The Balvi Filantropic Fund, directed by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, has donated $15 million in USDC to the University of California San Diego for research into airborne pathogens.

It is reportedly one of the largest donations made to an American university and the biggest till-date toward open-source research on aerosols.

The money will be used to set up a new research unit Meta-Institute for Airborne Disease in a Changing Climate, or simply The Airborne Institute, at UC San Diego.

"Thank you Vitalik Buterin and Balvi for this opportunity to better understand the production, survival, and transport of airborne microbes in a changing climate worldwide," said atmospheric chemist and professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego Kimberly Prather.


Prather and Rommie Amaro, professor and director of the National Biomedical Computation Resource at UC San Diego, will lead the research unit.

The Balvi Filantropic Fund was set up in May 2022 in partnership with the Shiba Inu community and the Indian emergency relief fund, CryptoRelief, for scientific research into COVID-19.

Crypto donations gain steam

The Balvi fund has conducted two donations since launch, giving over $15 million to more than ten coronavirus-related research projects.


The largest grant of $5.3 million was made to The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, to design a tool to identify virus outbreaks early.

The fund also led a $15 million donation to the Long Covid Research Initiative, which studies a specific ailment caused due to the COVID-19 virus, Long Covid, which manifests itself in the long run with weakened immunity and other health impacts.

The crypto community has spearheaded donations to numerous global causes in recent years.

It includes over $50 million in donations to Ukraine after Russia’s attack in Q1 2022 and, more recently, to earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria.

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