In brief

  • Gitcoin is supporting grants for coronavirus relief efforts.
  • People are donating to help those in Kenya affected by the virus.
  • Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has donated $50,000.

People are donating funds in Gitcoin’s latest round of grants to projects designed to support the coronavirus relief efforts.

Gitcoin is an open-source crypto bounties platform built on the Ethereum blockchain. Donations are matched by grant programs or private philanthropists, in the hope of encouraging more people to get involved. As Decrypt reported, Gitcoin will match $100,000 in donations to coronavirus-related projects.

So far, 14 people have donated 147 DAI—a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar—to a project funding coronavirus ventilators and masks, with an estimated total of 254 DAI, once matched. Similarly 17 people have given 201 DAI—which will get brought to 600 DAI—for supporting those in Kenya affected by the coronavirus.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and Gitcoin are the official sponsors of Health Grants CLR Matching Round 5. They have already donated $50,000 each.

The Health category currently includes 37 projects, most of which, unsurprisingly, are focused on COVID-19 research or response. For example, “Open Source Covid Ventilator” is proposing a design for “an easy and portable DIY” ventilator that anyone can print at home with a basic 3D-printer.

Other projects are employing a more direct approach, seeking funding to help residents of Kenya, buy meals for children in the US or send medical masks and test kits to the residents of the EU.

The donations are calculated in the DAI stablecoin, but users can also send Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash via a partner campaign with crypto donations processing platform The Giving Block.

Alex Wilson, a co-founder of The Giving Block, previously told Decrypt that charities working with his platform have the option of converting their donations straight to US dollars. That will supposedly help to counteract the volatility of crypto.

Since launching in January 2019, Gitcoin Grants has distributed $797,000 to open source projects. As the coronavirus continues to spread around the world, perhaps even more grants will be diverted toward the healthcare efforts this year.