Some Europe-based developers have created a cryptocurrency -- named CoronaCoin -- that lets you cash in on the number of people who die or fall ill due to coronavirus. In a rather tasteless methodology, this Bitcoin-like cryptocurrency functions on coins -- called tokens -- that decrease as more people die or get infected. The scarcity of tokens lead to gain in the value of the digital currency. As per its developers, its total supply is based on the world population -- around 7,604,953,650 (over 7 billion).
The digital currency's tokens are burnt every 48 hours, depending upon the number of deaths during those hours. "As the number of infected/dead from the virus increases, the number of tokens is manually burned every 48 hours," says the website. With the rapid rise in the number of infected people, the tokens are also burning fast. "Some people speculate a large portion of the supply will be burned due to the spread of the virus, so they invest," Sunny Kemp, a user who identified himself as one of the developers, told Reuters.
As of Friday night, a total of 85,366 tokens have been burned. The digital currency developers, however, aim to donate 20 per cent of the money to Red Cross via its 2019-nCoV relief effort. Kemp said they'll use a well-known cryptocurrency payments processor to donate money every month.
On netizens raising questions over the "tasteless" idea, Kemp seems to disagree. He defended the idea, saying the World Health Organisation also issued pandemic bonds. "How's that different," he asked. Coronacoin is also backed by proof of death based on statistics obtained from the World Health Organisation (WHO), its developers claim.
How CoronaCoin functions
- There's set number of tokens in the world: 7,604,953,650.
- The total number of tokens is equal to the population of the world at the time of minting the tokens.
- As the number of infected/dead from the virus increases, the number of tokens is manually burned every 48 hours. So for every one infection, one token is burned.
The underlying technology behind cryptocurrency is the blockchain technology. A blockchain is an anonymous online ledger that uses data structure to simplify the way we transact. Blockchain allows users to manipulate the ledger in a secure way without the help of a third party. The algorithm used in blockchain reduces the dependence on people to verify the transactions. This technology used for recording various transactions has the potential to disrupt the financial system.
Pandemic on the rise
The deadly virus that first emerged in China in December last year has spread to more than 70 countries and has infected more than 88,000 people, including over 80,000 in China. China's National Health Commission (NHC) said on Sunday it received reports of 202 new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Sunday, taking the total number of cases in the mainland to 80,026. On Sunday alone, China reported 42 new fatalities from the novel coronavirus outbreak, taking the death toll in the country to over 3,000.
Edited by Manoj Sharma