Weekend Recap: Crypto community rallies to support fight against COVID-19
The world is filled with pretty grim news at the moment, but adversity also helps bring out the best in people. We’ve got some inspiring stories to kick start your week. Crypto has proven itself a great tool to assist in monetary relief against the coronavirus, Bitcoin’s been ranked in the top 100 of Forbes’ greatest designs of all time, and more. Read on.
Italian Red Cross smashes coronavirus Bitcoin fundraiser goal
On 12 March, the Italian Red Cross launched a BTC fundraising campaign to purchase an advanced medical post for pre-triaging coronavirus cases. Late last week it was announced that they had reached their goal of €10,000 in just 3 days and had begun purchasing the materials needed to commence the pre-triage facility.
Following the immense success of their first crypto initiative, they’re now seeking additional Bitcoin donations to purchase more medical equipment. The charity organisation has set a new goal of almost $26,000 to purchase equipment for emergency operations, such as a defibrillator with a vital signs monitor. So far the new campaign has raised around 75% of their target from 55 donations.
The crypto community has jumped at the opportunity to show support during this global crisis. On Friday, we reported CoreWeave’s decision to redirect 6,000 of its GPUs towards research by Stanford University’s Folding@home. Through connecting thousands of computers from around the world, they’re able to create a distributed supercomputer for disease research.
Just two weeks ago, Ethereum-based development crowdfunding platform Gitcoin announced their pledge of at least $50,000 in grant funding toward public health initiatives contributing to fighting COVID-19.
Unfortunately, there are always those who look to profit off disaster. Cybersecurity researcher Chester Wisniewski reported that scammers have been impersonating the World Health Organisation (WHO) to solicit Bitcoin donations via email. In another instance, Domaintools identified that the website coronavirusapp.site infects users’ devices with coronavirus-themed malware, purporting to provide a thermal map illustrating COVID-19’s spread.
Make sure to verify the donation platform you use is legitimate, and beware of COVID-19related crypto scams.
Blockchain managers join DHS list of critical infrastructure workers
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released a memorandum emphasising the special responsibility of workers within a critical infrastructure industry to maintain normal working schedules amid the intensifying coronavirus lockdown. And – perhaps to the surprise of some – blockchain managers were named among the nation’s essential critical infrastructure workers.
The inclusion of blockchain managers on CISA’s list may indicate the DHS’s recognition of the potential for distributed ledger technologies (DLT) to be employed in coronavirus relief efforts.
China has already deployed more than 20 applications of blockchain technology in their efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. These include applications that manage and track health records, medical supplies, and medical data. We investigated what role blockchain technology could play in terms of easing the impact of coronavirus on different industries, and how some companies are already leveraging the tech.
Baidu and Google trends see increased interest in Bitcoin
According to a new report, Chinese search engine Baidu has seen a considerable spike in searches for Bitcoin. The data index shows searches for BTC increased by over 183% over the past 30 days. Google search results for BTC in the United States also saw a 30-day high on 13 March.
The interest could be related to discussion that a global economic recession could lead to increased demand for cryptocurrency as a hedge against the fiat financial system. But what’s perhaps more interesting is search results related to buying BTC are significantly higher than those looking to sell it.
What does the increase in traffic tell us about whether crypto will act as a safe haven asset?
Tezos Foundation to settle all class action lawsuits
Tezos Foundation has announced it has entered into a settlement of all class-action lawsuits. The settlement, if approved by the court, will conclude the blockchain project’s prolonged Class Action dispute over its $232 million initial coin offering (ICO).
According to the foundation’s announcement: “The Tezos Foundation chose to settle all claims because the Tezos Foundation believes it is in the best interest of the Tezos project and community as a whole. The Foundation continues to believe the lawsuits were meritless and continues to deny any wrongdoing. However, lawsuits are expensive and time-consuming, and it was decided that the one-time financial cost of a settlement was preferable to the distractions and legal costs associated with continuing to fight in the courts.”
In July 2018, Tezos conducted one of the largest ICOs in history. However, shortly thereafter the project was hit with two lawsuits claiming the ICO was an illegal, unregistered securities offering. Despite the two lawsuits having been consolidated in 2018, Tezos responded by arguing it was not a securities offering but a fundraising event, where tokens were given back as a gift in exchange for donations to the project.
Bitcoin ranked on top 100 greatest designs of all time
According to multinational business magazine, Fortune, Bitcoin is one of the best-designed products of modern times. At the Illinois Institute of Technology, Fortune and Institute of Design joined forces to create the survey, based off one it made in 1959.
Bitcoin was ranked the 90th best design, alongside products like Apple’s iPhone, Macintosh and Google Search Engine. David Kelley, the founder of global design company IDEO said: “Bitcoin wasn’t invented, it was designed so that a wide range of stakeholders–developers, investors, businesses, miners, individuals–all had incentives that reinforced adoption of a new digital currency, without any central issuer or governing authority.”
After noting that just 10 years after its release, Bitcoin’s market capitalisation is nearing $200 billion, and is used by millions of people around the world. He continued, “I don’t think any product in the history of the world has bootstrapped quite so effectively.”