Seychelles-registered crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX has become the latest industry actor to join philanthropic efforts to fight the COVID-19 global health crisis.

On April 20, the exchange’s operator, HDR Global Trading, launched a dedicated COVID-19 Response Fund and announced its contribution of a total $2.5 million in grants to four recipients.

The company contends that as a fintech, the best way for it to contribute to global efforts is through “strategically directed funds [that] can fill gaps in the global response and rapidly empower well-equipped but under-resourced organizations.” 

Following a consultation with a philanthropic advisory group, HDR Global Trading has chosen to donate to the two Gates Philanthropy Partners COVID-19 Funds, the Biosecurity program at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, OpenMined, and Our World in Data.

Between them, these organizations focus on policy analysis and capacity-building projects to reduce biological risks, vaccine, diagnostics and treatment development, data research and open-source support for data privacy techniques.

HDR Global Trading has underscored that all contributions made via COVID-19 Response Fund are independent from the personal philanthropic initiatives of its co-founder Ben Delo, a signatory of the Giving Pledge.

Industry responses to the global crisis

As reported, the Stellar Development Foundation committed up to 2.5 million Lumens earlier this month to non-profits working on crisis relief during the pandemic.

Several crypto firms have also re-assigned the computing power they normally use for digital currency transaction processing to a distributed computing project, Folding@Home, which is working on COVID-19 research.

Meanwhile, Binance has launched a drive to raise $5 million in cryptocurrencies to purchase medical supplies for the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, following on from its own purchase of $1.4 million in medical supplies for Wuhan in January.