While the world is still impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, people around the world are doing everything they can to help find vaccines and treatments. In order not to be left out, blockchain projects have come together everywhere to provide computing power and money and to accelerate research together.
What it takes to fight this virus
It should come as no surprise to hear that researching treatments, caring for patients, and providing resources is costly work. Given the additional burden of a global pandemic that threatens the economy, supply chains, and workforce, donating additional resources has never been more important. Money is required to maintain many of these operating systems, and unfortunately, even with government support, it is often not enough.
In addition, researchers can only process certain information every hour, even with the most modern computer systems. This is another valuable resource that can be transferred because both the PCs of people and many institutions worldwide contain enormous amounts of computing power that are waiting to be used.
Finally there is the data. In order to learn as much as possible about the behavior and spread of the virus, medical professionals and crisis workers need as much precise data as possible. Fortunately, we live in a world full of data collection potential. Other projects are currently underway to find out how this data can be used in a way that does not compromise user privacy.
The thing with the blockchain world is that many different players in this arena are ready to donate one or all of these forms of support. For this reason, we will reduce some of the greatest and best efforts currently being made in the decentralized wealth industry to help this global crisis. In addition to what we’ve gathered here, we’d like to inform you that new programs and resources are being created every week to relieve the pressure on the planet at this time.
Miners redirect their computing power to find a cure
Large amounts of raw processing are required to perform protein folding simulations that researchers use to search for vaccines and therapies. This is nothing new, and the team behind Folding @ Home has been addressing computer users around the world for years to donate unused CPU and GPU power to fight serious debilitating glitches with no cure. Obviously, after the recent events, many of your efforts are now focused on coronavirus recovery.
With the distributed power of thousands or millions of online computers, researchers can perform the complex simulations required to determine which drugs might be effective against this new threat. It’s hard work and part of the reason why developing new vaccines can often take years. The more computers involved in these simulations, the faster they can be processed, and this should bring us closer to effective treatments. Since the beginning of this crisis, so many new computers have gone online that Folding @ Home is known as the most powerful supercomputer in the world.
It should come as no surprise that cryptocurrency miners, who generally use multiple high-end GPUs to protect their networks and make profits, are also perfect in this regard. While NVIDIA recently urged players to align their teams for combat, GPU miners can do a lot more help, especially for larger operations.
The largest company to date was the mining company Ethereum CoreWeave, which transferred the computing power of around 6,000 of its miners to the Folding @ Home project. At the time of the transfer, these miners were generating over $ 3,000 in ether a day, so no one can say this is a small gesture.
Unfortunately, the popular ASIC miners, which are commonly used for Bitcoin and similar assets, are designed so specifically for cryptocurrency that they cannot be used for folding research, which is unfortunate due to the tremendous computing power they can muster.
In addition to the miners, entire projects are getting involved
It will take more than just cryptocurrency miners to solve this problem, and now many large projects have addressed the cause. To this end, the team behind Cardano has strongly encouraged those who secure their network to align their processing power with the Folding @ Home project, with many members of the leading team leading by example with their own systems.
In addition, the Tezos community made a similar appeal, but makes it more noticeable by setting a modest reward for the community member who provides the most resources for pandemic research. The crowd started at just 15 tezos, but has grown with small donations from the community to further encourage people to target their processing power in this unprecedented time.
As mentioned earlier, data is another pillar in this struggle. Accurate and up-to-date data is essential for all types of outbreak response stages. When you talk about data collection, data protection problems naturally also arise. We can look for answers to both problems in the blockchain community. Both the Algorand Foundation and the Enigma project have released community tracking and contact tracking software that works with blockchain technology and ensures user anonymity when transmitting data. Both are still ongoing, but strive for effective and ethical responses.
As for financial support, Ripple announced in March, he would donate $ 100,000 to two different emergency funds. Likewise, Gitcoin, which is already a funding platform, thrown A round of matching funds with the Ethereum 2.0 team that will raise $ 250,000 in donations for research projects.
The stock exchanges are strongly intervening
Cryptocurrency exchanges often have large reserves of resources, an impressive impact on the community, and they were certainly not afraid to show solidarity. Large companies already like in January Binance y Huobi They were already donating for the relief measures at a time when the virus was still largely centralized in China. As the threat increased, the industry responded. In late March, Binance expanded its efforts and started one $ 5 million campaign To provide aid to the nations most affected by the disease.
Similarly, the popular cryptocurrency exchange HitBTC has announced it is launching a program that will support blockchain projects that contribute to global efforts in the form of computing power. To this end, they have already partnered with CureCoin, a project that emerged from the Folding @ Home initiative. Obviously, the CureCoin team has now turned much of its attention to the pandemic.
In addition, BitMEX announced in their blog at the end of April that they would also set up a “COVID-19 Response Fund” that will distribute $ 2.5 million to four organizations working against the pandemic. These include Gates Philanthropy Partners, Nuclear Threat Initiative – Biosafety Program, OpenMined and Our World in Data.
What can the rest of us do?
While most people lack the types of resources described above, those who can be encouraged to simply follow what these industry leaders have done. One of the easiest ways to contribute is to support the Folding @ Home project yourself. In fact, this is not the same as cryptocurrency mining, where weaker systems couldn’t come together. Even a humble laptop can help if you have unused GPU cycles to help. So this is really a scenario where “every little thing counts”. Hopefully, nerds in the blockchain community could soon point the way at least at one point in these efforts.
If you’re a trader, you can donate some of your earnings to one or more of the various research teams working on this crisis. Maybe you work in crypto-journalism? So spread the latest and most accurate information available to your colleagues and followers. Even if you’re just a popular thing on social media, don’t be afraid to spread the word and links of many of the causes described above.
Take care of yourself and your loved ones first, keep the hygiene and distance recommended by the health authorities and just try to stay calm. We’ve been listening to this a lot lately, whether you’re a blockchain lawyer or not, we’re all really together.
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