Amid the rising fears of a coronavirus pandemic, cryptocurrency developers found a way to make money from the increasing number of people who fall ill and die of the novel coronavirus.
Dubbed as the "CoronaCoin," this new cryptocurrency or digital coin allows traders to bet on the outbreak based on how many people will be infected or die due to the COVID-19. The morbid cryptocurrency's supply will diminish every two days based on the rate of new cases, which suggests that its price could go higher as the death toll of the virus rises.
According to its website, the digital currency has established 7,604,953,650 tokens which represents the estimated number of people on Earth. The website also says that as the number of infected or dead from the virus increases so does the number of tokens that are manually burnt. Hence, one infection is equal to one token burnt.
The quick spread of the virus, which first emerged in Wuhan City in Hubei Province, China has tanked the global market with three of the United States' major stock indexes, including the Dow Jones reporting their worst week in more than 10 years since the 2008 financial crisis.
According to NY Post, Sunny Kemp who identified himself as one of the currency's developers said that some people expect a large portion of the digital coins supply will be burned due to the rapid spread of the virus, thus many people invest on the CoronaCoin.
Kemp further added that their team is comprised of seven developers with more even coming on board. He refused to identify the names of the others but said that they are mostly located in Europe.
These cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are digital currencies that rely on advanced cryptography which validates their transactions. These transactions are monitored through a blockchain which is a digital ledger. The blockchain for the CoronaCoin documents the spread of the virus and the token can be sold and bought through online exchanges like Saturn.Network.
Even with the criticisms that the CoronaCoin received, the developers said that around 20% of the supply will be allocated to monthly donations for the Red Cross/Crescent Movements using a well-known payment processor for cryptocurrency.
On Friday, the World Health Organization raised the COVID-19's global spread and impact alert to "very high" as the disease becomes global and six new countries report their first new cases of the dreaded disease.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the organizations epidemiologists have been monitoring the developments of the outbreak and have increased the assessment of the COVID-19 risk. Despite this, the officials are yet to find evidence of the community spread of the novel coronavirus and that they are still hopeful that there is still a chance to contain the virus.
According to CNN, there are already more than 88,000 that have been infected by the virus world wide with the majority of these cases in mainland China. Also there have been more than 2,800 deaths in China whilst there have been 136 fatalities overseas.