Vitalik Buterin donates $4 million USDC to the University of New South Wales to support the development of pandemic detection tools. So let’s read more in our latest cryptocurrency news today.

Professor Raina Macintyre remarked:

“Imagine if someone had discovered COVID-19 before it spread around the world – that’s our vision.”

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin donates USDC worth $4 million to the University of New South Wales to support the development of a pandemic detection tool. The capital totals A$5.3 million and is part of Buterin’s self-proclaimed Moonshot Unit Covid project in partnership with the Shiba Inu Meme Coin project and Crypto-Relief. The funds will support SHIB’s development of an open-source intelligence-based EPIWATCH tool that leverages artificial intelligence and open-source data to create early warning signals for pandemics.

Developed by research leader Raina Macintyre, the tool scans millions of articles available online, including social media and news reports, to identify changes that may indicate rising health concerns. Buterin emphasized the importance of sharing data in a decentralized and open manner and accelerating pandemic detection:

“Open analysis of public data is an excellent alternative to more intrusive forms of surveillance, which are also often only available to governments and other high bidders but closed to the public. In contrast, an open-source and open-access approach that allows researchers, including members of the public, to collaborate globally, can be more easily improved and scaled to detect new pandemics wherever they start.”

Funding will be allocated to the newly named OSINT initiative, led by UNSW’s Kirby Institute, and Macintier also said the idea is to make the tool accessible at a “grassroots” level and ensure it covers more languages, to reach smaller cities around the world :

“Imagine if someone had discovered COVID-19 before it spread around the world – that is our vision. By using AI and real-time open source data, EPIWATCH does not rely on people to create reports. It’s a great leveler and can overcome weak health systems and censorship.”

Earlier this month, the Balvi Filantropic Fund announced the first round of financial support for various projects and organizations developing COVID-19 prevention technology. There were four recipients in total in the first round, including the open-source vaccine development project RADVAProject and the Upper Room UVGI project, which is working on UV lamps that can kill viruses.

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