Despite not having yet accepted the virtues of cryptocurrencies, India isn’t willing to turn digital currency away when it’s given for free. Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum and the world’s youngest cryptocurrency billionaire, just donated $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency to the country to support its COVID-19 relief efforts. It is the largest philanthropic donation in India’s battle with the coronavirus, and one of the largest donations on record.
Buterin donated 500 Ether (ETH) and over 50 trillion Shiba Inu (SHIB), a meme coin, to the fund. Combined, the value was around $1.14 billion at the time the transaction was completed. The Ethereum co-founder also donated other meme coins, including Dogelon (ELON) and Akita Inu (AKITA), that he had received as gifts from their respective creators. Buterin has also donated Ether and ELON worth $336 million to Methuselah Foundation and around 13,000 ETH to Givewell, a nonprofit charity evaluator.
The COVID Crypto Relief Fund was set up by Sandeep Nailwal, an Indian tech entrepreneur and co-founder of Polygon. The company builds protocol and frameworks for connecting Ethereum-compatible blockchain networks, and he established the fund to help the country overcome what has turned into a constant COVID-19 threat. A new coronavirus strain was identified in the country and has already caused thousands of deaths.
The COVID Crypto Relief Fund accepts donations in Binance Smart Chain, BTC, ETH, BTC, Cosmos, Doge, Litecoin, Ripple, Solana, Tezos, Tron and TRC20. Since its inception, it has provided grants of $74,950 to Rajeev Memorial Academic Welfare Trust for ICU ventilators and oxygen concentrators, $129,125 to the Round Table India Trust for ICU ventilators and PPE Kits and another $999,900 to ACT Grants – United Way of Bengaluru for sourcing and donating oxygen concentrators.