Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, has donated $1 billion (over Rs. 7,360 crore) worth of Shiba Inu, new cryptocurrency, to India COVID Relief Fund, as the country continues to battle the novel coronavirus pandemic. 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 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.
Buterin transferred 50 trillion Shibu tokens worth $1.2 billion (over Rs. 7,360 crores) to the India COVID Relief Fund, set up by tech entrepreneur Sandeep Nailwal. The donation was also one of the biggest ever made by any cryptocurrency personality. Of course given how new the token is, and its status as a meme coin, rather than a real cryptocurrency, unlike Bitcoin (price in India) or Ether (price in India), it’s unlikely that this amount can be fully realized in rupees — if it were, then it would likely lower the value of the coin and hurt the retail investors at the same time. However, that doesn’t mean meme coins can’t become real assets — ask anyone who invested in Dogecoin (price in India).
In a tweet, the official handle of the relief fund expressed gratitude to the Ethereum co-founder, adding that it will “do a thoughtful liquidation to ensure” it meets its COVID relief goals.
“We have decided to convert the donation slowly over a period of time,” it added.
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).