Crypto, COVID-19 and Currency
Health organisations worldwide have issued several guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The basic ones include washing hands frequently, not touching one’s face and social distancing but with all the misconceptions surrounding the virus, concerns have mounted about the role currency might play in spreading the disease.
There is no disputing that cash is filthy. Research has shown that banknotes may be highly contaminated by Staph and Salmonella species, E. coli and S. aureus.
The potential of paper currency and coins to serve as sources of pathogenic agents can not be overlooked. Given how frequently it changes hands, paper money can harbour hundreds of species of microorganisms.
Model Simulation of the Rate of Spread of Infectious Diseases through Cash
Recently, the World Health Organisation advised people to use contactless payment technology and wash their hands after handling cash. This was misinterpreted to mean WHO had issued a warning against using cash itself. WHO later clarified that washing hands after handling dirty surfaces like cash, was just good practice.
This has not prevented financial institutions around the world to stop worrying about banknotes spreading the coronavirus and some have already taken steps to ensure they can minimize the risk. China and Korea began disinfecting and isolating used banknotes last month as a precautionary measure and the United States Federal Reserve imposed a quarantine on physical U.S. currency it received from Asia. The Bank of England also recognised that banknotes “can carry bacteria or viruses” but have no plans to isolate currency at the moment.
Crypto to the Rescue?
In the aftermath of coronavirus, whenever it may be, governments need to consider the public health risks associated with paper currency and coins. With so much media attention and the international impact the coronavirus outbreak has had, it has the potential to shift how society thinks about money in the wake of a highly transmissible global disease.
Meanwhile, if you are worried about coronavirus and cash, now might be a good time to use crypto for payments. Bitcoin can’t carry germs and neither can other cryptocurrencies!