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Shiba Inu tanks after Ethereum founder donates over $1 billion in coins to fight Covid

shiba inu
(Image credit: Petra Göschel)

The cryptocurrency Shiba Inu has crashed back down to earth after a meteoric rise — and the billionaire founder of Ethereum is taking the brunt of the blame.  

Vitalik Buterin, who started  Ethereum back in 2014, donated more than $1 billion worth of Shiba Inu coin (SHIB) to the India Covid Relief Fund yesterday (May 12).  However, his donation coincided with the fledgling crypto falling from a near-high of $0.000033 to $0.000016, and some investors are linking the two events. 

Until yesterday, Shiba Inu had been on a steep upwards curve. On Monday (May 10), Shiba secured itself a Binance listing as $SHIB, to the rapturous glee of its investors. Its price duly soared by 164%: after trading at roughly $0.000014 on May 9, it hit an all-time peak of $0.000037 the following day. 

That gave it a market capitalization of nearly $15 billion at one point, putting it up among the top cryptocurrency performers by value. It also dramatically increased Buterin’s own personal fortune — which wasn’t exactly small beforehand.

Bizarrely, Buterin was gifted his Shiba coins as part of the cryptocurrency’s overall strategy. Why? Well it all boils down to the origins of the Shiba Inu coin, which was founded by an anonymous individual who goes by the pseudonym Ryoshi. 

According to SHIB’s white paper, half of the total supply of Shiba tokens was contracted for sales transactions, with the other half funneled to Buterin’s wallet, in order to remove them from circulation and create an element of scarcity.

As the value of Shiba rose, it effectively increased Buterin’s fortune by around $11 billion. However, once news broke about his decision to give away more than 500 billion SHIB, along with 140 billion AKITA and 43 billion ELON coins, the Shiba Inu price took a major tumble, possibly because investors expected him to liquidate his holdings.

Buterin also donated 500 Ether coins to the charity — themselves worth around $2 million. 

Luke Wilson

Luke is a Trainee News Writer at T3 and contributor to Tom's Guide, having graduated from the DMU/Channel 4 Journalism School with an MA in Investigative Journalism. Before switching careers, he worked for Mindshare WW. When not indoors messing around with gadgets, he's a disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors.