A COVID-19 relief fund for India created by Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal is well on its way to collecting $2 million, following a large donation from Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin.
Buterin kicked off the fund’s growth by donating 100 Ether and 100 Maker tokens worth nearly $650,000.
COVID-19 cases have spiked in India this month, with the death toll rising to 2,000 per day, according to The New York Times. Until this month, the pandemic had hit India very lightly. But in the last few weeks, overflowing hospitals have been running out of oxygen and India — a major vaccine producer — dramatically cut their exports.
Nailwal’s April 24 tweet pleading for donations quickly blew up on Crypto Twitter, spurring more than 2,500 retweets. He wrote:
“Can't take this sitting down anymore, I am going to run a Covid relief campaign in lieu of what’s going on in India. Need help from the global crypto community. I will take full responsibility for transparency, funds usage and regulatory compliance If you want to donate…”
At the time of writing, the funds have attracted $1.9 million in donations, virtually all of it in Ether and ERC-20 tokens.
A number of other high-profile crypto industry notables followed Balaji Srinivasan, a former Andreessen Horowitz VC general partner and Coinbase CTO, in an awareness campaign offering to donate for each retweet. Srinivasan offered $50 per retweet up to $100,000, others including Tron CEO Justin Sun and HubSpot co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah, raised that to $350,000.
Nailwal set up a voluntary Google Docs form for donors, which will help with regulatory filings. Crypto accountant Deepak Vacpad agreed to handle those, Nailwal noted, asking a number of major Indian cryptocurrency exchanges for help in converting the funds to rupees to be spent on the ground, and requesting help sourcing supplies ranging from ventilators to body bags.
The effort comes as India’s government is considering an outright ban on cryptocurrencies.
The donations are being held on crypto custodian Gnosis Safe.
How to Donate
Eth/ERC20 token address to donate: 0x68A99f89E475a078645f4BAC491360aFe255Dff1
Binance Smart Chain: 0x5C9E5571B17D91e6ACcD4F0c29bBe199Af1f7B09
Ripple: rMX7JTCwp92WX1nyZsL3F8Hgc6ej8Q5Mud (No destination tag required)