The COVID-19 outbreak is changing the way the world operates. As people around the globe stay at home to slow the virus’s spread, many aspects of everyday life evolve to facilitate health and safety guidelines. These changing times have shone a spotlight on some particularly helpful resources, like cryptocurrency.
The coronavirus pandemic presents substantial economic challenges along with its threat to public health. With much of the population now working from home or even left jobless, traditional financial systems are falling short. As the shortcomings of these centralized systems appear, more people are turning to cryptocurrency as an alternative.
In a frantic and changing world, crypto remains a point of reliability. Providing a source of stability isn’t the only way crypto companies are helping the fight against COVID-19, either. With their unique advantages, many cryptocurrency businesses are now in a position to provide widespread aid amid the crisis. Here’s how they’re acting on that position.
Providing Computing Power
To fight coronavirus more effectively, medical professionals need to know more about the illness. This pursuit of knowledge requires more research, which in turn needs more computing power. To help in this endeavor, crypto companies are lending their processing power to coronavirus researchers.
CoreWeave, the largest Ethereum miner in the U.S., is leading this charge. The company is lending Stanford University’s Folding@home research use of 6,000 graphics processing units (GPUs). With the help of these processors, Folding@home can create a computer network dedicated to seeking a treatment for COVID-19 through simulations of the virus’s proteins.
You’ll typically find GPUs in gaming computers as extra processors devoted to improving video game performance. CoreWeave uses these powerful chipsets to mine vast quantities of cryptocurrency, and researchers can also use them to run calculations in simulations of the virus and how it reacts under different circumstances.
Folding@home works a lot like cryptocurrency. Instead of using a single, centralized supercomputer, it harnesses the power of a network of computers. This setup allows companies like CoreWeave to lend their processing power to the project.
CoreWeave isn’t the only crypto company helping Folding@home, either. Various miners on Tezos, a blockchain platform with similarities to Ethereum, have started lending their processors to the project. As more crypto miners offer their GPUs to research, scientists may be able to make breakthroughs sooner.
Folding@home has also noted that regular computer uses can also help by lending their computing power to running simulations of the virus.
In a slightly different use of computing power, blockchain company Real Items also announced that it would be working with microfiber manufacturer Tricol Group’s factories in Seattle and China to track the authenticity of their production of KN95 masks using blockchain. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had recently approved the use of KN95 masks for healthcare workers, which meet Chinese rather than American standards, as N95 masks are becoming increasingly hard to find.
Enabling Remote Work
Public health measures have led to many people working from home, and unfortunately, some people losing their jobs. Thousands, if not millions, of workers are now looking for a source of income that doesn’t require them to leave the house, and crypto companies could help these people earn money from home.
Crypto works on a decentralized, spread-out network, allowing anyone to access it from anywhere. This model means crypto and blockchain companies consist of remote employees more often than not (check out the CMC team’s work from home setups here!). Those in need of work can turn to crypto businesses for a job they can do from the safety of their homes.
Since one of the tenets of cryptocurrency is its separation from the traditional financial industry — notwithstanding the crypto market’s correlation with the traditional market’s fall in March — crypto businesses have for the most part continued to operate as usual. As a result, these companies present the recently unemployed with a stable work-from-home opportunity.
Unemployed individuals aren’t the only people who can benefit from crypto’s remote nature. Cryptocurrency and its underlying technology (blockchain) enable companies to collaborate over the internet with greater ease and security. These advantages then allow employers to be more comfortable with their employees working from home.
With blockchain technology, businesses can share files securely over the web. Cybersecurity is a growing concern for many companies, but blockchain and crypto are immutable and encrypted, so they come with fewer security risks. Platforms based on these technologies can offer businesses better solutions to remote work.
CoinMarketCap recently published an article about different crypto and blockchain apps that can help facilitate remote work, you can read it here.
The cryptocurrency world has also helped the fight against COVID-19 through fundraising. While many traditional financial structures are struggling in the crisis, crypto remains mostly unchanged. This stability has enabled those involved with cryptocurrency the ability to fund relief efforts more easily.
On March 12, the Italian Red Cross announced a Bitcoin-based fundraiser to help establish a medical center for COVID-19 patients. Donors met the goal of €10,000 (roughly $11,000) in just three days. In response to this rapid action, the Red Cross set another, higher Bitcoin fundraising goal, which donors have already met again.
The Italian Red Cross has already spent $20,000 from these donations on building and equipping the medical center. With these funds, the nonprofit will be able to offer help like lung scan tests for possible coronavirus patients. These are especially important in places like Italy, which have experienced a more severe outbreak.
This Red Cross campaign isn’t the only example of crypto companies donating to public health causes. Ethereum-based software company Gitcoin pledged to grant at least $50,000 to anti-coronavirus measures. The company hopes to go beyond this pledge and see double the amount donated from its platform users.
The crypto world is also contributing to the anti-coronavirus fight with code. The Decentralized AI Alliance is hosting a hackathon to develop open-source codes to help the global virus response. With advanced software tools, people may be able to get a better picture of the virus and how it spreads.
How Can You Use Crypto Amid COVID-19?
Cryptocurrency is decentralized and open. It’s a technology that anyone can access and use to join the crypto world’s fight against COVID-19. If you’re looking for ways you can help the global coronavirus relief effort, cryptocurrency is an excellent place to start.
The most obvious, and probably easiest, way to make a difference with crypto is through donations. You can go to a crypto-based charity like Binance’s Crypto Against COVID initiative or the earlier Binance for Wuhan charity drive. You can also give crypto to a more traditional charity: some websites like Charity Navigator allow you to donate to the coronavirus charity of your choice in Bitcoin.
If you need a secure way to host online work, you can use crypto and blockchain-based services. That way, you can enable employees to work from home, keeping their jobs while staying safe. The COVID-19 outbreak has caused a lot of frustration, but it can be a moment to let human kindness and generosity shine. Cryptocurrency can allow you to do just that.
Enjoying our tips about how crypto and blockchain can make living through a pandemic easier? See here how blockchain can make working from home more efficient, and here for how the CMC team manages their fully-remote work styles!
This article is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. It is important to do your own research and analysis before making any material decisions related to any of the products or services described. This article is not intended as, and shall not be construed as, financial advice.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of CoinMarketCap.