Ever since cryptocurrencies came into inception, they have managed to gain solid traction. Such has been their influence that many likened them to the future of all financial transactions. However, COVID19 has sent cryptocurrencies along with all the other economic institutions spiralling down the hill. Such has been the slide in its value that it has made many to wonder if cryptocurrency is dead already. To worsen matters further, a new cryptocurrency called CoronaCoin has surfaced, which bets on coronavirus deaths. Such developments have once again fueled the debate on the negative impacts of cryptocurrencies. Also, people are already becoming wary of the lethal combination ofcorona and cryptocurrency.
Despite the Corona outbreak, you would already know what it is if you have been keeping track of the latest cryptocurrency news. You might have read about cryptocurrencies that function on proof-of-stake or proof-of-work. Guess what, we now have CoronaCoin, which is the world’s first-ever cryptocurrency that works on proof-of-death. As cringy as it may sound, it’s one-hundred per cent true. The ERC-20 based CoronaCoin token keeps track of the number of coronavirus cases of infections on the blockchain network with a token burn. It then encourages people to bet on the number of people who die or get infected due to the virus.
The increase in the number of people who get infected or die due to the Coronavirus leads to a decrease in the number of CoronaCoin tokens. The appreciation in the value of the cryptocurrency is caused by the scarcity of its tokens. If that doesn’t send shivers down your spine, consider this: the total supply of CoronaCoin tokens is about 7,604,953,650, which is approximately equal to the world population. That means the developers of CoronaCoin token are banking on the decimation of the entire world population at the hands of Coronavirus, which would send the cryptocurrency’s value soaring through the sky. Any person in their right mind would call this devious partnership between Coronavirus and CoronaCoindownright sinful and evil.
The makers of CoronaCoin have reserved 20% of the tokens for donations to the Red Cross to assist them in their global relief operations. It, however, remains to be seen whether or not Red Cross accepts donations from an asset whose value solely depends on the number of human fatalities.
While the cryptocurrency has garnered heavy criticism from many quarters, many even calling it a morbid joke, CoronaCoin represents everything that is wrong with the crypto industry. Time and again, people have warned against the use of cryptocurrencies for illegal purposes. Its usage on the dark web by terrorists and other anti-social elements has already villainized cryptocurrencies to a large extent.
The developers of CoronaCoin have defended the currency by saying that the coin is only meant to educate the masses against the deadly disease and act as a robust financial back up for institutions in these tough times. However, considering the very nature of the coin, which banks on pure greed by depending on the loss of human lives, it truly manifests itself as the scourge of the crypto world.
If you were to ask me that question, the answer would be a resounding YES! It would be foolish to expect that the users of the coin would not be anticipating the COVID19 death toll to go higher. After all, what another way could the coin see a surge in its value? I know, the proponents of this coin would say that merely hoping for something terrible to happen doesn’t incriminate either the developers or the buyers of this coin. But the question was never about sending the makers of this coin to the gallows. My major reservation against this coin is the poor taste in which it has been thought out.
Moreover, CoronaCoin can create a conflict of interest of the worst decree in its investors, who belong to the medical fraternity. At a time, when health professionals are working day-in and out to curb the impact of the Corona outbreak, CoronaCoin can make them compromise their duties too, so as to bring in a surge in the coin’s value. Of course, one is free to dismiss such claims are rather outlandish. But this unholy nexus between CoronaCoin and Coronavirus will only see more and more questions being raised about this coin.
The questions around this combination of corona and cryptocurrency are galore, while the answers are few. The developer of CoronaCoin, Sunny Kemp, has justified his token by saying that the coin held no ICO or IPO. He has further stated that the coins were neither sold to the public directly or through active free airdrop of coins to the community. But the underlying question is, whether it was in good taste to launch a coin whose value appreciated only when there were more deaths due to the Coronavirus. Maybe, if the coin had been principled differently, there could have been more plausible justifications for it.
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