Australian Cricketer Brett Lee Donates 1 BTC to COVID-19 Charity in India

Thursday 29 April 2021, 11:00 AM AEST - 1 month ago

Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee is now the second Australian cricketer to donate towards India’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. But Brett made his payment in the form of 1 Bitcoin (BTC).

Moved by the donation made by fellow Australian cricketer Pat Cummings, who donated $50,000 USD to the PM CARES Fund for oxygen supplies in India. Pat’s donation would be worth about 4090943.37 INR or RS 40 lakh.

It saddens me deeply to see people suffering due to the pandemic. I feel privileged to be in a position of making a difference […] I’d like to donate 1 Bitcoin to Crypto Relief to help with the purchase of oxygen supplies for the hospitals across India.

Brett Lee

Is India Still Banning Crypto?

Currently, Bitcoin is still not considered legal tender in India.

A Cabinet note is being prepared. It’s almost nearing completion and then it will be taken to the Cabinet… We will allow a certain amount of window for people to experiment on blockchain and bitcoin. However, the what formulation of cryptocurrency will be part of the Cabinet note which will get ready soon.

Nirmala Sitharaman, Indian Finance Minister

Cryptocurrency donated within India can be exchanged for Indian Rupee, but the industry is “still exploring” the process for using such funds from outside India.

The crypto fund was started by Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Polygon (a Bangalore-based blockchain company), to help buy supplies of food and oxygen. So far the fund has collected $3 million USD, with a donation of $600,000 from Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum (ETH).

Considerations will need to be made by a regulatory body in India otherwise the cryptocurrencies gathered in the fund will not be usable. But it seems Sandeep is championing the initiative with great urgency.

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