In one of the largest ever individual philanthropy efforts till date, cryptocurrency billionaire Vitalik Buterin donated cryptocurrency worth $1 billion (over Rs. 7,360 crore) to fund India's COVID-19 relief efforts. The donation has been made in Ethereum and a new cryptocurrency called Shiba Inu, named after a breed of hunting dogs in Japan, to the India COVID Relief Fund, set up by tech entrepreneur Sandeep Nailwal.
Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, transferred 500 ETH and over 50 trillion SHIB (Shiba Inu), a meme coin, worth around $1.14 billion at the time of transaction, to the India COVID-Crypto Relief Fund.
The Shiba Inu creators had gifted Buterin 50 per cent of these dog-themed meme tokens, thinking he wouldn't touch them. But the world's youngest crypto billionaire decided to make the donation instead. The creators of Shiba Inu say they locked 50 per cent of the total supply to Uniswap, the platform where it trades, and threw away the keys.
"Fifty percent was burned to Vitalik Buterin and we were the first project following this path. So, everyone has to buy on the open market, ensuring a fair and complete distribution where devs don't own team tokens they can dump on the community," the team behind the token wrote on its website.
However, it remains unclear how easily Shiba Inu can be converted to rupees. Interestingly, India has received about $6 million in 10 different cryptocurrencies.
Naliwal took to Twitter to thank Vitalik for the donation. He wrote, “Thanks @VitalikButerin One thing we have learnt from Ethereum and @VitalikButerin is importance of community. We will not do anything which hurts any community especially the retail community involved with. We will act responsibly!Plz don’t worry Shib holders.” The donation made by Buretin led to a drop of over 35 percent in SHIB’s price in the past 24 hours.
This is not the first donation that Buterin has made to the India COVID Relief Fund. In April, the 27-year-old transferred 100 ETH and 100 MKR, worth approximately $6,06,110 (approximately Rs 4.5 crore).
Former Australian cricketer Brett Lee also has made donations in the form of cryptocurrencies. He has donated a bitcoin worth Rs 45 lakh to crypto relief to help India with the purchase of oxygen supplies for the hospitals across India.