India is being ripped apart by the second wave of the coronavirus and the healthcare system is almost collapsing, with hospitals struggling for beds and oxygen. The crypto community has stepped forward to help, in a decentralized manner.
The COO and co-founder of Polygon, Sandeep Nailwal, requested the global cryptocurrency community to help Covid relief in the country. His frustration was apparent in his tweet:
"Can't take this sitting down anymore, I am going to run a Covid relief campaign in lieu of what's going on in India. Need help from the Global crypto community. I will take full responsibility for transparency, funds usage and regulatory compliance."
The crypto community responded with $2.5 Million in collections within 40 hours, with some of the contributions coming from the top names of the crypto world. Sandeep has set up a website, CryptoRelief (@CryptoRelief_), for donations on a fully transparent system.
Polygon Founder’s Initiative Gains Support From Crypto A-List
Sandeep's tweet was vetted by crypto evangelist and former Coinbase CTO Balaji S. Srinivasan. He tweeted:
"Sandeep is a reputable person, the co-founder of @0xPolygon, and a bridge to the global crypto community. Let's direct some crypto into India towards COVID relief. Sandeep will be documenting all disbursals, Indian exchanges will help with conversions, and I will be donating too."
He further added that he would donate another $50 upto $100,000 towards the relief fund for every retweet. Srinivasan was joined by Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, who also contributed to the relief fund on behalf of the crypto community.
Sreenivasan shared proof for his donation of $50000 in ETH and BTC each, emphasizing how crypto can enable fast and transparent humanitarian contributions from across the world. Buterin shared the proof of his transfer of 100 ETH and 100 MKR, which is worth more than $600,000.
Community Support Pours in, Overwhelmingly
India has been facing crippling shortages of essentials such as oxygen, food, vaccines, and medicines. Communities from the lower economic strata have next to zero access to healthcare. Sandeep has created a channel through which these necessary items can be distributed to those who need them the most.
Considering India is not yet friendly with crypto, the crypto community raised concerns that government regulations might be a hassle. Sandeep stated,
"I already got a few people pinging me that Regulatory things would be tough on this, it's not easy to give money, even for social causes. My Answer "Our Hows should not affect our Why". Whatever happens we will handle it, lets not let it stop us from doing what is right."
Sandeep has set up a website called CryptoRelief where people can offer their donations, and top executives of Coinbase, NotionHQ, and HubSpot have already contributed to the fund.
India's Crypto Experts Are Working Behind The Scenes
The donations will maintain the utmost transparency as they are handled by some of the country's best crypto investors and proponents. Deepak V (@Vacpad), a crypto auditor vetted by Sandeep, will be leading the regulatory and audit aspect of the campaign.
Shakti Goap and Denver Jude from Devfolio, and Keyur Shah, who was previously part of Polygon's finance team, volunteered to manage the accounting of the funds collected and will be publishing a transparent document for the initiative.
The task management and process flow setup was powered within 24 hours with the help of Airtable, a low-code platform for building collaborative apps. Shreyas Doshi from Llama created a transparency dashboard while Anuj from the Ethereum Foundation volunteered to review all transactions.
Punit Agarwal, Founder of Zubi, an online learning platform for new-age learners, has taken the lead to convert the donations to fiat and distribute the funds to critical organizations providing support. All the disbursements will be made public.
Can Crypto Help India Long-Term?
The funds are aimed to help India with short-term goals of getting past the pandemic and vaccinating its citizens fully. The long-term issue is to rebuild the country's economy, and here, the global crypto community could help by investing in the country.
Sreenivasan further states,
"Crypto is like the combination of economic liberalization and the internet, the two most potent forces since 1991 for Indian GDP growth. To have a chance of getting back on track to the $5T economy target for 2025, India needs to embrace the $2T-and-growing-fast crypto-economy."
The current funds received stand at 50+ tokens which are ~ $2.5 Million and growing. Readers may note the contributions, monetary and voluntary effort, are from an individual's capacity and do not represent the involvement of their respective organizations.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.