The Coronavirus epidemic that first appeared in China has now spread worldwide with more than 83,000 people infected and more than 2,800 deaths as of Friday.

The outbreak has caused financial markets across the globe to plunge and global markets on track for their worst week since the financial crisis as investors grow increasingly alarmed that a novel coronavirus pandemic could push the world economy into recession.

The number of coronavirus cases are increasing worldwide with 48 countries affected and South Korea, Italy and Iran have recorded the most cases outside of mainland China. There are concerns that if these countries suffer the same fate as China, it could cripple the global economy as we know it.

Coronavirus status as of 27 February, 2020
Coronavirus status as of 27 February, 2020 GISAID

Cryptocurrency value linked to number of infected

In order to help people raise awareness of the deadly virus, a group of developers on the imageboard website 4chan have created a cryptocurrency that increases in value every time someone gets infected or dies of the disease. While the concept might seem harsh, the group claims their intention is to create more awareness for COVID-19.

According to a post on Reddit, CoronaCoin (NCOV) is a cryptocurrency that runs on the Ethereum blockchain and is linked to Coronavirus cases and fatality statistics. The cryptocurrency goes up in value every time the virus infects or claims a life.

"We developed the world's first blockchain that tracks the spread of the virus based on it's [sic] token supply. The token supply started at 7.6 billion and is burned every two days to keep up with official WHO statistics," said Sunny Kemp, an admin for CoronaCoin's Telegram group.

How does it work?

The token currently has a corpus of 7,604,953,650 based on the world's population. Every 48 hours, the token is burned to reduce supply in line with the number of Coronavirus deaths and infected cases. This culling then pushed up the value of the remaining coins are more are burned every two days.

Coronavirus
Chief nurse Ma Jing holds a patient's hand to comfort her in the ICU (intensive care unit) of Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Jan. 24, 2020. By Thursday midnight, Hubei Province in central China reported 549 cumulative confirmed cases of the new coronavirus pneumonia, with 495 in Wuhan, the provincial capital. (Xinhua/Xiong Qi/IANS) Xinhua/IANS

Funds to be donated to charity

The company's website promises to donate 20% of the proceeds to registered charities like the Red Cross to help efforts to prevent the virus from spreading.

"A portion of funds raised will go to charity," Kemp said on the company's Discord page. "This is our goal, to spread awareness and help fight the virus. For example, we are currently in talks with a biochemist who is working to develop drugs to fight the virus. These are the kinds of partnerships we want to build."