The Birth of the Coronavirus-Backed CoronaCoin Amid Quarantining Banknotes in China

Sarah Tran   Feb 17, 2020 10:25 3 Min Read (21).jpg


The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 has spread to at least 25 other countries and caused 5 deaths outside of mainland China. Restrictions in Hubei, of the epicenter province of the outbreak, have been imposed further on its citizens. In Wuhan, the city where the coronavirus originated, has been banning its citizens from leaving their homes.   


The World Health Organization announced that the future path of the epidemic is “impossible to predict.”  


China has also started disinfecting and isolating used banknotes, aiming to stop the spread of the coronavirus. By using ultraviolet light and high temperatures to disinfect bills, banknotes are sealed and stored for around 14 days before recirculating them to the public. The nation’s central bank made an emergency issuance of the four-billion-yuan worth of new bills for the province of Hubei prior to the Lunar New Year holiday.  


The birth of a CoronaCoin 


Amid the climbing death toll in China due to the coronavirus, the cryptocurrency community has seen the emergence of a new coin–a coronavirus-backed token.   


Published first on Reddit, the primary purpose of the token is to spread awareness of the health issue across the board. The CoronaCoin (NCOV), will be an ERC-20 token, and the total supply of the token is based on the world population. With one NCOV token per each person alive globally (7,604,953,650), the token is burnt every 48 hours, according to the number of infections and casualties from the virus.   


Controversy over the CoronaCoin 


The cryptocurrency community on Reddit also commented on the creation of the token. The community has skewed toward the end of the skeptical spectrum regarding the features of the coin, as the post indicates that investors would be able to benefit from the spread of the virus. A user on Reddit called the token a “shitcoin,” and deducted that “it must be a bull market” as this token made an appearance. Another user had the opinion that the token would “do the opposite” of incentivizing people to spread the disease for the token to gain value.  


The token’s website states that a portion of the funds will be donated to Red Cross for “nCov relief,” however, it does not state the precise portion. The crypto community also suggested that Bitcoin would remove the need to quarantine cash. 


Red Cross: The issues with donations and how blockchain can help 


There has been concern that the millions of dollars being donated for the public, as well as the protective equipment, are not being put to use where needed, and it has been reported that the equipment has been misdirected.  


Beijing has ordered all public donations for the coronavirus outbreak to be funneled to five government-backed charity organizations, which automatically assumes that these government-backed charities are all fit for purpose, and would be able to manage in a centralized manner of the recent outbreak.  


Blockchain.News previously reported that the Red Cross in China has previously mishandled billions of dollars donated for the Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan province in Western China in 2008. The Red Cross in China reflected, “One of the lessons learned was that emergency response must be better developed at the local level.” 


According to Syren Johnstone, the Executive Director of the Master of Law (Compliance and Regulation) Program at the University of Hong Kong, a private blockchain network would “enable the recording and tracking of anything that is donated, from donation dollars to N95 masks.” By holding the person or organization accountable, donations for delivery could be tracked from the donor all the way to its final-use. Blockchain would also enable transparency for the general public to understand how their donations have been used and its progress. While a private blockchain is strictly controlled, it can also allow for public transparency for donors and donees, as well as authorities. 


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