Vitalik Buterin Donates $4M in USDC to Prevent Pandemics

Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin has pledged $4 million in USDC to establish the so-called Shiba Inu OSINT initiative to prevent future global pandemics. The Kirby Institute said in a press release that the initiative will be supported by Buterin’s Balvi Filantropic Fund and led by UNSW’s Kirby Institute.

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The proceeds will go toward the further development of EPIWATCH, an open-source intelligence (OSINT) tool to provide early warning signals about the upcoming pandemics. The tool works by scanning items of publicly available online data like social media and news reports for early signals of epidemics. The press release reads:

“This is much quicker than waiting for formal reporting through doctors and laboratories. EPIWATCH does not replace formal reporting, but allows earlier warnings of epidemics that can be formally investigated by health authorities.”

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Buterin says the tool can potentially allow researchers to start developing treatments or even stop diseases before they become large. He added:

“Open analysis of public data is an excellent alternative to more intrusive forms of monitoring, which are also often only available to governments and other high bidders but closed to the public. By contrast, an open source and open access approach that allows researchers, including members of the public, to work collaboratively across the world can be more easily improved and scaled to detect new pandemics wherever they begin.”

In May 2021, Vitalik Buterin donated over $1 billion in SHIB tokens to the India Covid Crypto Fund to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The Co-Founder of Ethereum also sent over $473 million in AKITA tokens to Gitcoin, a platform where users get paid for working on open source software. In April this year, Buterin also pledged 1,500 ETH to Ukraine and Unchain Fund, a charity project created by blockchain activists to support Ukraine with humanitarian aid.

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