Vitalik Buterin, inventor of the Ethereum blockchain, said he won’t get a tax write-off after donating more than 50 trillion of the joke coin Shiba Inu to the India Covid Crypto Relief Fund.
Because Shiba Inu, a meta play on the ridiculousness of Doge Coin, has been incredibly volatile lately, the value of Buterin’s donation has fluctuated wildly. At one point it was worth about $2 billion, then fell to around $800 million.
Buterin said in an interview that he’s taxed as a citizen of Singapore, whose rules are “significantly cleaner than in the U.S. or Canada.” He’s not eligible for a write-off, he said. Ethereum, the world’s most-used blockchain, was invented by Buterin in 2013 and built by him and a group of co-founders including Gavin Wood, Joe Lubin and Mihai Alisie.
Last week was a wild ride in the cryptocurrency world, which is saying something. Buterin’s gift and Shiba Inu’s ups and downs drowned out activity in the rest of the market. Tesla Inc. chief Elon Musk roiled prices of Bitcoin after announcing that the company would no longer accept it as a form of payment for cars due to environmental concerns. That was just a few days after the billionaire’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” where he joked that Dogecoin was a “hustle,” and sent prices tumbling.
The Shiba Inu saga began when the creators of the currency sent Buterin trillions of the coins without his permission. The implication might have been that the Shiba Inu creators believed Buterin wouldn’t sell, ensuring a type of supply guarantee. Buterin had other ideas, he said.
“Realistically, if these coin projects wanted to avoid a person who would sell a large supply, they should’ve just not issued these coins,” he said. “I don’t know what they were doing issuing those coins to me.”
In all, Buterin said he was “pleasantly impressed” by how the wider cryptocurrency world handled the Shiba Inu incident.
“They were much less upset by it than I expected,” he said.