Journalist Uncovers the Wild Tale of Vitalik Buterin’s $1 Billion Crypto Donation for Indian Covid Relief Fund
In 2021, during the best of both the bull run, and the worst of Covid-19 Pandemics, Vitalik Buterin donated $1bn to SHIB in order to support Covid-19 efforts.
The $1bn donation by the Ethereum founder in SHIB tokens was made to the Indian Covid Relief Fund, called Crypto Relief. It was established by Polygon founder. Sandeep Nailwal.
The fund was established by Nailwal in response to Covid-19’s huge success, which saw up to 3 million new cases per day.
Buterin Donation Created SHIB Liquidity
Vitalik donated 500 ETH and more than 1 Trillion Shiba Inu tokens (SHIB) out of the $1bn originally donated.
Crypto Relief was quick to cash in on this jaw-dropping donation, but the sheer volume of the stack forced SHIB to its limits.
Crypto Relief was able to trade the nearly billion-dollar stack of SHIB in an OTC agreement with WishfulCynic, WinterMute and only $500m in stablecoins (predominantly USDC) through an OTC deal.
This raises serious questions about the liquidity behind multi-billion dollar market caps. With such low liquidity levels, it is a worrying sign for this industry.
What was the cost of spending $500m USDC?
Out of the $500m in stablecoins received, $274m remained in the Crypto Relief wallet.
The Crypto Relief Vitalik’s Balvi Fund was established soon after to finance bold projects that offer innovative solutions to the pandemic. It returned $100m.
Between April 2021 and 2022, $100 million was apparently rammed – Alameda Research, a disgraced company, managed to manage $1.5m.
Only $58 million was received by registered Indian non-profits/NGOs. Crypto Relief funds confirmed that 57 of 60 projects were eligible for the cash-out.
Nailwal shared a bank statement that showed that $40 million of the funding remained in Puerto Rico’s FV Bank (licensed in the USA).
This means that India received only 5.8% of Vitalik’s $1bn SHIB original donation.
Two years later, the donation remained at a staggering $314m (31%), in crypto wallets and bank accounts managed by Nailwal.
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