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This Week’s COVID-19 Updates in Crypto: Bitcoin Miners in the Pandemic, Crypto-Funded Scams & More

News on the COVID-19 pandemic this week has been both positive and negative. For the first time since the outbreak began, Taiwan had no new daily cases on April 14 and 16 this week, while other countries such as Finland and Spain are easing lockdown measures following some improvements in the coronavirus situation within their borders. However, the same cannot be said for the US, where the death toll passed the 30,000 mark two days ago and also Singapore, where cases have increased seventy fold in the past two weeks. 

As citizens across the globe wonder how long more they will have to wait before some semblance of normalcy returns to their lives, here is how blockchain and crypto have featured in the pandemic this week.

Bitcoin Miners Dealing with Increase in Operational Costs and Delays 

With the pandemic having adverse effects on the global economy, the crypto mining sector has not escaped unscathed. Like most businesses, mining companies and farms are facing difficulties and are struggling to keep up with the changes brought about by the virus outbreak.

According to Coindesk, US-based mining firm Hut 8 Mining Group is experiencing delays in shipments for much needed mining equipment with no exact dates of expected delivery. This is no surprise, given that logistics companies and supply chain processes have most likely taken a hit in recent weeks with a shortage of working employees or countries restricting movement of goods abroad. With the upcoming Bitcoin halving ahead, the lack of equipment may negatively impact Hut 8’s goal of expanding their mining operations.

Riot Blockchain, another mining company based in Colorado, US, has also taken measures to ensure its survival in these unprecedented times by partnering with Coinmint, a digital currency data center. The partnership will allow Riot to move its operations to New York where Coinmint’s facility is located. 

Riot was plagued with issues such as high production costs, low hashing capacity, delays in its supply chain and miners going offline while in quarantine, and the firm hopes that the move can help them better prepare for the imminent halving event, despite the risks COVID-19 may pose to their operations in New York.

Encouraging a Donation Ripple Effect with Blockchain-Based Crowdfunding App

Using blockchain technology, developers at tech start-up IntellectEU are creating a blockchain-based web app which will encourage users and their peers to donate to the UN Foundation and COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO. 

“#SpreadLoveNotCorona wants to digitally replicate the spreading of a virus, with one big difference: #SpreadLoveNotCorona is a positive virus, one that brings people together and emphasizes the impact every single one of us has in the battle against COVID-19,” the post highlights.

The concept is similar to referral systems where donors or participants get a unique link to share with their friends and community after making a donation on #SpreadLoveNotCorona. Participants are then rewarded as they can see how many people they have ‘infected’ in this positive pandemic, and there is a leaderboard where users can check out how they have fared in getting others to donate. 

FBI Warns of Crypto Scams in the Pandemic

While crypto scam profits have taken a tumble in the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing market downturn, a staggering number of COVID-19 scams have emerged to take advantage of the current situation. In particular, the US has seen an increase in its citizens falling prey to crypto-related coronavirus scams. In light of this, the FBI published a warning letter on April 13 to highlight some fraudulent schemes circulating in communities at present.

Four types of scams were identified, with the first being blackmail attempts. Scammers claim to have access to an individual’s personal data and threaten to infect them with the virus unless Bitcoin (BTC) is sent to a wallet address. Secondly, money laundering is still a problem as scammers impersonate employers and ask unsuspecting employees to deposit crypto funds from their personal bank accounts, where these employees inadvertently become money mules. Investment scams are also very common, while some individuals have been asked to pay for bogus COVID-19 treatments or medical supplies with crypto.

The elderly are exceptionally prone to falling for these scams, and the FBI reminds individuals to do proper research before making any monetary decisions and also to keep their personal information secure.

You may also want to read: Last Week’s COVID-19 Updates in Crypto: Verifying Fake News, Blockchain Apps on Data Privacy Protection & More

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SuperCryptoNews is a global leading blockchain and crypto news provider, covering daily news on the latest tech and trading developments in crypto. We bring you expansive crypto news coverage especially in Asia, with a focus on Singapore, Thailand and Southeast Asia.

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© Copyright of Novum Global Consultancy Pte Ltd {2020, 2021}. All rights reserved.

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