The largest U.S. miner on the Ethereum blockchain, CoreWeave, has reportedly started redirected 6,000 graphics processing units (GPUs) towards research to help fight the coronavirus outbreak.
According to a report from CoinDesk, the GPUs are pointed towards Stanford University’s [email protected] project, which has been allowing users to point computing power to it to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Once it was possible to do so, CoreWeave didn’t hesitate to point some of its hashrate towards the project, according to its co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Brian Venturo.
Speaking to the news outlet Venture revealed CoreWeave double the power of the entire network with its GPUs, which are said to make up about 0.2% of the Ethereum network’s total hashrate. These earned around 28 ETH per day, at press time worth $3,900. While there isn’t yet a cure for the coronavirus, the [email protected] project contributes for the development of one. Venturo pointed out it has helped in the creation of other important drugs:
Their research had profound impacts on the development of front-line HIV defense drugs, and we are hoping our [computing power] will aid in the fight against coronavirus.
The [email protected] project uses computing power to do research on the coronavirus, and everyone with a laptop is able to help power it, even if with a small amount of computing power. In a blog post, the project details it uses computer simulations “to understand proteins’ moving parts.”
Application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), the mining machines used to mine Bitcoin and other top cryptocurrencies, aren’t helpful for the project, as they were designed to simply mine cryptocurrency. Venturo said:
This is one of the great things about the Ethereum mining ecosystem, it’s basically the largest GPU compute resource on the planet. We were able to redeploy our hardware to help fight a global pandemic in minutes.
It’s worth pointing out, however, ASICs have been used on the Ethereum network, and the network itself is looking to be upgraded into a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm.
Despite the efforts, Venturo estimates “after discussing with some industry experts” that the chance of success in utilizing the [email protected] project to deliver a drug to the market is in the 2-5% range.
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