Find Out About Buterin’s Billion-dollar Donation to India’s Covid-19 Relief

Find Out About Buterin’s Billion-dollar Donation to India’s Covid-19 Relief

India was one of the most affected parts of the world, during one of the most giant waves of the covid-19 pandemic in May 2021. With a population of more than a billion people, millions of cases were recorded in April and May alone. The numbers rounded up to about 350,000 infections a day.

How much was really involved?

During the virus outbreak, the country faced a shortage of ventilators, oxygen tanks, and hospital beds to mention a few. And in May 2021, Russian billionaire and Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin came to the country's aid.

In doing so, Buterin gave away about 500 Ethereum and over 50 trillion Shiba-Inu to aid India in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic. All of this was worth over a billion dollars at the time. So far, Buterin's contribution has been one of the most significant personal donations towards covid-19 relief.

Before this, 50% of the meme coin, Shiba-Inu's supply had been gifted to Buterin without his consent by its founding team. The sum of which rounded up to about 6-8 billion dollars. Offloading these coins, Buterin sent a large part of these coins to various charities and NGOs, some of which included 366 million dollars for the Methuselah Foundation, and a billion dollars for India's covid-19 relief.

The India crypto covid relief fund and the role it played

Sandeep Nailwal is the New-Delhi -based entrepreneur who founded the India Crypto Covid relief fund in April, that received the billion-dollar donation. Nailwal, who is also one of the Co-founders of Polygon (another Ethereum-based cryptocurrency network) assured the world that the funds would be converted by "thoughtful liquidations", taking special care to not affect the Shiba-Inu community. Nailwal and the India Crypto Covid Relief Fund have been working thus far, on converting these funds into fiat (government-issued currency).

Cryptocurrencies, mainly meme coins, are highly volatile. This means that a billion dollars in crypto do not equal a billion in fiat at any given time. During the first two months of Buterin's donation:

  • The India Crypto Relief Fund's legal entity was established in the UAE and has been backed by a US bank.
  • Around 150 million dollars were converted into stable coins(cryptocurrencies with their values pegged to external references like fiat currencies).
  • These funds are slowly converted into fiat and sent into this legal entity's bank account.
  • From there, these funds can be moved into FCRA approved

How much has been converted so far, and how has it been spent?

Owing to the volatility of cryptocurrencies, 'the value of Buterin's donation should eventually add up to about 400 million dollars', Nailwal estimated in an interview. And as a result of compliance with India's Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, less than 100 million dollars have been converted into fiat.

So far, in April 2022, about $76 million has been converted and used to

  • Distribute food and supplies all over India
  • Purchase hospital beds, oxygen tanks, and ventilators.
  • Fund research for the development of covid-19 vaccines.
  • Purchase devices that help to reduce or altogether remove the risk of transmission.

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