Innovation In Crypto Charitable Efforts For COVID-19

As we approach virtual New York Blockchain Week (NYBW) taking place May 7-15, 2020, the industry continues to exemplify innovation and leadership in donating to relief efforts for COVID-19. CoinDesk, which runs the Consensus conference, Ethereal Summit, an event held by Consensys, Gitcoin, a mission driven project to grow the open source community, and nonprofit crypto donation platform The Giving Block are delivering a series of intelligent crypto-driven fundraising activities. 

The fundraiser will use a method derived from a paper based on Microsoft Principal Researcher Glen Weyl’s “liberal radicalism” ideas and co-written by Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin and Harvard researcher Zoë Hitzig, whereby the mathematical formula results in the largest matching grants going to causes that attract the broadest spread of contributions across the largest number of participants. Citizens make public goods contributions to projects of value to them. The amount received by the project is (proportional to) the square of the sum of the square roots of contributions received. Under the “standard model” this yields first best public goods provision. If this works correctly, nonprofits elevate their impact, crypto donors lower their tax bill and crypto adoption accelerates.

Scott Moore, head of partnerships for Gitcoin said: “So far over $2 million has been distributed to public goods using Quadratic Funding on Gitcoin. We’re excited to continue experimenting with these innovative mechanisms in new ways, especially for charities in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Donations will be given directly to critical charities serving on the frontline of the global pandemic including Operation Masks, Action Against Hunger, Save the Children, Meals on Wheels, Médecins Sans Frontières, SOS Children’s, Villages, The Water Project, International Medical Corps, United Way, Team Rubicon, No Kid Hungry, and International Rescue Committee.

This is not the first initiative from the Blockchain community. In addition to many individuals and companies making donations, The Giving Block announced the start of the #cryptoCOVID19 alliance.  Alex Wilson, the executive director, commented “in total, there are over 20 industry partners helping support our efforts, each contributing in a unique way.”

There are also many hackathons going on which are encouraging innovations such as new apps for monitoring the health of individuals and communities, discovering new approaches for simulating the spread of COVID-19n and developing new machine learning tools to help biomedical and epidemiological analysis. Consensys announced the spinoff of Consensys Health which will leverage ConsenSys’ suite of core products, CodefiInfura, and PegaSys to provide the tools, infrastructure and applications to power both private and public Ethereum solutions for industry use cases. They are currently running a Stop COVID-19 Hackathon.  As Dr. Alex Cahana, who is running the program, points out several ways that Blockchain can help in tracking. He says “the distributed and decentralized nature of Blockchain can accelerate multi-lateral collaboration by improving system response (computational trust), dampen economic costs (trace) and increase social trust (transparency).”

Whether it be donations or technology, the industry is coming together to fight.

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