Here’s What Became of Ethereum Co-Founder’s $1 Billion India Covid Crypto Donation

By Ronojoy Mazumdar and Suvashree Ghosh


Two months after the co-founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin about $1 billion in cryptocurrency donated to an India Covid relief fund, about $20 million has been disbursed so far.

That may not sound like much, but between cashing in an illiquid asset, complying with government regulations and getting the money in the right place, according to Sandeep, it is not easy. nailwal, a New Delhi-based entrepreneur who founded the India Covid Crypto Relief Fund which received the donation.

For starters, Buterin’s gift of 50 trillion Shiba Inu coins – 5% of the memecoin in circulation – caused the price to drop by 50%. The tokens should eventually amount to $400 million, Nailwal estimated in an interview.

Local regulations also took time. To meet India’s Foreign Contribution Regulation Act the fund has gradually converted the tokens into dollars and then into rupees, completing about 80% so far, Nailwal said.

Nailwal said he has also been careful with payout: He’s paid out $20 million so far, with another $20 million in the pipeline. He wants to make sure the money reaches the grassroots level and plans to hire a big name accounting firm to ensure complete transparency.

Nailwal, who launched the fund in April when an unexpectedly deadly coronavirus wave ravaged India with record deaths, said the fund is now focused on the next possible rebound. It has made donations to organizations involved in food distribution across the country and to the 10-bed ICU, which is dedicated to setting up mini intensive care units for patients suffering from severe cases of Covid-19 at rural India.

“We have prepared for the third wave,” Nailwal said.

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