A Twitter post on January 29 advertised a site that sold medicinal products Covid-19 counterfeit, accept payment in Bitcoin. These scams have increased dramatically as the global crisis escalates.
The scammer sells fake hope to claim Bitcoin
The Russian-based website for selling fake medicines has been disabled. The screenshot shows that this site offers what they call a vaccine for up to three people. In addition, the site claims that the vaccine was researched by the Australian National University in Canberra.
Extensive studies are still underway, however, at present there is no cure or vaccine for COVID-19. However, it's no surprise that fraudsters take advantage of the crisis to commit frauds to benefit themselves. Any treatments that are being sold online are fake. Some media figures, such as Alex Jones, have been ordered to stop advertising drugs they have claimed will fight the disease.
The criminals are also trying to profit by establishing charities and forging support. Many of them seek donations through Bitcoin. Therefore, any group claiming to provide relief during the current outbreak needs to be considered. Better Business Bureau has one webpage specifically to provide an evaluation of this issue.
The safest way to donate is to choose a reputable organization like the Red Cross. The Italian Red Cross has collected thousands of Euro to help with the outbreak. Bitcoin donations to the International Red Cross can be made through BitPay.
Legitimate projects using real and scientific data
More and more legitimate applications using blockchain, the underlying Bitcoin technology, were developed in the hope of opposing Covid-19. One of them is Stanford University's folding @ home project, which is seeking help from Bitcoin miners and crypto. For years, volunteers donated their unused computers to this project to study proteins. Folding @ home is currently setting up a version of this application to study Covid-19, which could greatly benefit from GPU access.
In addition, proposals to apply Blockchain technology to fight viruses have led to several new initiatives. One is Covidathon, an 8 week hackathon contest sponsored by SingularityNET and Ocean Protocol. Blockchain-based applications are also being developed. Some people seek to create anonymous interactive maps of infectious hotspots that can provide invariant data to both health workers and the public.
It is important that as the war against Covid-19 grows, the distinction between real projects and people taking advantage of the crisis to reap the benefits will become increasingly important.
According to Bitcoinist
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