Vitalik Buterin has turned a memecoin marketing stunt on its head, while donating over a billion dollars to a noble cause.
In a move that captivated the attention of Crypto Twitter on Wednesday, Coindek's Zack Swards writes that the Ethereum founder regifted unsolicited tokens sent to his public wallet by the creators of Shiba Inu coin (SHIB) - a memecoin based on the joke crypto Dogecoin and which has been dubbed the "Doge Killer", Dogelon (ELON), Akita Inu (AKITA), mwDOGE (mwDOGE) and OURSHIB (OSHIB), public blockchain records show.
Buterin donated 50 trillion SHIB tokens (worth a nominal $1.2 billion at press time but soon to be much less) to the India Covid Relief Fund kicked off by Polygon founder Sandeep Nailwal late last month. He also sent about $431 million of AKITA to Gitcoin, according to the records, a public Ethereum-based fundraising platform.
In an apparent marketing stunt, memecoin creators have been sending large amounts of their tokens to the Ethereum figurehead in recent days CryptoSlate reported Monday At one point, Vitalik was sent trillions of SHIB tokens worth over $8 billion!
The sudden popularity of SHIB appears to be partly the handiwork of social-media influencers on popular Chinese platforms, including Weibo and WeChat. Charles Xue Biqun or Xue Manzi, a billionaire venture capitalist and one of the most active investors in the Chinese internet industry, has mentioned SHIB in multiple posts on Weibo to his more than 11 million followers. He has also been actively talking about dogecoin, according to his Weibo feed.
“Doge No. 2 hits new all-time highs, almighty,” he wrote in a Weibo post dated May 8, with screenshots of SHIB/USDT and DOGE/USTD pairs on crypto exchange Huobi.
“Doge has already gone up a lot,” Alex Zuo, vice president of China-based crypto wallet Cobo, said. “It gives an example of the ‘wealth-making effect.’ Plus that Shiba inu coin may also benefit from the localization…. With all the promotions by influencers on Weibo.”
“We find it very inexplicable,” Zuo said. “I didn’t buy any SHIB and no one around me has bought any.”
However, as the memecoin mania caused Ethereum gas fees to surge to staggering highs, the network’s founder was incentivized to strike back.
Once Buterin started unloading, SHIB tumbled roughly 38% but still boasts a market cap of $9 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. The coin has had more than $7 billion in volume in the last 24 hours.
Thanks @VitalikButerin— Sandeep - Polygon(prev Matic Network) (@sandeepnailwal) May 12, 2021
One thing we have learnt from Ethereum and @VitalikButerin is importance of community
We will not do anything which hurts any community specially the retail community involved with $SHIB
We will act responsibly!
Plz dont worry $SHIB holders. https://t.co/M4GxTR0JAn