Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has donated $4 million worth of USD Coin (USDC) to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) to help build a tool that would warn of future pandemics.
Vitalik Buterin Donates $4m Worth USDC to Kirby Institute
According to an official announcement from the Kirby University at University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, the institution has secured a $4 million donation (5.3 million Australian dollars) in USDC stablecoin from Vitalik Buterin.
The funds are a part of Buterin’s self-described “moonshot anti-COVID effort” dubbed Balvi Filantropic Fund in partnership with the Shiba Inu (SHIB) memecoin project and Crypto Relief.
The funds will go towards the development of the Shiba Inu Open-Source Intelligence- (OISNT)-based EPIWATCH tool which utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) and open-source data to create early pandemic warning signs.
Detecting Early Signs of Pandemic
Developed by UNSW Kirby Institute’s Professor, and biosecurity research head Raina MacIntyre, the tool scans millions of items of publicly available online data, including social media and news reports to detect any changes that could provide early warning signals for the upcoming pandemic.
While EPIWATCH has proven to be much faster than waiting for a formal report through doctors or laboratories, it does not take the place of formal reporting. However, it allows earlier signs of epidemics that should be formally investigated by health authorities.