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#StartupsVsCovid19: Indian Blockchain Community Leverage NFT Buzz To Raise Funds For Covid Relief

#StartupsVsCovid19: Indian Blockchain Community Leverage NFT Buzz To Raise Funds For Covid Relief

Fable will auction off artwork crafted by volunteers on OpenSea which claims to be the world's largest NFT marketplace

These funds will be used to support charities providing free oxygen cylinders for Covid patients

In the past one week, the global cryptocurrency community has joined hands to fund Covid relief efforts in India after crypto startup Polygon’s founder Sandeep Nainwal issued a clarion call on Twitter last Saturday

India’s crypto enthusiasts are continuing to find new ways to raise funds for Covid relief efforts in India. After the Crypto Relief Fund launched earlier this week, a group has come together to launch a project called Fable, which will auction digital artworks as non-fungible tokens to raise funds through cryptocurrency to back the fight against Covid in India. 

Fable will auction off 22 artworks crafted by volunteers on NFT marketplace OpenSea and use these funds to support charities providing free oxygen cylinders to Covid patients who are unable to procure one due to shortage or lack of resources. 

The auction of the initial batch of 8 will start at 7:30 PM IST on April 28 (Wednesday) and will be open for five days. There is no base price for the artworks but the minimum bid will be the price of a transaction on the blockchain which varies according to traffic at any point of time.

Non-fungible tokens are files on a blockchain whose ownership is traceable on the Ethereum blockchain. The concept shot into prominence after the first NFT artwork auction in March was won by an Indian-origin crypto entrepreneur Vignesh Sundaresan (aka Metakovan). He paid $69.3 Mn for a digital collage by artist Beeple titled Everydays: The First 5000 Days. Unlike traditional auctions, the bidding was done in the cryptocurrency Ether. 

The team working on Fable is a host of volunteers from design and startup backgrounds. While Arjun Malhotra, founder of VC firmGood Capital (investor in Meesho, Simsim, Katerra, Hypertrack, among others) created the concept and is leading relationships with donors and charities, IndieFolio Network founder Kavan Antani is leading the design of the NFT and managing volunteers.

Apart from them, Akriti Khosla, founder of online recruitment platform Career Cupid, is overseeing content and community, Raunaq Vaisoha and Anil Dukkipatty, cofounders at blockchain startup Elemental Labs are leading the engineering side. Diya Sengupta, Rachna Ravi, Aditya Damle and Ekisha Narain are amongst the top artists who have contributed their work to the effort by listing their collectibles proceeds for charity.

All the proceeds from the auction will go to CryptoRelief, which is a community-run fund delivering relief during the ongoing Covid crisis in the country by providing healthcare and essentials to those fighting for survival against Covid.

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Global Crypto Community Ups The Ante Against Covid

In the past week, the global cryptocurrency community has joined hands to fund Covid relief efforts in India after crypto startup Polygon’s founder Sandeep Nainwal led the way with the launch of the Crypto Relief fund and attracted funds from the global crypto community. 

Noted crypto evangelist and former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan was among the first global voices to lend support with a commitment of up to $100K in crypto. Soon, Vitalik Buterin, cofounder of Ehtereum, the blockchain that supports Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, joined the effort as he posted a proof of transfer of 100 ETH and 100 MKR, worth approximately $606,110  — approximately INR 4.5 Cr at current conversion rates — towards Covid relief measures in the country. 

Coinbase product head Surojit Chatterjee, Hubspot cofounder Dharmesh Shah, Notion COO and cofounder Akshay Kothari as well as Metakovan also followed with their contributions. Even former Australian cricketer Brett Lee announced a donation of one Bitcoin on April 27 as his contribution towards India’s fight against the second wave of the pandemic.

“I feel privileged to be in a position of making a difference and with that in mind, I’d like to donate 1 BTC (Bitcoin) to Crypto Relief to help with the purchase of oxygen supplies for the hospitals across India,” Lee said. 

The value of one Bitcoin currently hovers around the INR 41 Lakh mark as per the latest prices. 

Last Updated | 8:10 PM on April 28, 2021

Information regarding the base price corrected.