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Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin donates cryptocurrency worth $1.14B to Indian COVID-19 relief fund

Ethereum (ETH) co-founder and the world’s youngest cryptocurrency billionaire Vitalik Buterin (27) yesterday reportedly donated 50 trillion Shiba Inu (SHIB) tokens worth $1.14 billion to India’s Crypto COVID Relief Fund set up by Polygon founder Sandeep Nailwal last month.

Buterin also donated 500 ETH, worth over $2 million, to the relief fund.

His donations were part of a move involving regifting tokens sent to his public wallet by creators of the Shiba Inu coin, Dogelon (ELON), Akita Inu (AKITA), mwDOGE (mwDOGE), and OURSHIB (OSHIB).

Creators of these memecoins have been sending large amounts of their tokens to Buterin in recent days. The entrepreneur was sent trillions of SHIB tokens worth over $8 billion at one point, reported CryptoSlate earlier this week.

Following the transactions that raised liquidity concerns, the prices of the memecoins plunged, with SHIB dropping over 35 percent, Dogelon dropping 65 percent, and Akita Inu dropping over 50 percent in 24 hours.

Commenting on the SHIB donation and addressing the concerns, Nailwal thanked Buterin on Twitter and said,

“One thing we have learned from Ethereum and Vitalik Buterin is the importance of community. We will not do anything which hurts any community, especially the retail community involved with $SHIB. We will act responsibly. Please don’t worry, $SHIB holders.”

The Twitter account of Nailwal’s relief fund responded, saying that it plans to do a “thoughtful liquidation to ensure we meet our COVID relief goals,” and added that it will convert the donation “slowly over a period of time.”

Earlier in May 2021, Buterin, who spearheaded Ethereum’s launch in 2015, became the world’s youngest billionaire after ETH surged past $3,000 for the first time.

His cryptocurrency donations to India’s battle against the second wave of COVID-19 follow those by former Australian cricketer Brett Lee, who reportedly donated one Bitcoin (worth over Rs 45 lakh at the time), and angel investor and entrepreneur Balaji Srinivasan, who donated $50,000 worth of ETH.

Srinivasan later pledged to double his donation, following which Hubspot’s Dharmesh Shah pledged to match the donation.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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