Indian Olympian Shiva Keshavan, who was trying to raise funds for his participation in the Winter Olympics that is starting in Sochi, received more than 4 million Dogecoin (worth more than $6,000) via donations collected on Reddit. Redditors in the /r/dogecoin sub-reddit started collecting donations after WashingtonPost wrote an article about the funding issue these athletes were facing.
The International Olympic Committee had suspended Indian Olympic Association a year ago for violations of its charter, including election of leaders with criminal charges. Due to the suspension, Keshavan and two other skiers were told they could participate in the Olympics on their own, but they could not carry the country’s flag. Keshavan, who has been representing India in Winter Olympics since 1998, has won the gold medal in luge for India in the Asia Cup in 2011 and 2012, and a silver last year.
It’s also worth pointing out that, over three days, the Dogecoin community raised over 27 million Dogecoins to send the Jamaican bobsled team to attend the Sochi Winter Olympics.
What is Dogecoin? It is a cryptocurrency that is based on the algorithm that is used in Bitcoin. However, it is of lower value, and is considered more of a “fun currency” as of now. The name of the currency was inspired by the famous Doge meme starring Shiba dogs.
Legality in India: This could have been done via Kickstarter too, but currently there are legal hurdles that make it very complicated. Dogecoin too has a few complications as far as legality is concerned in India and it was among the various crypto currencies RBI had warned against in December 2013. There were also several raids on organisations that engaged in Bitcoin trading by the Enforcement Directorate. The Income Tax department had asked Unocoin founder Sathvik Vishwanath about how they can go about imposing tax on Bitcoin miners in India. A few of those websites shut down following these events, but a few of them are up and running again, such as Unocoin. It is also worth noting that Bitcoin exchange Bitquick launched in India earlier this month.