Vitalik Buterin, co-creator of the crypto network Ethereum ETHUSD,
donated more than $ 1 billion to an anti-proliferation fund for Covid-19 in India on Wednesday.
At least it was $ 1 billion when he made the donation – in a cryptocurrency that few had heard of and whose value plummeted immediately after the news of the donation spread.
More conventionally, donation will be among the biggest blows to philanthropy. But little is conventional: The currency, the Shiba Inu coin, has been around for less than a year and is one of a pile of alternative cryptocurrencies that have exploded in popularity and price in recent months. Its value changes by hours. Unlike cash or even BTCUSD bitcoin,
it is difficult to use a Shiba Inu coin to buy things.
The most famous alt coin is the dogecoin DOGEUSD,
created as a joke in fashion for bitcoin doubles. Shiba Inu is a joke of a joke called the dog breed, which is the mascot of dogecoin.
The donation appeared in publicly available transaction records showing that a Buterin-linked account sent about 50.7 trillion Shiba Inu coins to an account linked to the Indian Covid-Crypto Relief Fund. The transfer comes from an account that Buterin said in a 2018 post on his verified Twitter account was his.
An extended version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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