that was biased or, you know, full of ads or anything like that,” Schiffmann told Democracy Now!

Desperate Times

Crypto Fundraiser

The Giving Block, a crypto charity initiative, is partnering with nonprofit charities to launch a crypto fundraiser this week.

“Government responses are failing. Nonprofits, companies and individuals need to step up,” Giving Block co-founder Alex Wilson said in an email. “Crypto and tech saw it coming first so we’re hoping this community will be particularly supportive.”

All donations go directly to wallets controlled by the nonprofit, and clients have the option of automatically converting their crypto to fiat. Recently, The Giving Block teamed up with Gemini for an International Women’s Day campaign that raised $15,000 (in crypto) in 24 hours.

Gitcoin will match up to $100,000 in donations made in ETH or DAI during the campaign, and Brave will provide free advertisements. More details, including its nonprofit partners, are forthcoming tomorrow.

Xenia von Wedel, COO of Transform Group

The COO of the crypto PR firm writes:

Apart from the financial worries that our economy if going to tank, I actually enjoy the luxury of extra time to do yoga, and I signed up for afternoon CNA training.

That way I will be able to volunteer at the local hospital in case there is a need for extra hands. Don’t get me wrong, doing PR for blockchain companies is a great job, but it might be nice to have a positive impact on some people’s lives for a change… However, I hope in a couple of months life will be back to normal.

Helping People Volunteer

New York Cares is hosting digital orientation sessions so volunteers will be ready to participate in their communities once it’s safe again to leave the house.

“Whenever the coronavirus is in our rearview mirror, hopefully, we know that there’s going to be a huge amount of service that we’re going to try to grow and meet,” Gary Bagley, president of the volunteer coordinating agency, told The City.

Distributed Work To Build 3D Models of COVID-19

Folding@Home uses computer simulations to build models of virus proteins, which may assist in the hunt for a vaccine. They could use your help.

Using distributed work from computers around the world, volunteers can contribute their excess CPU or GPU space to help run these modeling experiments.

“These calculations are enormous and every little bit helps! Each simulation you run is like buying a lottery ticket. The more tickets we buy, the better our chances of hitting the jackpot,” the Folding@Home team writes.

To help, you can download the Folding@Home software package, or make a donation to the team.

 Updated: 3-20-2020

Scammers Impersonate World Health Organization To Steal BTC COVID-19 Donations

As the number of global coronavirus cases grows each day, online scammers are turning to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) to steal money under the cover of the global pandemic.

According to cybersecurity firm Sophos, some online perpetrators are now impersonating the World Health Organization (WHO) in an attempt to steal cryptocurrency donations to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scammers Look To Profit From The Recently Launched COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund

Chester Wisniewski, a cybersecurity expert at Sophos, reported on WHO impersonators in a March 19 tweet, posting email screenshots from scammers. According to Wisniewski, the fraudsters are trying to mislead people into sending them Bitcoin as a donation to WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund that was launched on March 13.

The WHO established the new coronavirus fund in partnership with the United Nations Foundation subsequently after the agency officially classified Coronavirus as a pandemic on March 11. As announced, the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund launched with support from Internet giants like Facebook and Google, inviting individual donors to support the fund through the official website.

The fake donation request reported by Wisniewski doesn’t refer to the website at all, however. According to the screenshot, the impersonators ask the potential donors to donate by sending Bitcoin directly to an address given in the email.

The impersonators are also using a forged address,, in order to defraud people, according to data from the security researcher. As of press time, both listed Bitcoin addresses in the fake emails are empty, according to data from’s explorer.

Coronavirus Scams Increasingly Involve Crypto

Despite the WHO providing a detailed FAQ about its COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, it’s not immediately clear whether the fund accepts donations in crypto or not. Cointelegraph asked the agency to elaborate on the matter and will update this story should the organization respond.

As reported by Cointelegraph, a number of governments have already warned the public about the outbreak of crypto scams trying to capitalize on the widespread fears relating to COVID-19. On March 11, the United Kingdom (U.K.) Financial Conduct Authority issued an official warning about coronavirus scammers using all the possible ways to mislead people into giving them money. The regulator wrote:

“Watch out for scams related to coronavirus (Covid-19). These scams take many forms and could be about insurance policies, pensions transfers, or high-return investment opportunities, including investments in cryptoassets.”

Previously, the U.K. police also warned about coronavirus scammers requesting payments in Bitcoin. Cointelegraph also reported on coronavirus-themed ransomware known as CovidLock that infects users’ devices and asks payment of $100 worth of Bitcoin in exchange for a password that would return control of the device to the owner.

 Updated: 3-21-2020

Folding@Home Surpasses 400,000 Users Amid Crypto Contribution

In a recent Reddit ask-me-anything (AMA) Gregory Bowman, Folding@Home’s (F@H) director, revealed that the project currently has 400,000 computers actively contributing to research.

“We had about 30K users before the pandemic started,” he stated, adding: “In the past two weeks, 400K volunteers have joined Folding@home.”

