Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has taken to twitter to announce that, alongside Sandeep Naiwal of Polygon and Crypto Relief, he will raise $100million to support Covid-19 research efforts.
Buterin will allocate $10m of his funds to the cause, while India-based community-run fund Crypto Relief will add $90m.
In the twitter thread, Buterin emphasised the need for a global solution that combines scientific innovation and on-the-ground implementation to tackle Covid and future pandemics. He further stressed the importance of public health solutions that respect people’s rights and freedoms and are widely accessible.
The focus of the research will be on open-source solutions, medical and infrastructure work, and improving indoor air quality. Long Covid research remains its core focus, as they believe viral persistence is the underlying cause.
Vitalik warned about the potential emergence of new variants that could pose greater threats and called for concerted efforts and intervention to properly address the challenges posed by the virus.
“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,” he tweeted.
A knack for charity
Polygon co-founder Naiwal initially revealed the plan in January 2022.
“Have been in discussions with Vitalik Buterin on how to accelerate relief efforts in India. And we have come up with a solution, we will move $100mn USDC back to Vitalik, a non-Indian, to do fast deployment in high risk/reward projects,” he tweeted.
Sandeep Naiwal went on to express the need for extra caution in choosing projects to donate to due to Indian laws. He acknowledged that Buterin, being a non-Indian, had the advantage of faster decision-making and the ability to take higher risks with potentially higher rewards in deploying funds.
Vitalik has been actively involved in various initiatives and discussions related to mitigating the impact of Covid-19. In May 2021, he donated the 50 trillion $SHIB (worth about $1.2bn at the time) sent to him by the meme coin founders to Crypto Relief.
He has also made significant charitable donations to various causes like GiveDirectly and MIRI. He contributed to basic income experiments and public goods funding, advocating for the development of open-source projects and supporting initiatives that align with his values.
Beyond championing Covid causes, Crypto Relief have similarly actively provided aid and support in areas such as humanitarian assistance, education and empowerment. Their initiatives include funding for healthcare infrastructure development, emergency assistance during natural disasters and support for vulnerable populations.