As the world grapples with the spread of coronavirus, a team of developers has taken a rather bizarre step to deal with the deadly disease. Rather than helping to find a cure, these developers have gone ahead and created a cryptocurrency based on coronavirus instead. They call it CoronaCoin.
Unsurprisingly, the coin has met a wave of criticism from cryptocurrency users on social media platform Reddit.
CoronaCoin is designed such that it gains value depending on how the coronavirus spreads. Its chances of fluctuating in value are also minimal—the more people are getting infected or dying from the virus, the higher the value of the coin.
Meanwhile, the CoronaCoin supply is estimated to equal the world population. It is set like that to ensure that people will invest according to the number of infections and deaths resulting from the virus, the CoronaCoin website states. So, the “coins” will be burned every 48 hours based on deaths resulting from the infection.
“A number of people have the opinion that with the rate at which the virus is spreading, the supply will reduce and that is prompting them to invest,” says Sunny Kemp, one of the CoronaCoin developers.
Coronavirus crisis in Africa
Currently, there have not been many cases of coronavirus outbreak in Africa but countries like Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria, and Senegal have reported positive cases of the coronavirus. The deadly virus, which broke out in December in China’s central city Wuhan, has killed more than 3, 000 people globally.
Global markets are feeling the effects too. For example, the U.S. has recorded its first week of massive losses in three of its stock indexes since the 2008 economic crisis.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that if the virus spreads to countries like Congo, it would be very challenging to fight it due to an already existing burden of Ebola.
After analyzing data for air travel between Africa and China, researchers have concluded that Egypt, South Africa, and Algeria have the highest risk of importing the virus. Kenya have confirmed its first Coronavirus case on March 13 even as the public remains anxious about the virus spreading after a China airliner announced it was resuming flights to Nairobi.
Africa faces the risk of registering new virus cases due to the strengthened economic relationship with China. The strong business relationship between African nations and China has catapulted flights to above 600 percent over the last decade. The World Health Organization is concerned that this rate might pose a very huge risk to the countries that lack strong healthcare systems.
CoronaCoin will be using a blockchain distributed ledger to record the spread of the virus. The coin can be traded on some online exchanges like the Saturn and Network, Kemp says.
Apart from making profits for online traders, the CoronaCoin will not neglect social responsibilities. Kemp says that they will allocate 20% of CoronaCoin supply to the Red Cross each month as donations.
Despite the “coin” gaining popularity online, it has also received criticism from social media users.
“Frankly, this is moral,” commented one use on Reddit.
“Tasteless,” another one mentioned in a comment.
However, Kemp’s view on the morbidity of the token is firm:
“Today, there exist a number of pandemic bonds given out by the World Health Organization and that is not different,” he says.
This story has been updated to reflect the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in Kenya.
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