- Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s creator, donated Shiba Inu coins worth $1 billion to a COVID-19 relief fund for India.
- The dogecoin-inspired Shiba Inu token has gained almost 1,000% over the past week.
- The crypto COVID-19 relief fund for India was set up last month as the pandemic escalated in the country.
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Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin donated $1 billion to a crypto-based COVID-19 relief fund for India using the dogecoin-inspired Shiba Inu coin. The token has skyrocketed and gained almost 1,000% over the past week, but plunged after news of Buterin’s donation broke.
Buterin donated over 50 trillion Shiba Inu coins to the fund, which aims to provide healthcare and basic-needs items to people affected by COVID-19 in India. At time of donation, these coins were worth around $1 billion but the significant donation panicked investors and caused the value of Shiba Inu to drop by around 34%.
“We plan to do a thoughtful liquidation to ensure we meet our COVID relief goals. We have decided to convert the donation slowly over a period of time.” CryptoRelief tweeted in response to concerns that erupted from Shiba Inu holders.
“We will not do anything which hurts any community specially the retail community involved with $SHIB, Sandeep Nailwal, the fund’s creator added.
Shiba Inu was last at $0.00001833 on Thursday according to Coinmarketcap data. It is the 27th largest cryptocurrency in circulation based on its current market value of over $7.3 billion.
Buterin also donated 500 ether tokens to the fund, which are worth almost $2 million based on ether’s value of $3,851.79 at the time of writing.
The COVID-19 relief fund Buterin donated to, CryptoRelief, was set up last month by Nailwal, co-founder of Ethereum platform Polygon and has since attracted donations from various crypto heavyweights. Buterin himself had already donated tokens worth almost $650,000 when the fund launched, as well as another $3 million last week according to Nailwal’s tweets.
Nailwal had set the fund up in response to the escalating COVID-19 situation in India, which saw global record numbers of cases and deaths as the healthcare system was unable to cope with patients and provide the care many needed due to shortages of medication, food and oxygen.
At the time, Nailwal tweeted that he had ways to get oxygen, food and vaccines into the country and to those who require them. Some of the crypto donations have since been liquidated and turned into US dollars, according to CryptoRelief’s website. The funds have been donated to various organizations and charities in India that have used them to tackle the oxygen shortage and purchase medical equipment, including personal protective gear and ventilators, according to CryptoRelief’s website.