The Number Of F@H Donors Has Increased 1200% In Four Weeks

Folding@Home is a platform that diverts donations of spare computational power toward medical and scientific research. On Feb. 27, F@H announced an initiative to harness a global computer network to contribute work towards pharmaceutical drugs to combat COVID-19.

F@H also designates computing power for research into breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and epigenetics.

Crypto Endorsements Help F@H Fight Coronavirus

F@H’s boost in donations have been assisted by strong engagement from the cryptocurrency community.

Coreweave, which claims to be the largest U.S.-based Ethereum (ETH) miner, has diverted the computational power of approximately 6,000 graphics processing units (GPUs). Coreweave’s CTO estimated that the donated resources equated to 0.2% of Ethereum’s total hash rate.

In recent weeks, the F@H platform received endorsements from decentralized computing network, Golem, and blockchain platform, Tezos — who have organized a donation pool of several hundred XTZ that will be awarded to the largest F@H donor as of the end of this month. As of March 12, Tezos already had 20 teams contributing resources to the platform.

On March 14, Gpu Chip Manufacturer Nvidia Revealed That It Is Contributing To F@H, Urging Gamers To Join Them:

“PC Gamers, let’s put those GPUs to work. Join us and our friends at @OfficialPCMR in supporting folding@home and donating unused GPU computing power to fight against COVID-19!“

Updated: 3-22-2020

Italian Red Cross Coronavirus Bitcoin Fundraiser Smashes Goal, Issues New Initiative

The Italian Red Cross is now seeking Bitcoin (BTC) donations to purchase emerging medical equipment after its first-crypto initiative surpassed its goal within three days.

On March 12, Italy’s Red Cross launched a BTC fundraising campaign to purchase an advanced medical post for pre-triaging coronavirus cases.

Red Cross Crypto Fundraiser Surpasses Target In Three Days

Just three days later, the Red Cross announced that its goal of around $10,710 (€10,000) had been reached and that it had begun purchasing the materials needed to deploy the pre-triage facility. After reaching its first goal so quickly, the Red Cross has continued to continue its Bitcoin fundraising campaign.

The charity organization has now set a goal of almost $26,000 to purchase equipment for emergency operations, such as a defibrillator with a vital signs monitor. As of the time of writing, the new campaign has raised 75.7% of its target from 55 donations. The Red Cross has deployed nearly $20,000 so far. The Dutch Red Cross is also accepts BTC donations

Crypto Community Joins Fight Against Coronavirus

The cryptocurrency community has launched and supported many initiatives that assist global efforts to fight the coronavirus. Folding@Home, a platform that diverts donated computational power toward medical research, has seen support from many crypto projects, including Tezos — who organized a pool of several hundred XTZ for the largest F@H contributor at the end of the month, and CoreWeave — who have diverted 6,000 GPUs previously used to mine Ethereum (ETH) toward the project.

On March 14, the Ethereum-based development crowdfunding platform Gitcoin announced it had pledged at least $50,000 in grant funding toward public health initiatives contributing to battling COVID-19. The platform hopes to secure at least $100,000 to fund grants.

Beware Of Crypto-Based COVID-19 Scams

Many opportunistic scammers have sought to capitalize on the widespread coronavirus panic while utilizing cryptocurrencies to obfuscate their tracks. On March 19, cybersecurity researcher Chester Wisniewski reported that scammers have been impersonating the World Health Organization (WHO) to solicit Bitcoin donations via email.

On March 13, cyber threat researchers Domaintools identified that the website infects users’ devices with coronavirus-themed malware under the guise of providing a thermal map illustrating the spread of COVID-19.

 Updated: 3-24-2020

Crypto Donation App BABB Waives Fees For Coronavirus Fundraisers

Crypto wallet banking and donation app BABB has announced the debut of its top-up function, a fee-waiving cash-out policy for COVID-19 fundraisers on its platform.

According to the announcement, the company has also added a fiat gateway that every Android and iOS user will have access to. BABB clarifies that as long as the users pass the Know-Your-Customer verifications, they will be eligible.

That said, customers who have not previously used BAX tokens or who are not familiar with trading or exchange platforms will be able to buy the BAX tokens directly with a credit or debit card.

The feature will also allow withdrawals and sending fiat funds to bank accounts.

The App Is Now Listed On The Google Play Store

The company’s app has also appeared in the Google Play Store after inviting more than 13,000 people to participate in its beta in February. BABB clarifies that the Android app will be available in 47 countries.

BABB CEO And Chief Strategy Officer Joy Offered The Following Statement:

“BABB is launching to the public with a humble offering, but we certainly hope that it will be more than enough to encourage people around the world to connect and foster a sense of global community to support each other in these challenging times.”

 Updated: 3-25-2020

Binance Charity Launches Global ‘Crypto Against COVID’ Initiative With $1 Mln Donation

Binance Charity has launched an initiative that seeks to raise $5 million in cryptocurrencies to purchase medical supplies for the countries that have been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Binance will lead the #CryptoAgainstCOVID campaign with an initial donation of $1 million USD. The exchange has also pledged to match up to an additional $1 million in public donations.

