Local regulations have hindered attempts to cash out Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin’s supposed $1 billion crypto donation to India’s COVID-19 relief fund, reports Bloomberg.
Buterin donated 500 ETH ($1.15 million) and more than 50 trillion Shiba Inu (SHIB) to the fund in May, worth a combined $1.14 billion at the time.
Around 80% of Buterin’s SHIB gift has now been converted into usable currency.
Of that, just $20 million has reached COVID-19 efforts — more than two months after Buterin passed on the treasure trove of crypto.
The $20 million has gone to aiding food distribution across India, as well as an initiative for what Bloomberg describes as “mini-intensive care wards for patients” struck with COVID-19 in rural parts of India.
According to charity founder Sandeep Nailwal, India’s Foreign Contribution Regulation Act has made exchanging gifted digital assets into dollars — then rupees — a time-consuming process.
Still, the overall goal has been to ensure the funds reach areas that need it most, particularly as the country prepares for a third wave of the virus.
Nailwal’s fund plans to appoint a top-tier auditor to ensure complete transparency moving forward.
SHIB crash cut Vitalik Buterin donation
The relief fund’s most significant obstacle in unlocking Buterin’s $1 billion in crypto actually sprung from the donation itself.
SHIB developers had previously gifted Buterin 5% of their token’s circulating supply, part marketing move-part respectful nod to crypto’s premiere wonderkind.
But when Buterin gave up his $1 billion — around 50 trillion SHIB — the memecoin’s value halved almost immediately.
Now, Nailwal estimates the eventual value of Buterin’s SHIB donation will be somewhere around $400 million.
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