Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin is working with India-based crypto fund Crypto Relief and Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal to send $100 million toward COVID-19 research and medical infrastructure development in India.
Buterin and Nailwal will receive $90 million in USD Coin (USDC) from Crypto Relief, while Buterin will provide $10 million out of his own pocket to further the cause. The two will then help distribute the funds.
According to a January 2022 Twitter post from Nailwal, Crypto Relief will transfer the funds to Buterin in order for the India-based crypto fund to remain in full compliance with their local laws.
The first installment went towards tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in India through “emergency humanitarian relief.”
Crypto Relief describes itself as a community-run fund that has delivered financial relief to India during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buterin explained in a June 8 Twitter post that COVID-19 and “future pandemics” will continue to be a “large risk in the 21st century.” According to Buterin, we need a “global solution” that combines “frontier scientific innovation” and “on-the-ground implementation.”
Last year @CryptoRelief_ led by @sandeepnailwal allocated $100m to Covid research projects I wanted to fund— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) June 8, 2023
Sandeep and I discussed and jointly concluded these and other projects are high-impact and need follow through grants. Hence we decided to put $100m more to these projects
Buterin said much of the COVID-19 research will focus on COVID-19 airborne transmission by building better medical equipment.
“This includes improving ventilation, HEPA filtering, and experimental tech like UVC irradiation,” he said.
The other main research area will focus on “Long COVID,” Buterin added.
“The most salient risks from Covid today are the very high number of people experiencing very-long-term symptoms (aka #LongCovid), and so Long Covid research continues to be a primary focus.”
We look forward to ongoing collaboration between our teams and our networks. Covid won't end on its own, and there continues to be ongoing risk that the pandemic/hyperendemic will return to a more acute state:https://t.co/vxyd5n27rt— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) June 8, 2023
The first $100 million donation was deployed by Buterin in late January 2022 or soon after, which initially came in the form of Shiba Inu (SHIB).
CryptoRelief sending $100m of the $SHIBA funds back to me. I plan to personally deploy these funds with the help of science advisors to complement CryptoRelief's existing excellent work with some higher-risk higher-reward covid science and relief projects worldwide. https://t.co/xvHxzwwdn8— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) January 28, 2022
It isn’t the first philanthropic effort of Buterin’s either.
As of November 26, Crypto Relief has managed to raise $473 million in funds, according to the firm’s website.
Cointelegraph reached out to Crypto Relief to get a more up-to-date figure but did not receive an immediate response.