A group of miners is assisting in the research on a vaccine against Covid-19. The developer of Tezos offered a prize for that miner that provides the greatest computing power.

Cryptocurrency miners using GPU or CPU devices might become a key element in developing the vaccine against coronavirus. The Folding@Home application requires computing power to research on covid-19, for which the ecosystem miners are contributing their equipment.

Stanford University manages the distributed project Folding@Home, which has been in operation for more than a decade. The initiative consists of an international network of processing power at the service of disease research. This concept allows miners to use GPU or CPU devices to lend their computing power to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The board of Folding@Home recently announced that it would focus all its research capacity on obtaining new therapeutic opportunities against the virus. The platform will simulate the dynamics of the covid-19 proteins to find a possible cure or treatment. For that reason, they require a large number of computers to be connected to their server to process the simulations and calculate possible results.

The American manufacturer of chips and video cards NVidia is asking its players and miners to contribute their computing power to the project. Similarly, Johann Tanzer, developer of Tezos, offered a prize of USD 1,000 for the miner who gave the greatest processing power to Folding@Home.

Hopeful Team of Miners

The possibility of collaborating to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus has caught the attention of a group of miners who consider themselves “bitcoiners.” The team, identified under number 238758 on the Folding@Home platform, has been lending its computing power since last March 15th, according to Reddit user Fiach_Dubh.

The miner said that he downloaded and installed the application to his computer, which he found to be a simple procedure. After that, he opened the graphical interface through the Firefox search engine to access the configuration tools. There he indicated how much CPU/GPU computing power he wanted to devote to covid-19 research, and immediately put it to work for Folding@Home.

Even though his contribution may seem too little, Fiach_Dubh believes that it honors the spirit that Satoshi Nakamoto conceived for Bitcoin. He said that it would make Satoshi proud to see the small community that he helped to grow bravely facing the monsters of this world.

Ethereum miners also joined this cause in recent days, contributing their GPU and CPU equipment. Jonny Rhea, member of the team in charge of developing Ethereum 2.0, has been motivating the community to help, specifying the steps to follow to connect to the server.

Supportive Blockchain Ecosystem

Apart from cryptocurrency miners, other entities provide support in the blockchain industry. Projects specialized in this technology have also shown their potential effectiveness to combat the coronavirus.

In recent weeks, the application Xiang Hu Bao, from a subsidiary of Alibaba Group Holding, used its blockchain system of collective claims to cover coronavirus cases. The company now covers about 104 million Chinese users with a USD 14,000 policy for Covid-19 related conditions.

Company ODEM, a blockchain-based digital certification, and education platform decided to start offering free access to internationally certified online classes. This measure would motivate people to stay at home, thus avoiding the massive spread of the virus.

The biohacking group, CoroHope, also decided to work on manufacturing a cure for the coronavirus. Since early March, the team has been requesting donations to conduct their project, which a biologist with 10 years of experience in the sector is leading. Personalities such as Mark Friedenbach, co-founder of Blockstream, have noted that this initiative is not a scam but a project to improve public health.

By Alexander Salazar


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