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Could SHIB coin help fight the COVID-19 crisis?

Vitalik Buterin, the co-creator of the cryptocurrency network Ethereum, made a donation in SHIB coin. There’s a lesson there.

Ben Weiss, CEO of CoinFlip, said investing in cryptocurrency should be met with caution.
SHIB coin is another meme-based currency drawing up predictions.
Illustration by Alex Cochran, Deseret News

Vitalik Buterin, the co-creator of the cryptocurrency network Ethereum, has reportedly donated more than $1 billion to a COVID-19 relief fund in India using Shiba Inu coin — or “SHIB coin,” which is a meme-based cryptocurrency.

Can SHIB coin, Dogecoin solve crises?

The donation raises questions, surely. For example, it’s unclear how the India Covid Crypto Relief Fund will use the donation to buy supplies to fight COVID-19. But there’s a chance it Vitalik Buterin, the co-creator of the cryptocurrency network Ethereum, has a major impact on the crisis in India, per Fortune.

  • “Questions linger about how much of Buterin’s donation can be converted into lifesaving COVID-19 supplies like oxygen and how soon the funds will be deployed,” according to Fortune. “But Buterin’s giveaway demonstrates that the meme coins could have at least one potential use: delivering aid to one of the world’s largest public health crises.”

This is especially true since the value of SHIB coin is always changing. So whatever you donate might change quickly, 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.

Interestingly, this ties back to the origins of Dogecoin, which is a meme-based cryptocurrency that SHIB coin is based on. Dogecoin got its start as a tool to help people.

The origins of meme-based Dogecoin

Carol Alexander, a finance professor at the University of Sussex Business School in England, told Yahoo! Finance that Dogecoin would rise as long as it embraces its past, too.

  • “I think Dogecoin might continue a (very bumpy) rise in price and during this time I really hope it recovers its origins,” said Alexander, suggesting that Elon Musk’s idea of it becoming an internet currency may be misled.

Per The New York Times, the original holders and founders of Doge could would use the tokens to give each other small tips in online forums or band together to take on unlikely causes.”

  • “If (Elon Musk) wants Dogecoin to have any fundamental economic value, he needs to direct it back towards its benevolent grass roots,” The New York Times reports.