UConn Indoor Air Quality Initiative, Funded Through Cryptocurrency, Works to Protect Schools from Spread of COVID-19

two people preparing an air purifierCOVID-19 cases may be falling, but the virus is still a very real concern for many parents sending their children back to school. UConn researchers are working to ease those worries by building do-it-yourself air purifiers to improve health in schools and other crowded settings. The Indoor Air Quality Initiative, which has already made an impact in Connecticut, is growing, thanks to a generous donation.

The initiative has received a $300,000 grant, funded through cryptocurrency, from Balvi, an investment and direct giving fund established by Vitalik Buterin, the co-creator of Ethereum. Ethereum is a technology for building computer applications and organizations, holding assets, transacting, and communicating without being controlled by a central authority. Balvi was established for the purpose of deploying funds quickly to high-value COVID-19 projects that traditional institutional or commercial funding sources tend to overlook.

“Improving the quality of indoor air is a key tool for dealing with covid and future pandemics without any disruption to normal life,” says Buterin. “We are excited to support grassroots initiatives to improve air quality in schools and other public venues.”

The donation will allow UConn to expand the project’s reach and add to the more than 400 purifiers already in schools, libraries, shelters, and other locations throughout the state.

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