Medical staff wearing protective gear monitor people's body temperature during COVID-19
Medical staff wearing protective gear monitor people's body temperature during COVID-19 testing drive at Appapada slum in Mumbai, India, photographed on June 25, 2020. Manoej Paateel/Shutterstock

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance was able to assist more than 20 countries in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 8 months through its charity initiative, the firm said in a blog post on 22 October.

According to the announcement, Binance Charity’s “Crypto Against COVID” initiative was able to collect more than $4 million in crypto donations since its launch in March, which were used to assist more than 20 nations in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The gathered funds were used to purchase various personal protective equipment (PPE), ranging from N95 protective masks to full protective suits, which were then distributed to nations that were hit the worst by the pandemic.

The Head of Binance Charity, Helen Hai, said in a statement:

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“At Binance Charity, our mission is to amplify the use of this cutting-edge technology for social good, and with COVID-19’s unprecedented arrival and startling spread, we have provided a transparent and trustworthy approach to remedying the spread of the pandemic.”

The blog post also shows that the majority of the gathered funds were from Binance’s exchange and Binance Charity, both of which donated a total of $3.3 million, while other donors contributed around $1 million. While the funds were used to purchase more than 1.5 million PPEs, the countries that received the biggest assistance were the U.S. (400,000 masks donated), Italy (400,000 masks and 10,000 protective suits), and Japan (101,000 surgical masks and 635 gowns).

Through this initiative, Binance was able to show the world how useful blockchain can be when it comes to philanthropy, as every transaction made was encrypted on an immutable public ledger. All donors can use their transaction IDs to check up on their contribution, from the receiving of donations to the allocation and spending of funds.

Hai said in another statement:

“Blockchain technology is a powerful antidote to a problem that has long plagued the philanthropy sector: distributed ledgers today have the speed, scalability, and above all immutability and transparency to alleviate donor concerns, ultimately maximizing charitable impact.”

Binance is not the only company that has tried to use blockchain technology to assist nations battling with COVID-19. Back in May, the company behind open-source browser Brave launched various initiatives to help non-profit organizations, such as free advertising space for organizations that gather money for COVID-19 relief funds. Earlier this month, the healthcare-focused division of IBM, IBM Watson Health, also announced the launch of its Digital Health Pass, which was designed to help individuals return safely to spaces like work, school, flights or stadiums, while maintaining their privacy.

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