Binance Charity To Publish All Transactions Made With Donated Funds

The funds will be spent primarily on medical equipment and supplies that will be distributed throughout Italy, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Iran, Turkey, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Binance Charity asserts that all transactions made with the donated funds will be published publicly to ensure full transparency.

Changpeng Zhao, The Founder And CEO Of Binance, Stated:

“The crypto community is a growing force and we have an opportunity to strengthen this through philanthropy. We encourage the community to take part in this initiative as we unite against COVID-19, and together, we’ll drive impact.”

Binance Donates $1.4 Million In Medical Supplies In China

Binance Charity’s global campaign to combat the coronavirus follows similar efforts that have been successful within mainland China.

During January, Binance committed to purchasing $1.4 million in medical supplies through its “Binance for Wuhan” project.

As of March 20, the initiative had purchased 366,000 pairs of gloves, 56,800 masks, 9 sterilizers, 5,280 bottles of hand sanitizers, 20,000 testing kits, 7,850 protective suits, 20,000 pairs of goggles, 388 oxygen concentrators, 1000 germicidal lamps, and roughly five tons of disinfectant.

The supplies have been distributed to more than 300 hospitals and medical teams including Hubei, Sichuan, Guangxi, Shanghai, and other Chinese provinces at the epicenter of the pandemic.

The most important element of human life is to show compassion and help others as we can, without the limitation or restriction of borders,” stated Binance Charity’s head, Helen Hai.

“Blockchain technology enables this in greater capacities than ever before and Binance Charity wishes to bring this to the masses,” she added.

 Updated: 4-1-2020

Bitfury Latest To Donate Crypto Mining Power To Coronavirus Research

Blockchain tech firm Bitfury has donated some of its GPU-based computing power towards coronavirus research.

The Amsterdam-based firm said Tuesday it had dedicated its GPU computer nodes to the “Folding@home” coronavirus research project. Run by Washington University, the project has been asking for computer processing power to run simulations for coronavirus protein structure that could ultimately help develop a vaccine.

“Our contribution of highly efficient computing power pales next to the selflessness and sacrifice of our medical caregivers and essential staff on the front lines of this virus, but I am confident that this project from Folding at Home, alongside the work of many researchers and doctors, will significantly advance our understanding and treatment of this disease,” said Bitfury CEO Valery Vavilov, in a statement.

The company joins its rival GPU mining operator CoreWeave, which announced on March 19 that it had dedicated some 6,000 GPUs to the Folding at Home project.

Bitfury’s stock of ASIC rigs – a far more powerful form of mining computer – will continue mining the Bitcoin blockchain. While GPUs are versatile, ASICs are highly specialized and cannot easily be shifted to other projects.

Bitfury said its GPUs had performed more than 1,300 calculations for Folding@home since they started work on March 20. The company says that it plans to “scale-up its contribution significantly over time.”

Updated: 5-6-2020

Charities Are Turning To Bitcoin Amid the Global Fight Against Coronavirus

In the war against the novel coronavirus, cryptocurrencies are emerging as a much-needed tool for charity and fundraising projects. Already there are a number of large nonprofits accepting Bitcoin donations. Plus, some blockchain and crypto firms are contributing medical supplies to hospitals in an attempt to curb the virus, while others are setting up fundraisers and charities that are aimed at helping its victims.

As a number of nonprofits continue to accept cryptocurrency donations, they are starting to realize that crypto transactions significantly reduce costs in terms of fees. Here are a number of charities and fundraisers that accept donations in crypto.

Red Cross

The rate of coronavirus infections in Italy is astonishingly high. For this reason, the Italian Red Cross moved to accept Bitcoin (BTC) and other crypto donations on March 12 with the goal of using the proceeds from the campaign to set up second-level advanced medical posts. The medical posts would be used to pre-triage coronavirus patients.

The project turned out to be such a success such that its fundraising goal of $10,710 was achieved by the third day of the campaign. Since then, the charitable organization has moved to raise even more funds through Bitcoin and other crypto donations with the goal of $26,000. The funds from the second round of funding are set to be used to buy emergency equipment. So far, the organization has achieved around 85% of its goal.

The Water Project

Apart from social distancing, one of the frequent calls by hygiene experts has been to wash hands. Without a doubt, hand washing is one of the crucial ways of fighting the spread of the coronavirus. Charitable organizations such as The Water Project have been at work installing and repairing water points all over impoverished regions in Africa.

They have also been teaching communities how to wash hands and how to keep their water sources free from germs and other pathogens, as well as how to begin and maintain other good health practices. With coronavirus spreading through various countries in Africa, charitable organizations like The Water Project are crucial for the containment of the virus.

For the first time, the organization has launched a fundraising project called WaSH — an acronym for water sanitation and hygiene — with the aim of raising funds to provide clean water and hygiene. Aside from standard methods of donation, the water project also accepts crypto donations in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC).

