Cryptocurrency companies are flocking to help victims of the coronavirus. Following Binance’s lead, major Singapore-based exchange Huobi has also announced a charity fund.
The outbreak of a new strain of the coronavirus occurred in Wuhan, China, at the end of last year. The illness has spread quickly, with more than 4,600 individuals now infected and 106 deaths.
Huobi Is Here to Help
Wuhan and other cities in the Hubei province have been put under quarantine. The outbreak has severely impacted Chinese New Year plans, and the virus’s rapid proliferation was likely aided by travel around the holiday.
In response to the virus, cryptocurrency companies have stepped up to offer financial aid. A few days ago, Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, announced that the global exchange platform has pledged 10 million yuan (around $1.44 million) to help those impact by the illness.
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.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) January 25, 2020
Following Binance’s lead is Huobi. The Singapore-based global trading venue announced the formation of Huobi Charity yesterday. Set up as a response to the coronavirus, the first action of the new organization is to match Binance’s 10 million yuan fund with one of its own.
Huobi sends love and support to everyone impacted by the coronavirus. Huobi decides to establish @HuobiCharity Charity,and set up a 10 Million RMB fund to purchase protective equipment and donate to the medical staff working at the frontline.#coronavirus #Wuhan #prayforwuhan pic.twitter.com/2GBhzVOEdE
— Huobi (@HuobiGlobal) January 27, 2020
In the above tweet, the exchange writes that the fund will be used to buy protective equipment for those working in close contact with victims to control the virus’s spread and to finance medical staff.
In another post, the new philanthropic wing of Huobi gives some details as to how the fund is being put to use. Local offices in South Korea, Japan, the US, Argentina, Thailand, Indonesia, and other locations are currently gathering protective medical equipment for those battling the virus.
1/ We have mobilized resources of our local offices in South Korea, Japan, the US, Argentina, Thailand, Indonesia and other places around the world to purchase medical protective equipment for Wuhan.#coronavirus #Wuhan #prayforwuhan#Huobi4Wuhan #HuobiCharity pic.twitter.com/0LKa9RdLD7
— Huobi Charity (@HuobiCharity) January 27, 2020
The picture in the above tweet shows pallets loaded with cardboard boxes. The exchange explains that it has already delivered 20,000 N95 breathing masks to hospitals in Huangguang in the province of Hubei, China.
More equipment gathered in global Huobi offices will reportedly arrive in Hubei province over the next two days. The exchange is hoping to provide another 200,000 sets of protective equipment to medical staff.
Some have used the outbreak of the coronavirus as an opportunity to shill cryptocurrency. As reported by BeInCrypto beforehand, some proponents of digital assets took to Twitter to claim that it was “dirty fiat” that was helping the virus to spread.
Those commentators critical of the opportunistic shilling suggested that the outbreak of the illness was “becoming click-bait” for some in the industry. Industry analyst Josh Rager quickly debunked the theory that Bitcoin was pumping thanks to the virus:
The coronavirus is almost becoming click-bait for crypto content creators
The short answer- $BTC has made no abnormal price changes during the recent panic waves though stocks in China have taken a significant hit
BTC is still ranging between $8k to $9200
— Josh Rager
(@Josh_Rager) January 27, 2020
Others still have highlighted how distasteful contrived links between cryptocurrencies and the virus are. Cornell University professor and blockchain CEO Emin Gün Sirer said yesterday that the industry is in “dire need” of growing up.
Yesterday, we saw a "selfie at a funeral," where a shameless promoter was trying to use Kobe's death to pump a coin.
Today, an article on coronavirus' impact on, of all things, crypto conferences.
This area is in dire need of adults in the room.
— Emin Gün Sirer (@el33th4xor) January 27, 2020