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HELPING OUT

The global crypto community is donating virtual coins to fund India’s fight against Covid-19

India-Covid-Crypto
REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
The helping hand.
  • Prathamesh Mulye
By Prathamesh Mulye

Writer, banking and economy

Published

Indian regulators have never liked cryptocurrencies, but the crypto community is showing all its love for the country at its time of need.

On May 13, Vitalik Buterin, the founder of the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency ethererum, donated around $1 billion (Rs7,324 crore) to India’s Covid Crypto Relief Fund. This fund was set up by Indian cryptocurrency entrepreneur Sandeep Nailwal on April 24.

Buterin transferred 500 ethereums and 50 trillion meme coins shiba inu into the fund. Besides Buterin, Australian cricketer Brett Lee has also chipped in via the crypto route. The pacer donated one bitcoin (Rs40 lakh) to India’s Covid crypto relief fund on April 28.

India’s crypto Covid relief

Apart from ethereum, shiba inu coins, and bitcoin, the fund is accepting donations in other cryptocurrencies including ripple, dogecoins, and trons. In a bid to keep the fund accountable and transparent, Nailwal has made a Google sheet to maintain a record of those who are donating cryptocurrencies. This, according to him, will be helpful if “needed for regulatory filings.”

The cryptocurrencies received by the fund are being converted to the Indian rupee to buy oxygen, food, vaccines, and other medical kits for the needy.

To convert these cryptocurrencies into domestic currency, Nailwal has reached out to India’s biggest exchanges like WazirX, CoinDCX, and Bitbns. And to meet regulatory compliance, he has also enlisted the help of top chartered accountants and auditors in India.

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