Binance Charity Foundation

Binance, one of the biggest crypto exchanges, recently launched the Crypto Against COVID initiative through the Binance Charity Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization that aims to build a united front within the crypto community against the pandemic. So far, $1 million has been raised through the foundation with an overall goal of raising $4 million by the end of the campaign.

Apart from accepting crypto donations, Binance Charity will also record all transactions on the blockchain to improve transparency. All crypto donations will then be converted to fiat and displayed on the organization’s website. The exchange arm of Binance has also pledged $1.4 million to help in the fight against the virus.

Houbi Charity

Houbi, a major crypto exchange based in Singapore, also announced that it has established a charity organization with a pledge of contributing up to $1.4 million. In a tweet, the company stated that the money would be used to “purchase protective equipment and donate to the medical staff working at the frontline.”

According to a tweet from Huboi’s charity wing, it has already completed its first round of the fundraising campaign, and the protective medical equipment has been delivered to hospitals.

Krypital Group

At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the city of Wuhan in China was the most affected area. The huge number of people who contracted the virus in the area overwhelmed medical resources in the province, leading to a shortage of protective equipment for medical staff.

As a result, the blockchain marketing firm Krypital launched a charity foundation with the aim of acquiring medical supplies for coronavirus victims. The firm’s charity campaign is built on a blockchain-enabled donation system that promotes efficiency and transparency. When asked in an interview about the company’s motivation for launching the charity, Krypital’s CEO and co-founder, Margie Wu, replied that the aim of the effort was to safeguard medical staff.

Save The Children

While communities all over the world are encouraged to wash hands, have access to a strong health system and maintain social distancing, refugee communities where people are densely packed in camps cannot enjoy such luxuries. In areas such as Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, children are the most vulnerable.

Save the Children is one of the charitable organizations helping to spearhead efforts to protect children from the coronavirus. The organization is present in over 100 countries and works to ensure that children grow up safe and healthy.

In conjunction with the company The Giving Block, Save the Children has the ability to accept Bitcoin and donations in other cryptocurrencies while staying committed to its purpose of giving kids a certain future.

United Way Worldwide

In an effort to make it easier for donors to support causes that matter to them, United Way Worldwide started accepting Bitcoin as far back as 2014. This was achieved through a partnership with Coinbase, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchange platforms.

United Way Worldwide is a nonprofit organization that focuses on solving the most critical problems in communities around the globe. During the global coronavirus pandemic, the charitable organization has been part of a lobby group advocating for the passing of a law to bring relief to coronavirus victims. Now, the United States Congress has signed into law a bill that includes some big wins for nonprofit organizations fighting the spread of the pandemic.

The Giving Block

With the U.S. Internal Revenue Service treating crypto as property, those donating cryptocurrencies to charitable foundations within the country obtain huge tax incentives. With this in mind, The Giving Block has emerged as a solution that helps nonprofit organizations accept Bitcoin and other crypto donations to the benefit of both the donors and the organizations.

In addition to helping nonprofit organizations accept crypto donations, The Giving Block is also running its own campaign called #cryptoCOVID19. Through its partnership with Gitcoin, an open-source work platform for crypto enthusiasts, The Giving Block is working to unite the most important crypto stakeholders in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. One of the goals of the campaign is to raise $100,000 in crypto donations.

No Kid Hungry

No Kid Hungry is a campaign organized by the nonprofit Share Our Strength, and as the name suggests, this charitable organization aims to end childhood hunger and poverty in the United States. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization has begun to accept both fiat and crypto donations. With kids unable to attend schools and benefit from the school meals they depend on, No Kid Hungry is using the donations to serve 1.7 million healthy meals to children in need.

Waves’s Charity Campaign

On April 3, the crypto exchange Waves launched a controversial campaign aimed at raising relief money for coronavirus victims through betting pools that speculated on the number of confirmed coronavirus cases.

The betting platform allows users to purchase tokens on the exchange specifically assigned for speculation. For instance, if a user thinks the number of coronavirus cases will rise, that user would buy the “COVID-UP” token.

Apart from winning prizes, users will have a chance to share their gains with charity organizations. According to the platform, all proceeds from the event will go to fund projects by nonprofit organizations.

Field Ready

Field Ready provides people in crisis with the most important tools for survival by spreading skills and knowledge of how to make safety equipment, including manufacturing appropriate medical supplies that help people to stay healthy during the coronavirus crisis.

Amid the current global pandemic, the charitable organization will soon be accepting crypto donations that will go into disseminating knowledge about workable solutions toward preventing the spread of the virus. Examples of the open-source products the organization plans to design include unique protective items, face masks, locally made medical equipment repairs and oxygen splitters.

Crypto Donations Help Finance Nonprofit Projects

As the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry continues to grow, more innovators, creators and millionaires will appear. This means that registered nonprofits that accept crypto donations are set to have a competitive edge in the market.

