Binance leads, BitMEX follows
Binance was the first crypto-exchange to respond to the pandemic after it launched the “Binance for Wuhan” project and committed to a donation of medical supplies worth $1.4 million to help fight the virus in China. Following the same, its charity arm, the Binance Charity Foundation, announced its ‘Crypto Against COVID’ campaign that intended to raise $5 million. At press time, Binance had received 65 donations with a cumulative total of 378.58 BTC [USD 2,670,859].
Following Binance, HDR Global Trading Limited, operator of the BitMEX trading platform, announced a grant of $2.5 million towards its efforts to fight the virus. This grant will go to Gates Philanthropy Partners, Nuclear Threat Initiative, OpenMined, and Our World in Data. The exchange’s donations are aimed at working towards reducing the risk of another pandemic, while also developing vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments.
Poker becomes win-win
The online poker tournament has been open to anyone and features many well-known faces from the crypto-industry. The Giving Block, a non-profit fundraising platform launched a drive, #cryptoCOVID19, to fight the virus. Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin and Gitcoin matched donations up to $100,000 in ETH, Dai, and ERC-20 tokens.
To make things more interesting, the Giving Block created a live poker event to bring people together for the cause. The featured players included Charlie Lee, Charlie Shrem, Ran NeuNer, Tone Vays, Peter McCormack, and many others.
The first round successfully raised $25,000. The second round of the Crypto v. COVID Charity Poker Tournament will be organized soon, with the goal set to raise $50,000.
The Decentralized Artificial Intelligence Alliance [DAIA] announced the launch of a decentralized AI hackathon to support the medical community in providing solutions against the pandemic. The alliance has over 50 members from the blockchain sector, healthcare professionals, biotechnologists, and geneticists. According to reports, the alliance intends for the community to come up with applications to monitor community and individual health, a system of simulating the spread of the virus, while also developing new machine learning tools to help biomedical and epidemiological analysis.
Stellar donations and Ripple effect
As donations from various parts of the industry continued to flood in, the Stellar Development Foundation [SDF] also announced a donation of 2.5 million XLM to support a select group of charities set up to accept Lumens donations. The charities supported by the foundation included UNICEF, The Tor Project, Heifer International, Watsi, Freedom of the Press, and Women Who Code.
Another prominent participant in the cause is Ripple Labs after it announced a donation of $200k to Tipping Point Emergency’s Response Fund and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s COVID Regional Response Fund. Tipping Point works towards combating poverty in California and aims to raise $1 million, while the Silicon Valley Community Foundation is working towards containing the effects of COVID-19.
While there are many more initiatives being carried out actively, these are only some that have been so prominent. At a time when many consider the use of physical money to raise the risk of contagion, donations in crypto have emerged as a safer option. Such donations have been critical to helping those in need in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.