How We Are Responding to COVID-19

HDR Global Trading Limited, operator of the BitMEX cryptocurrency trading platform, is proud to announce our COVID-19 Response Fund. We have granted US$2.5 million towards the global effort to respond to the pandemic.

COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis which demands a global, coordinated response. Businesses have a vital role to play in efforts to slow the spread of the virus, mitigate its impact and save lives, and we’re keen to contribute however we can.

As a fintech company, the best way for us to contribute to these efforts is through philanthropy. 

Philanthropy has unique potential in this crisis; strategically directed funds can fill gaps in the global response and rapidly empower well-equipped but under-resourced organisations. The four organisations we have chosen to support are leading efforts to tackle COVID-19 and are able to scale up their response given more funding.  

As we all focus on this global crisis, we also need to consider how we can build capacity to better handle the next pandemic. To handle other novel outbreaks, we must prevent outbreaks before they occur, quickly detect outbreaks when they occur and develop rapid countermeasures that can be deployed at scale. 

The HDR Global Trading COVID-19 Response Fund has confirmed grants of between US$300,000 and US$1,000,000, totalling US$2.5million, to four organisations, as follows:

The Nuclear Threat Initiative is an independent non-profit with a biosecurity team led by Dr Beth Cameron. Dr Cameron’s team works on policy analysis and capacity-building projects to reduce global biological risks. They are working to identify the countries most vulnerable to COVID-19 using their Global Health Security Index. By supporting this organisation, we can help to reduce the risk of another major pandemic in the future as well as responding to this one. 

We have also decided to support work to collate valuable information on the spread of the virus (Our World in Data) and ensure that any new COVID-19 app systems are privacy-preserving (OpenMined). We will also contribute to the two Gates Philanthropy Partners COVID-19 Funds to coordinate our philanthropic efforts with other donors to help rapidly develop vaccines, diagnostics and treatments.

Arthur Hayes, CEO and Co-Founder of HDR Global Trading Limited, commented, “We are committed to thoughtful grantmaking and ensuring that our actions during the COVID-19 crisis can make the biggest impact now and in the future. We have therefore decided to make grants totalling US$2.5 million to four organisations that are making a tangible difference in tackling COVID-19 as well as mitigating global catastrophic biological risks.” 

We are grateful to the philanthropic advisory group Effective Giving U.K., who we consulted to understand how our donations could have the biggest impact now and in the future. Note that HDR Global Trading’s COVID-19 Response Fund is entirely separate from the personal philanthropy initiatives, including in support of COVID-19, undertaken by HDR Co-Founder Ben Delo, a signatory of the Giving Pledge.

HDR Global Trading – COVID-19 Response Fund: Overview of Grants

Gates Philanthropy Partners

  • The Combating COVID-19 Fund; and
  • The Therapeutics Accelerator Fund

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $100 million for work on COVID-19 globally and has already helped to scale up testing in the U.S. and support early-stage research into potential treatments. Through Gates Philanthropy Partners, they are encouraging donors to support two COVID-19 funds to help them quickly develop new vaccines, treatments, and diagnostic tools:

  • The Combating COVID-19 Fund, which focuses on vaccines and diagnostics as well as protecting vulnerable people living in Africa and South Asia; and
  • The Therapeutics Accelerator Fund, which is working to find a treatment against COVID-19, whether it be an entirely new drug or the repurposing of one already in use.

Nuclear Threat Initiative (“NTI”) – Biosecurity Program

NTI is an independent non-profit led by the U.S. Secretary of Energy under the Obama administration, Ernest J. Moniz, with a biosecurity team led by Dr Beth Cameron (former Senior Director for Global Health Security on the National Security Council).

NTI | Biosecurity works on policy analysis and capacity-building projects to reduce global biological risks, prevent biotechnology disasters and lobby governments to prioritise these risks. They are working to identify the countries most vulnerable to COVID-19 using their Global Health Security Index.


OpenMined is a community of over 7,300 engineers, researchers, writers, and developers dedicated to lowering the barrier-to-entry to private AI technologies through open-source code and free education. 

OpenMined is providing free, open-source support for all COVID-19 app developers to protect their users’ data privacy properly. They aim to ensure that new COVID-19 app systems are privacy-preserving – making sure that a person can be notified and warned if they are breaking their quarantine using location data without any central authority having access to that data. OpenMined will upgrade their development and education communities to full- and part-time hours to scale up their services during the crisis.

Our World in Data (“OWID”)

OWID publishes research relevant to the world’s most pressing problems. Their research is made unusually accessible through compelling data visualisation, and it is freely available to the public. OWID is currently gathering and sharing the most up-to-date information on the spread of COVID-19. 

OWID’s information on the growth rate of deaths and confirmed cases have been used by the New York Times, Wired and Forbes for their coverage of the outbreak. Their research also informed the widely shared primer on coronavirus by YouTuber Kurzgesagt which, at the time of writing, has c. 20 million views.