Aside from the fact that crypto donations open up new opportunities for project financing, they also reduce fees that nonprofits may incur during transactions. This makes it easier for nonprofits to move funds around and finance projects, especially in remote areas that lack financial infrastructure. In the long run, nonprofits can free up more funds to put toward more projects.

At a time when the whole world is in crisis, solutions like the ones provided by cryptocurrency donations are much needed.

Updated: 4-7-2020

Unstoppable Community,

We are excited to take part in #cryptoCOVID19 alongside The Giving Block, Gitcoin, Brave, Nexo, The Block, Electric Coin Company and more!

Make a difference today by donating to covid19.crypto

All proceeds go towards charities on the frontlines of this crisis.

More Information

Updated: 4-8-2020

Italian Red Cross Builds COVID-19 Medical Post With Donated Bitcoins

On April 5, Italy’s “blood donation day,” the Italian Red Cross constructed an advanced medical post using funds generated through a crypto fundraiser.

The Italian Red Cross has raised nearly $32,000 through cryptocurrency donations in less than one month. Roughly $22,000 has been used to finance the construction of the initiative’s first advanced medical post in the town of Castel Gandolfo near Rome.

The funds were spent by the initiative to purchase a pneumatic tent that will house the medical post, in addition to other materials. The tent was erected during Italy’s “blood donation day” and used as a screening station for pre-donation medical examinations.

“With great pleasure, we reached the first main milestone of our fundraising, said Bruno Pietrosanti, the president of the Italian Red Cross. “We are happy to have turned the received donations into a tangible aid and we are excited to have received so much help from the Bitcoin community,” he added.

Medical Post To Host Regular Blood Donation Events

Cointelegraph spoke to Davide Menegaldo, COO of Helperbit — the firm that set up the Red Cross’s crypto campaign — who stated that the blood donation days will take place on at least a bi-weekly basis for the next four months, with the next event scheduled for April 19.

Menegaldo adds that the “Red Cross team plans to deploy further equipment bought with bitcoin donations” ahead of the next event.”

As of press time, the initiative has raised more than 4 Bitcoins (BTC) or 113% of its second funding target in total. Over $10,000 is still pending usage.

After smashing its first goal of $10,700 in just three days, it only took another two weeks for the campaign to exceed its second goal of nearly $26,000 — with the Red Cross continuing to receive donations.

Menegaldo states that the medical post with basic equipment costs roughly $13,000, while a facility with more advanced equipment can easily exceed $22,000.

While Helperbit’s COO states the firm has endeavored to find merchants in the aid sector that support Bitcoin, he concedes:

“It is clear that this purpose needs to be balanced with the situation in [the] current world, so we will try to find the tradeoff between a full bitcoin-only use case and the current emergency.”

Red Cross Deploys 2.915 BTC, Incurs Only 0.55% In Fees

The 2.195 BTC that the Red Cross has thus far spent incurred just 0.55% in total fees — highlighting the efficacy of cryptocurrencies for making donations:

“This initiative showed how it was possible to transform BTC coming from all over the world into a tangible asset, needed during an emergency situation, in just two weeks and with a total much lower than 1%.”

97% of donations were in the form of BTC, with 3% comprising alternative cryptocurrencies. 90% of contributions came from anonymous donors.

Updated: 4-8-2020

How DeFi Dinner Bonds Can Help Restaurants During Crisis

“People will buy this,” says Travis Blane, who goes by the name DeFi Dad on Twitter.

Blane, who works at ConsenSys, means Dinner Bonds, digital gift cards with a DeFi twist. Blane hopes they can help restaurants survive the enforced quarantine period.

DeFi Dad was inspired by the story of 232 Bleecker, a New York City restaurant specializing in healthy fare like a grilled monkfish with caraflex cabbage and habanada jam ($27). It now offers the bonds as a way for customers to help keep the kitchen going during this prolonged period of uncertainty.

The idea is for diners to invest $75 now with the promise of receiving a $100 gift card if and when their neighborhood haunt reopens. That 25 percent customer bonus is effectively the price Executive Chef Suzanne Cupps is willing to pay for sharing the risk her restaurant never reopens.

The process is straightforward: Using Mintbase, an Ethereum-based app for creating one-of-a-kind digital artifacts called non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a restauranteur can “print” discounted gift cards for their clientele. Once created, it’s a matter of posting a link anywhere online which will allow people to purchase them.

Mintbase requires users to have already set up either an Argent, Fortmatic, Coinbase or Metamask wallet – and have access to ethereum. Blane said he and the Mintbase team are willing to walk business owners through the process. Their first webinar was last week.

“For a restaurant that doesn’t know how to use Metamask, this could be a challenge,” he said.

Once Mintbase integrates Stripe payments the process will be even easier, Nate Geier, Mintbase CEO, said on a videoconference.

Apart from the built in audience of DeFiers, these digital coupons could appeal to the general consumer. Ethereum-based non-fungible tokens have many benefits over traditional gift cards – both physical and digital – by being fully transferable, transparent and immutable.

