The Amsterdam-based firm said Tuesday it had dedicated its GPU computer nodes to the "Folding@home" coronavirus research project. Run by Washington University, the project has been asking for computer processing power to run simulations for coronavirus protein structure that could ultimately help develop a vaccine.
"Our contribution of highly efficient computing power pales next to the selflessness and sacrifice of our medical caregivers and essential staff on the front lines of this virus, but I am 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," said Bitfury CEO Valery Vavilov, in a statement.
Bitfury's stock of ASIC rigs – a far more powerful form of mining computer – will continue mining the Bitcoin blockchain. While GPUs are versatile, ASICs are highly specialized and cannot easily be shifted to other projects.
Bitfury said its GPUs had performed more than 1,300 calculations for Folding@home since they started work on March 20. The company says that it plans to "scale-up its contribution significantly over time."