The token is the “world’s first crypto backed by proof of death,” rising in value every time a person is diagnosed with or dies of COVID-19.
A group of developers is taking a curious approach to raising awareness about the current global COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
According to a post on Reddit, a team of developers on the forum website 4chan have built the CoronaCoin (NCOV), which tracks the number of infections and deaths caused by the coronavirus.
The token, built on ethereum, calls itself the “world’s first crypto backed by proof of death,” rising in value every time a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 or dies as a result of the virus.
The token supply for the illness-backed coin started at over 7.6 billion to reflect the current global population. It is burned every two days to keep up with official World Health Organization (WHO) numbers on the spread of the virus, said Sunny Kemp, an admin for CoronaCoin’s Telegram group, in an article on Decrypt.
With the deflationary setup, the ERC20-compliant token is designed to jump in value as coins are burned.
According to the website for the token, the developers plan to donate 20 percent of the total supply of CoronaCoins to the Red Cross for its coronavirus relief efforts.
As of this writing on Thursday (February 27), over 82,000 coins had been burned and Etherscan numbers showed that the token had 738 holders.
“The benefit of documenting the spread of the virus on the Ethereum blockchain is that it is uncensorable,” Kemp said. “People behind the great firewall can view the real death statistics by checking our token contract on Etherscan.io.”
The developers are also working on an interactive game for CoronaCoin holders that will allow them to “spread” the disease across social media, said Kemp, and help further raise awareness.
The threat of the recently discovered disease has quickly grown into a global outbreak; it was first diagnosed late last year in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, China. Uncertainty surrounding the impact of the virus has also heavily affected the public markets.
The WHO’s most recent situation report notes that the virus had spread to 46 countries outside of China as of Thursday, with a total of 82,294 confirmed cases and over 2,800 deaths globally.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Danielle Edwards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.