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This Ethereum leader made a $1 billion donation to COVID-19 relief ... in SHIB coin

Vitalik Buterin, co-creator of the cryptocurrency network Ethereum, donated to COVID-19 relief in cryptocurrency.

SHARE This Ethereum leader made a $1 billion donation to COVID-19 relief ... in SHIB coin
A bowl of coins meant to represent dog-based meme cryptocurrencies.

Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency experiencing a surge right now.

Illustration by Alex Cochran, Deseret News

Vitalik Buterin, the co-creator of the cryptocurrency network Ethereum, recently donated more than $1 billion to a COVID-19 relief fund in India to help the country tackle its ongoing crisis, The Wall Street Journal reported.

  • But that $1 billion isn’t exactly $1 billion. It was $1 billion worth of Shiba Inu coin — or “SHIB coin” — a meme-based cryptocurrency that’s beginning to draw social media hype, according to The Wall Street Journal.
  • “The currency, Shiba Inu coin, has been around for less than a year, and is one of a bevy of alternative cryptocurrencies that have exploded in popularity and price in recent months,” WSJ reports. “Its value changes wildly by the hour. Unlike with cash, or even bitcoin, it is hard to use Shiba Inu coin to buy things.

The rise of SHIB coin

SHIB coin — which has been nicknamed the “DOGE killer” — has been seen as a knockoff of Dogecoin since it uses the Shiba Inu dog breed for its logo, something that Dogecoin did first, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • “Perhaps as menacing, SHIB has just garnered fresh listings on the three most popular cryptocurrency exchanges among Chinese users, Binance, Huobi and OKEx,” according to CoinDesk.

In fact, CoinDesk reports that Chinese investors have embraced the SHIB coin even if they know the coin “appears to have no earnest technological promise.”

  • “SHIB’s price performance over the weekend clearly shows that the crypto industry hasn’t had its fill of canine-themed meme coins just yet,” said Rick Delaney, senior analyst at OKEx Insights, according to CoinDesk.