Blockchain development firm Bitfury is re-assigning the computing power it uses for digital currency transaction processing to COVID-19 research.
In an announcement on March 31, the company revealed that it had been allocating its high-powered GPU-enabled computing nodes to run COVID-19 calculations as of March 20.
The redirection of Bitfury’s resources is contributing to a distributed computing endeavor, [email protected] ([email protected]), created by a consortium of scientific research labs across North America, Europe and Asia.
In the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, [email protected] has launched a project to run simulations of the virus’ molecular structure in an effort to contribute to the development of effective therapeutics.
The project, which demands enormous computational power, has been seeking donations of computational resources from enterprises, organizations and individuals.
Bitfury, for its part, has reportedly to date used its nodes to complete over 1,300 calculations for the [email protected] initiative.
In a statement, Bitfury CEO Valery Vavilov said he was “confident that this project from Folding at Home, alongside the work of many researchers and doctors, will significantly advance our understanding and treatment of this disease.”
Strong backing from the crypto industry
As Cointelegraph has previously reported, Bitfury is just the latest of a series of crypto industry players to join the [email protected] project.
The project has received support from decentralized computing network Golem, and blockchain platform Tezos (XTZ), who earmarked a donation pool of several hundred XTZ to be awarded to the largest [email protected] donor at the end of this month.
As of March 12, Tezos has had 20 teams contributing resources to the project. U.S.-based Ether (ETH) miner Coreweave has diverted the computational power of roughly 6,000 GPUs, as well as major chip manufacturer Nvidia. In mid-March, Nvidia also appealed to individual gamers to contribute their own unused GPU computing resources to the research effort.