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Vitalik Buterin and Others Donate Crypto for COVID-19 Aid in India

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In Brief

  • Vitalik Buterin has donated 100 ETH and 100 MKR, about $650,000.
  • Both Buterin and Srinivasan donated to a fund set up by Polygon cofounder Sandeep Nailwal.
  • The much needed funds come as India faces a colossal second wave of COVID-19 infections.
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As India hits record COVID-19 case numbers, cryptocurrency veterans are donating to the nation to help with relief.

Several high-profile individuals in the crypto space, including Vitalik Buterin, have made crypto donations for COVID-19 aid in India.

Buterin himself donated 100 ETH and 100 MKR, amounting to approximately $650,000. Other donors include Balaji Srinivasan and Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal.

India COVID-19 Stats: WHO

Crypto aid

The second most populous nation is suffering from a “tsunami” of cases, setting records that offer a worrying future. India recorded just under 350,000 cases on Sunday, as authorities and healthcare facilities struggle to keep up.

Srinivasan and Buterin made the donations after Nailwal launched a crypto fund for the country. Srinivasan will donate up to $100,000. The fund accepts donations in Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Tezos, and XRP, among others.

Following a donation of $50,000, Srinivasan spoke of how crypto could spur India’s burgeoning economy,

“Today, fast and transparent flows of crypto into India are funding COVID relief. Tomorrow, we can use them to fund India’s small businesses and startups.”

India, meanwhile, is still yet to decide the status of crypto within the country. Authorities have frequently flip-flopped between a ban and legalization.

Insiders and entrepreneurs have lobbied the government by detailing the economic benefits of crypto, besides highlighting that a ban would be practically impossible. India is already home to several notable cryptocurrency companies, which are seeing tremendous public interest.

India struggling with surging cases

Following a somewhat calm period last year, India has rapidly become the world’s most affected country. India is currently behind the United States in terms of number of cases, but the US’ strong vaccination drive has helped stymy the spread.

India is experiencing an exponential rise in the number of cases with the second wave being far worse. The country let its guard down late last year, with religious gatherings and political rallies contributing to the surge.

The country’s healthcare infrastructure is showing its shortcomings, and a dire absence of oxygen has been particularly deadly. Reports have come in of people dying on the streets, with videos of large scale cremations also making the rounds.

Other nations have agreed to help India out, which is an economic powerhouse and an important part on the world stage. The United States has agreed to provide material, while Germany has promised to send oxygen tanks to the country.

What with the severity of cases, India can perhaps see that crypto can be used for good. The large donations are proving that crypto has far more potential for good cause than it does for illicit activity.

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Rahul Nambiampurath
Rahul Nambiampurath's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014 when he stumbled upon Satoshi's Bitcoin whitepaper. With a bachelor's degree in Commerce and an MBA in Finance from Sikkim Manipal University, he was among the few that first recognized the sheer untapped potential of decentralized technologies. Since then, he has helped DeFi platforms like Balancer and Sidus Heroes — a web3 metaverse — as well as CEXs like Bitso (Mexico's biggest) and Overbit to reach new heights with his...
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