“Like all DeFi tools, they’re equally accessible to everyone,” Blane said.

Though this experiment in decentralized finance was inspired by 232 Bleecker’s attempt to raise funds through discounted certificates, Blane said his mind is always looking for ways to help small businesses (which with stimulus logistics problems at the Small Business Administration could use some help). Small businesses are at a significant loss while shelter-in-place orders are in effect. Not only can they not sell anything, but their calls assistance might only reach the end of their block.

The question remains whether low-tech restaurants, some of which may not even have a Google listing, are able to make the jump into Web 3.0. “Everyone should be able to use it. I just think people need to have their hands held,” Blane said. By digitizing “dinner bonds,” Blane thinks there’s a greater chance for mom and pop shops to raise funds from around the world.

As it stands, 232 Bleecker is no longer answering phone calls, and it’s not clear where to purchase its dinner bonds. A representative from the restaurant did not respond to a request for comment.

Blane’s family has owned and operated Gary Camera, an Indiana-based camera store, for the past 80 years. “I’m close to a small business and have seen how frustrated they can get with tech. This is a way to help a small business that is really really easy, a no brainer,” he said.

Updated: 5-4-2020

Paxful Launches Bitcoin Fundraising Campaign To Combat COVID-19 In Africa

Peer-to-peer crypto marketplace Paxul is expanding its charitable program to Africa amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency marketplace Paxful announced on May 4 the expansion of its #BuiltWithBitcoin charitable initiative in Africa with the launch of the “Africa Fund.”

The fund will use Bitcoin (BTC) donations to purchase essential resources for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the announcement, COVID-19 cases are increasing in Africa “at exponential rates.” Fundraising aims to acquire Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), food packs, and provide high-risk individuals with groceries and handwashing stations.

Paxful will start the fund with $15,000 and match any additional donations submitted up to $15,000 in BTC.

Speaking To Cointelegraph, Paxful CEO Ray Youseff Said:

“We know that the past month has been challenging for everyone. And in Africa, where many Paxful users are from, was also hit by this pandemic. Health systems are underfunded and understaffed and many people are living in unfavorable conditions. In response to that, we are starting a #BuiltWithBitcoin COVID-19 Fund for Africa that aims to directly help communities and showcase crypto as a positive force in times of crisis.”

Crypto’s Role In Coronavirus-Related Fundraising Campaigns

Cryptocurrencies can hurdle major roadblocks in fundraising and charity during the coronavirus crisis. According to Youseff:

“The peer-to-peer nature of cryptos passes boundaries of traditional finance, in some cases, it is faster and more convenient when transferring funds. In a pandemic, where time is not on our side and we are restricted to move, we need more reliable alternatives and resources to keep our finances flowing – may it be for money transfers or new revenue streams.”

Humanitarian organizations will LAO support the campaign, such as Zam Zam Water, which provides access to clean water supplies and develops schools in villages around the world.

Looking ahead, Youseff told Cointelegraph that they remain open to expanding to other regions as long as they find “the right partners as we did in Africa.”

The COVID-19 crisis has mobilized the crypto community around the world to join in charitable initiatives.

Cointelegraph reported on April 8 that a cryptocurrency fundraising initiative for the Italian Red Cross had tripled its initial campaign goal of roughly $ 10,000 in less than four weeks, allowing them to build COVID-19 medical posts in the country.

Uopdated: 6-17-2020

New COVID-19 Research Initiative Rewards Contributors With Crypto

CPUcoin has announced a partnership with BOINC to provide crypto rewards for volunteers who share their unused computing power with researchers.

Decentralized Infrastructure-as-a-Service company CPUcoin announced a new joint program with Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC).

The initiative will devote unused computing power to research regarding the coronavirus.

Users who download and install CPUcoin’s CGN Miner platform and the BOINC open-source software support the IBM World Community Grid and Rosetta@home projects with their unused computing power, and in turn, will earn cryptocurrencies.

Rosetta@home focuses on researching proteins that comprise the novel coronavirus to produce therapeutics and diagnostics.

IBM World Community Grid works on predicting the effectiveness of particular chemical compounds as possible treatments for COVID-19.

Users Rewarded With CPUcoin’s Token

As soon as the CGN Miner platform detects when someone supports COVID-19 BOINC projects, the user will receive CPUcoins, which is a utility token that can be traded for other cryptos like Tether (USDT), Bitcoin (BTC), and Ether (ETH) on ProBit Exchange.

Speaking With Cointelegraph, Sean Barger, Managing Director Of CPUcoin, Said:

“CPUcoin does not own any computing infrastructure, instead it is owned by the network participants, also known as ‘CGN Miners.’ Miners are rewarded for their computer time in CPUCoin’s native cryptocurrency, CPU. CPU is used to pay for consumption of decentralized services which are and will be launched by developers, as well as for making payouts to miners of idle computer time.”

Barger believes that CPUcoin’s partnership with BOINC marks a “pivotal key milestone” in blockchain and cryptocurrency companies’ ongoing quest for enterprise and mainstream adoption.

