Vitalik Buterin donates $1 Billion to India’s Crypto Covid Relief Fund
A historic event for crypto philanthropy, a meme turned into a billion dollars of social impact
History was made today in the crypto philanthropy space. Vitalik Buterin, Founder of Ethereum made a donation of $1 Billion USD to India’s Crypto Covid Relief Fund. This fund is managed by volunteers from India’s crypto community. The goal is to provide oxygen and other medical essentials to people in India suffering from COVID. The Fund’s team of volunteers have done an excellent job providing transparency with their handling of crypto and their plans to convert it into Fiat (real money). Vitalik had also previously donated to the fund in ETH (worth $3 million USD) but this time he donated $1 billion dollar worth of SHIB coin.
Who is Vitalik Buterin?
Vitalik Buterin is a cryptocurrency billionaire who made his fortune from creating Ethereum, an open source blockchain and its native cryptocurrency ETH.
ETH is the second largest cryptocurrency by market value after Bitcoin.
Ethereum is more popular than Bitcoin as a software development platform that lets developers create new cryptocurrencies, smart contracts and applications. It is by far the most active blockchain and lots of interesting projects are being built on it including Decentralized Finance (DeFi) applications and Non Fungible Tokens (NFT).
The story behind Vitalik Buterin’s donation of $1 billion USD
Vitalik donated 50,693,552,078,053 SHIB coins (worth $1 billion USD at the time of donation) to India's Crypto Covid Relief Fund. SHIB coin is one of many tokens created on the Ethereum blockchain as a joke (aka meme coins) similar to Dogecoin. When Dogecoin started to rise in value due to the mentions by Elon Musk other meme coins like SHIB coin also started rising in value.
Vitalik had received the SHIB coin originally as a free air drop (aka gift) by the creator of SHIB coin. This is a common marketing trick used by coin creators to lend credibility by associating it with credible folks like Vitalik.
We can only speculate as to why Vitalik chose to donate his SHIB coin and not ETH which is a more stable cryptocurrency. His transfers of SHIB created panic among the people holding SHIB coin and drove some of them to sell as well. And though 50,693,552,078,053 SHIB coins at the time of donation were worth $ 1 billion USD it is likely that by the time the COVID fund liquidates the asset it may be worth less. The last time I checked the value of the currency was down 50% for the day.
To ensure the price stabilized The India Crypto Relief Fund put out a tweet saying that they would not sell all of a sudden and would responsibly convert the coin into fiat as and when they need the money.
I’m glad this rather large crypto donation is being managed by folks who understand crypto. They understand the flows, the market and most importantly how to keep the donation safe.
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Image by John Phillips, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)