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Crypto community donates over $1.7 million in Ethereum and ERC20 tokens towards India’s coronavirus fight

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Cryptocurrency holders and builders from around the world are pitching in funds to help India battle with the rising number of cases in the country, data and tweets from multiple sources show.

This weekend, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin donated over $640,000 worth of Ethereum (ETH) and Maker (MKR) towards a crypto-focused relief fund to fight the coronavirus situation in India.

As per Buterin’s public Ethereum address, over 100 ETH and 100 MKR were donated to the aptly-named ‘India Covid-Crypto Relief Fund’ wallet.

With the move, Buterin’s stepping in where the country’s government, politicians, and high-heeled celebrities have failed. He’s part of the rising cohort of crypto individuals who are donating some of their newfound wealth towards mitigating troubles in the country.

When crypto steps in 

India, home to 1.3 billion people, faces one of the worst crises. Over 3 million new virus cases were reported in the past day alone, bringing the number of total cases to a staggering 14 million—or nearly 10% of the entire world.

There’s a shortage of oxygen tanks, hospital beds, and, apparently, even money. Oxygen tanks, in particular, have turned into somewhat of a political tug-of-war with members of the ruling party hoarding up supplies for themselves (and people who vote for them).

But individuals of the local crypto industry have taken notice and are uniting others for the cause. Last weekend, Sandeep Nailwal, the Delhi-based co-founder of layer-2 blockchain firm Polygon, said in a now-viral tweet that he would manage and run a ‘Covid relief campaign’ to help the underprivileged in the country.

“I will take full responsibility for transparency, funds usage and regulatory compliance,” he noted, given India’s reluctance about cryptocurrencies in general.

The tweet was promptly picked up with Balaji Srinivasan, former CTO at crypto exchange Coinbase, who urged his 325,000 followers to join in on the movement. “Consider joining me and VitalikButerin by donating at the addresses below…For every RT, I’ll donate another $50 to fight COVID in India, up to $100k,” he tweeted.

Nailwal has since updated the list to include Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Cosmos, Tezos, Solana, Litecoin, and others. The relief wallet shows nearly $1.7 million worth of various cryptocurrencies at press time.

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