Over the past week, the coronavirus-caused illness COVID-19, while losing steam in China, has rapidly broken out in Europe, the U.S., Iran, and a few other nations across the globe.
In fact, per John Hopkins University of Medicine’s Coronavirus Resource Center, there are now around 2,000 diagnosed cases in Spain, France, and Germany, not to mention the over 10,000 in Italy.
Unsurprisingly, as this has spread, all industries have been affected as people try and grapple with the ongoing outbreak. Crypto has been affected too, with the first member of the cryptocurrency industry announcing an infection on March 10th.
“Take Precautions,” Says Diagnosed Atendee of Ethereum Event
Zhen Yu Yong — co-founder of Torus Labs, a crypto startup working on “one-click logins for your dapp” — announced on Twitter on March 10th that after falling ill on the 9th, he has been “diagnosed with COVID-19” in Singapore, where he lives and works per his Twitter bio.
— Zhen Yu Yong (Zen) (@zenzhenyu) March 11, 2020
Fortunately, Zhen seems to be settling in nicely, writing on Twitter that he has “settled in quite nicely into an isolated ward [in Singapore],” adding that the symptoms so far are similar to that of a cold.
Zhen has received well wishes from Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, Cornell University Professor and Ava Labs CEO Emin Gun Sirer, MultiCoin Capital’s Kyle Samani, and other leaders in the crypto industry.
Although the Torus Labs executive is doing fine at the moment, he claims that he attended two Ethereum events in Europe over the past two weeks: ETHLondon, the hackathon that took place from February 28th to March 1st, and the Ethereum Community Conference 3 in France, held from March 3rd to 5th.
Zhen thus advised any of those he contacted at the two events to “take extra precautions and/or get tested.” This warning was doubled down on by the organizers of EthCC, who wrote in their own message that all attendees should “take care.”
#EthCC Community, an attendee was diagnosed with #COVID2019 – please take care and let us know if you get sick during the following weeks. Follow your area’s testing guidelines and stay safe people ! https://t.co/jcgVp4BrQ0
— EthCC – Ethereum Community Conference (@EthCC_) March 11, 2020
Yes, Zhen was only diagnosed yesterday, though reports say that the coronavirus that caused COVID-19 has the potential to stay dormant (though still transmissible) in someone’s body for a week or two before symptoms begin to show. This means that he could have caught it, then potentially transmitted it to others, as the virus is airborne.
Blockonomi hopes Zhen gets better.
Crypto Events Are Shuttering… And Quick
With the outbreak affecting regions that crypto conferences are located in and members of the community, it’s unsurprising that many events are deciding to cancel or postpone.
Already, the Tron Foundation’s niTROn event, Token2049 in Hong Kong, and Hong Kong Blockchain Week have already been postponed to later this year.
The latest to bite the dust, so to say, is Bitcoin 2020.
Over the past few months, I’ve been anticipating Bitcoin 2020 — a BTC-themed conference that was set to take place at the end of March in San Francisco with speakers like Blockstream’s Adam Back, FTX and Alameda CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, and countless other prominent industry members.
Unfortunately, it seems like I won’t get to hear from these speakers; the event was just postponed to Q3 2020, with the event organizers claiming they did so to protect the community and to respond to the State of Emergency declaration in California, which has also forced events like the world-renowned Coachella Music Festival to postpone.
Also postponed is next week’s “DC Blockchain Summit 2020” conference, which is being pushed to a currently undisclosed and unconfirmed time slot. This event was slated to bring together government officials and proponents of blockchain and cryptocurrency.