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Bitcoin Price ‘Will Struggle’ In Big Financial Crisis, Says Investor (#GotBitcoin?)

Fidelity Charitable Received Over $100M In Crypto Donations Since 2015 (#GotBitcoin?)

Would Blockchain Better Protect User Data Than FaceApp? Experts Answer (#GotBitcoin?)

Just The Existence Of Bitcoin Impacts Monetary Policy (#GotBitcoin?)

What Are The Biggest Alleged Crypto Heists And How Much Was Stolen? (#GotBitcoin?)

IRS To Cryptocurrency Owners: Come Clean, Or Else!

Coinbase Accidentally Saves Unencrypted Passwords Of 3,420 Customers (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Is A ‘Chaos Hedge, Or Schmuck Insurance‘ (#GotBitcoin?)

Bakkt Announces September 23 Launch Of Futures And Custody

Coinbase CEO: Institutions Depositing $200-400M Into Crypto Per Week (#GotBitcoin?)

Researchers Find Monero Mining Malware That Hides From Task Manager (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Dusting Attack Affects Nearly 300,000 Addresses (#GotBitcoin?)

A Case For Bitcoin As Recession Hedge In A Diversified Investment Portfolio (#GotBitcoin?)

SEC Guidance Gives Ammo To Lawsuit Claiming XRP Is Unregistered Security (#GotBitcoin?)

15 Countries To Develop Crypto Transaction Tracking System: Report (#GotBitcoin?)

US Department Of Commerce Offering 6-Figure Salary To Crypto Expert (#GotBitcoin?)

Mastercard Is Building A Team To Develop Crypto, Wallet Projects (#GotBitcoin?)

Canadian Bitcoin Educator Scams The Scammer And Donates Proceeds (#GotBitcoin?)

Amazon Wants To Build A Blockchain For Ads, New Job Listing Shows (#GotBitcoin?)

Shield Bitcoin Wallets From Theft Via Time Delay (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockstream Launches Bitcoin Mining Farm With Fidelity As Early Customer (#GotBitcoin?)

Commerzbank Tests Blockchain Machine To Machine Payments With Daimler (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Historical Returns Look Very Attractive As Online Banks Lower Payouts On Savings Accounts (#GotBitcoin?)

Man Takes Bitcoin Miner Seller To Tribunal Over Electricity Bill And Wins (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Computing Power Sets Record As Over 100K New Miners Go Online (#GotBitcoin?)

Walmart Coin And Libra Perform Major Public Relations For Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Judge Says Buying Bitcoin Via Credit Card Not Necessarily A Cash Advance (#GotBitcoin?)

Poll: If You’re A Stockowner Or Crypto-Currency Holder. What Will You Do When The Recession Comes?

1 In 5 Crypto Holders Are Women, New Report Reveals (#GotBitcoin?)

Beating Bakkt, Ledgerx Is First To Launch ‘Physical’ Bitcoin Futures In Us (#GotBitcoin?)

Facebook Warns Investors That Libra Stablecoin May Never Launch (#GotBitcoin?)

Government Money Printing Is ‘Rocket Fuel’ For Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin-Friendly Square Cash App Stock Price Up 56% In 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

Safeway Shoppers Can Now Get Bitcoin Back As Change At 894 US Stores (#GotBitcoin?)

TD Ameritrade CEO: There’s ‘Heightened Interest Again’ With Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Venezuela Sets New Bitcoin Volume Record Thanks To 10,000,000% Inflation (#GotBitcoin?)

Newegg Adds Bitcoin Payment Option To 73 More Countries (#GotBitcoin?)

China’s Schizophrenic Relationship With Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

More Companies Build Products Around Crypto Hardware Wallets (#GotBitcoin?)

Bakkt Is Scheduled To Start Testing Its Bitcoin Futures Contracts Today (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Network Now 8 Times More Powerful Than It Was At $20K Price (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Exchange BitMEX Under Investigation By CFTC: Bloomberg (#GotBitcoin?)

“Bitcoin An ‘Unstoppable Force,” Says US Congressman At Crypto Hearing (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Network Is Moving $3 Billion Daily, Up 210% Since April (#GotBitcoin?)

Cryptocurrency Startups Get Partial Green Light From Washington

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee: Bitcoin Pullback Is Healthy, Fewer Searches Аre Good (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Lightning Nodes Are Snatching Funds From Bad Actors (#GotBitcoin?)

The Provident Bank Now Offers Deposit Services For Crypto-Related Entities (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Could Help Stop News Censorship From Space (#GotBitcoin?)

US Sanctions On Iran Crypto Mining — Inevitable Or Impossible? (#GotBitcoin?)

US Lawmaker Reintroduces ‘Safe Harbor’ Crypto Tax Bill In Congress (#GotBitcoin?)

EU Central Bank Won’t Add Bitcoin To Reserves — Says It’s Not A Currency (#GotBitcoin?)

