Binance says it’s pouring millions into the global fight against the coronavirus.
In an ask-me-anything (AMA) Friday, CEO Changpeng Zhao said his exchange has committed at least $2.4 million in crypto to buy sorely needed COVID-19 medical supplies and plans to donate up to $2 million more through its philanthropic arm, the Binance Charity Foundation (BCF).
“We are donating physical supplies, masks, other medical supplies, hopefully, eventually, ventilators.” Zhao said. He estimated Binance’s total contributions will add up to “somewhere around $5 million.”
While Zhao said Binance had already donated the $2.4 million, BCF’s website only noted $1 million donated so far.
Zhao said these supplies are shipping directly to hospitals in need. BCF’s early efforts focused on China: it has delivered hundreds of thousands of personal protective equipment (PPE) items to 300 Chinese hospitals as of March 20, according to BCF’s website.
PPE will now flow to other sickened countries.
“I think there’s a shipment going to Italy this week,” Zhao said, “and then hopefully we will be able to cover the U.S., Germany and some of the other countries that are really severely impacted.”
BCF has also raised about $200,000 in crypto from the public, according to Zhao.
Much of the AMA focused on Binance’s recent acquisition of CoinMarketCap (CMC). Zhao repeatedly said he has no plans to interfere with CMC’s independent operations or turn it into a traffic feed for Binance, already the world’s largest exchange by volume.
Many observers questioned whether CMC would remain independent after first hearing about the acquisition.
He ran through a number of recent Binance announcements. The exchange opened a South African Rand fiat on-ramp, launched its first mining pool, partnered with the Brave browser and cut leveraged tokens in the past two weeks.