Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin donated $1 billion worth of shiba inu coin — a dogecoin spinoff — to a Covid-19 relief fund in India.
The 27-year-old Russian-Canadian programmer transferred more than 50 trillion shiba inu coins on Wednesday to the India Covid-Crypto Relief Fund, according to his public wallet. He also transferred 500 ether (or about $1.9 million) to the relief fund.
At the time of the transfer, the shiba coin was valued at $1 billion, but cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile. Its value plunged after Buterin’s donation and was off about 30% on Thursday, according to Coinbase.
Shiba coin is a joke that plays off of the popular Elon Musk-touted dogecoin, itself a parody that has gone mainstream in recent months. It’s just one of the many alternative cryptocurrencies that have popped up and exploded in popularity on the heels of bitcoin and ethereum.
The shiba inu coins that Buterin donated to the relief fund were initially gifted to him and sent to his public wallet by the coin’s founders, according to Coindesk.
Buterin, who was just 19 when he created ethereum in 2013, was a billionaire as of May 4 when the digital currency hit $3,500. Ether was on a tear, and hit a new record of $4,385 earlier this week. One ether coin is now worth around $3,700.