The Miami Dolphins Now Accept Bitcoin And Litecoin Crypt-Currency Payments (#GotBitcoin?)

Trump Bashes Bitcoin And Alt-Right Is Mad As Hell (#GotBitcoin?)

Goldman Sachs Ramps Up Development Of New Secret Crypto Project (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockchain And AI Bond, Explained (#GotBitcoin?)

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Outperformed Indexes In First Half Of 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

XRP Is The Worst Performing Major Crypto Of 2019 (GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Back Near $12K As BTC Shorters Lose $44 Million In One Morning (#GotBitcoin?)

As Deutsche Bank Axes 18K Jobs, Bitcoin Offers A ‘Plan ฿”: VanEck Exec (#GotBitcoin?)

Argentina Drives Global LocalBitcoins Volume To Highest Since November (#GotBitcoin?)

‘I Would Buy’ Bitcoin If Growth Continues — Investment Legend Mobius (#GotBitcoin?)

Lawmakers Push For New Bitcoin Rules (#GotBitcoin?)

Facebook’s Libra Is Bad For African Americans (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Firm Charity Announces Alliance To Support Feminine Health (#GotBitcoin?)

Canadian Startup Wants To Upgrade Millions Of ATMs To Sell Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Trump Says US ‘Should Match’ China’s Money Printing Game (#GotBitcoin?)

Casa Launches Lightning Node Mobile App For Bitcoin Newbies (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Rally Fuels Market In Crypto Derivatives (#GotBitcoin?)

World’s First Zero-Fiat ‘Bitcoin Bond’ Now Available On Bloomberg Terminal (#GotBitcoin?)

Buying Bitcoin Has Been Profitable 98.2% Of The Days Since Creation (#GotBitcoin?)

Another Crypto Exchange Receives License For Crypto Futures

From ‘Ponzi’ To ‘We’re Working On It’ — BIS Chief Reverses Stance On Crypto (#GotBitcoin?)

These Are The Cities Googling ‘Bitcoin’ As Interest Hits 17-Month High (#GotBitcoin?)

Venezuelan Explains How Bitcoin Saves His Family (#GotBitcoin?)

Quantum Computing Vs. Blockchain: Impact On Cryptography

This Fund Is Riding Bitcoin To Top (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Surge Leaves Smaller Digital Currencies In The Dust (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Exchange Hits $1 Trillion In Trading Volume (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Breaks $200 Billion Market Cap For The First Time In 17 Months (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Make State Tax Payments In Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Religious Organizations Make Ideal Places To Mine Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Goldman Sacs And JP Morgan Chase Finally Concede To Crypto-Currencies (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Heading For Fifth Month Of Gains Despite Price Correction (#GotBitcoin?)

Breez Reveals Lightning-Powered Bitcoin Payments App For IPhone (#GotBitcoin?)

Big Four Auditing Firm PwC Releases Cryptocurrency Auditing Software (#GotBitcoin?)

Amazon-Owned Twitch Quietly Brings Back Bitcoin Payments (#GotBitcoin?)

JPMorgan Will Pilot ‘JPM Coin’ Stablecoin By End Of 2019: Report (#GotBitcoin?)

Is There A Big Short In Bitcoin? (#GotBitcoin?)

Coinbase Hit With Outage As Bitcoin Price Drops $1.8K In 15 Minutes

Samourai Wallet Releases Privacy-Enhancing CoinJoin Feature (#GotBitcoin?)

There Are Now More Than 5,000 Bitcoin ATMs Around The World (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Get Bitcoin Rewards When Booking At Hotels.Com (#GotBitcoin?)

North America’s Largest Solar Bitcoin Mining Farm Coming To California (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin On Track For Best Second Quarter Price Gain On Record (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Hash Rate Climbs To New Record High Boosting Network Security (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Exceeds 1Million Active Addresses While Coinbase Custodies $1.3B In Assets

Why Bitcoin’s Price Suddenly Surged Back $5K (#GotBitcoin?)

Zebpay Becomes First Exchange To Add Lightning Payments For All Users (#GotBitcoin?)

Coinbase’s New Customer Incentive: Interest Payments, With A Crypto Twist (#GotBitcoin?)

The Best Bitcoin Debit (Cashback) Cards Of 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

Real Estate Brokerages Now Accepting Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Ernst & Young Introduces Tax Tool For Reporting Cryptocurrencies (#GotBitcoin?)

Recession Is Looming, or Not. Here’s How To Know (#GotBitcoin?)

How Will Bitcoin Behave During A Recession? (#GotBitcoin?)

Many U.S. Financial Officers Think a Recession Will Hit Next Year (#GotBitcoin?)

Definite Signs of An Imminent Recession (#GotBitcoin?)

What A Recession Could Mean for Women’s Unemployment (#GotBitcoin?)

Investors Run Out of Options As Bitcoin, Stocks, Bonds, Oil Cave To Recession Fears (#GotBitcoin?)

Goldman Is Looking To Reduce “Marcus” Lending Goal On Credit (Recession) Caution (#GotBitcoin?)

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