The blockchain and cryptocurrency space is known to produce events that require more than a little explanation for an outsider to even begin to understand what exactly has taken place. I will not attempt to do that here. In the midst of one of those events, involving dog themed joke currencies that are nonetheless somehow magically worth real money, albeit to some highly variable degree depending on who has control of them, and what everyone else thinks that controller will do with them, well known entrepreneur Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, donated 1,000 Ether to the Methuselah Foundation. That amounts to more that $2 million at the present time, a sizable fraction of the yearly budget of that organization.
Buterin has made substantial philanthropic donations to advance the state of longevity in the past, such as to the SENS Research Foundation, and has spoken on the desirability of producing therapies to treat aging as a medical condition. The Methuselah Foundation is the parent organization of the SENS Research Foundation, and organized some of the first research programs to work on mechanisms of aging that were insufficiently supported by the broader research community. Since then, the Methuselah Foundation has undertaken a range of projects, many of which aim to advance the state of the art in tissue engineering, and launched the Methuselah Fund to invest in early stage startups in the longevity industry.
Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin sold large amounts of three meme tokens on Wednesday that he was given for free. Buterin then used proceeds of the sales to support a range of charities, according to public blockchain data. Buterin was given the tokens through a rather unusual token distribution strategy. The developers behind at least three dog-themed tokens - based around the Shiba Inu breed of dog - decided to send half of their tokens to his publicly known Ethereum address. These tokens included Shiba Inu (SHIB), Akita Inu (AKITA) and Dogelon Mars (ELON).
The theory behind this was that the approach was akin to burning the tokens. Presumably, the idea was that Buterin - who owns 333,500 ETH worth around $1.3 billion - wouldn't need the cash and would just sit on the tokens. Buterin appears to have had other ideas, however. Starting a few hours ago, Buterin began sending the tokens in batches to Uniswap and selling them for ETH, creating a total of 15,719 ETH, an amount worth about $63 million.
Following the sales, Buterin sent large amounts of ETH to various charities that support different causes. He gave out more than 16,000 ETH along with some of the dog-themed tokens. The largest tranche - 13,292 ETH - was sent to Givewell, a non-profit charity assessment organization. The Ethereum creator also sent 1,000 ETH and 430 billion ELON tokens (the latter worth $215,000) to the Methuselah Foundation, which focuses on making people live longer. He sent 1,050 ETH to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, which focuses on ensuring AI has a positive impact.