The coronavirus epidemic has not left one facet of the financial markets unscathed, including cryptocurrencies. Now a team of developers are looking to capitalize on the misfortune of thousands of people who have been infected with the deadly virus and whose lives are on the line.
The new cryptocurrency, dubbed the CoronaToken (nCoV), is reminiscent of the crypto market Wild West when projects were popping up left and right trying to cash in on the latest thing. According to a report in Reuters, CoronaToken lets investors wager on the number of unfortunate people who get infected with the disease and whether or not they will survive.
We know what you must be thinking, but apparently it’s no joke. According to the website, the CoronaToken has the following features:
- It’s “an ERC20-compliant token”
- It’s “deflationary and non-mintable”
According to reports, tens of thousands of people have been infected with the coronavirus. The World Health Organization has attached a “very high” alert to the epidemic, which has claimed some 2,700 lives in China while dozens of additional deaths have been reported elsewhere around the world. It seems as far as the CoronaToken architects are concerned, the more the better.
In a sick play on the cryptocurrency inflation model, the CoronaToken supply gets slashed every couple of days commensurate with the number of additional people stricken with the disease, which means that the price is poised to increase as the virus claims more victims. According to CoronaToken,
“Token will be burnt once every 48 hours based on the number of INFECTED + FATALITIES, so the token is deflationary; and also non-mintable.”
Sunny Kemp, a self-proclaimed CoronaToken developer, reportedly said on the Telegram platform,
“Some people speculate a large portion of the supply will be burned due to the spread of the virus, so they invest.”
In yet another twist, CoronaToken team has assigned a token supply of 7,604,953,650 NCOV based on the global population. So far they’ve burned more than 85,000 tokens and counting. They also have their own consensus algorithm dubbed proof-of-death.
Incidentally, the team behind CoronaToken claims the project is a “2019-nCoV relief effort” and state that they will be donating 20% of the total token supply to the Red Cross. If you want, you can buy the nCoV token on the project’s website at coronatoken.org.
Apparently, the CoronaToken team is also planning an airdrop, which is when investors can qualify for an earmarked number of free tokens. The CoronaToken team, which currently boasts hundreds of followers on Twitter, stated, “airdrop 200 NCOV 200.” According to a reply by Twitter account “cctip”, it means
“The first 200 retweet users will each receive 1 NCOV.”
According to one Reddit member, the airdrop is legitimate. DigitalInvestments2 stated:
Social Media Backlash
Not surprisingly, social media has been critical of the project, with Reuters citing some calling the project “amoral” and “classless,” while another simply stated,
“This is why we can’t have nice things.”
The CoronaToken project is comprised just over half-a-dozen developers, mostly concentrated in Europe, and reports indicate they are a growing team.