While racists point fingers, cryptocurrency companies raise and donate money to help fight the coronavirus

The coronavirus has touched down in British Columbia. Now the Chinese community is bracing for the inevitable racist backlash.

Here’s what’s happening on Twitter:

In my Chinese moms chat group, we discussed how to brace ourselves and the kids for the inevitable wave of racism coming our way as this unfolds.

Many of us have never even been to China but know we will not go unscathed. https://t.co/hz7YCPjyb5

— Terri Chu (@TerriChu) January 25, 2020

We’ve already seen it in Toronto.

For example, parents in the Toronto’s York school district have gathered 9,000 signatures on a petition to put a mandatory 17-day ban on letting children who have been to China in the past month attend school.

That didn’t take long.

But while the racists among us are getting their moral high ground positions ready for the inevitable panic-inspired social media war that will ultimately do nothing but point fingers, there are others looking to do something about this problem and doing everything they can. And some of these are crypto-companies.

Malta-based cryptocurrency giant Binance, and cryptocurrency marketing firm Krypital, and the Anti-Coronavirus Foundation, run by Yury Myshinkiy, the co-founder and CEO of CryptOcean, have each either raised money or will source money from crypto enthusiasts for further financing of a vaccine against the coronavirus.

Here’s the tweet where Binance pledged $1.5 million in support.

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 BCF/Binance team has been busy for the last few days.

Still need help to arrange logistics locally.?¬タヘ♀️ https://t.co/UH6FXgVSrX

— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) January 25, 2020

Krypital 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 foundation intends to finance the first company or group of individuals to develop a working vaccine available for mass production and use. The first task set by the foundation’s creators is to create a $30,000,000 reward pool to be given to the person or organization that creates the vaccine for the coronavirus.

To maintain its functionary transparency, all transactions will be handled in CRON blockchain, run by Myshinkiy’s CryptOcean, and supervised by the founding advisory board. The foundation is registered in Switzerland, which is known for having a high level of transparency and legislation for non-profit organizations.

“We openly call for all thought leaders over the globe to support the initiative and show and example to their followers. It is essential that the most dangerous virus of our time is neutralized before it takes the unrecoverable death toll. This must be done, and done fast,” says the foundation’s official website.

The blockchain platform will allow anyone to send funds to finance future research. For right now, the developers are accepting donations in only cryptocurrency, but there are suggestions that this will be expanded to include fiat donations in the near future.

Here are a few potential winners

Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO.Q) was awarded a grant of up to $9 million by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to develop a vaccine. The CEPI funding will support Inovio’s preclinical and clinical development through Phase 1 human testing of INO-4800, the new coronavirus vaccine matched to the outbreak strain.

The company was first on the front lines against the MERS coronavirus and Lassa fever, having been awarded a $56 million grant for the development of vaccines against both.

Inovio’s collaborators in this coronavirus vaccine development include the Wistar Institute, a subsidiary of GeneOne Life Science (KSE: 011000), and Twist Bioscience (TWST.Q).

—Joseph Morton

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