• Australia: Bitcoin for COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients

  • To encourage the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Australia, a local millionaire pledged to give away a small amount of BTC to everyone who gets vaccinated.

    Fred Schebesta, an Australian entrepreneur, said he would give away $5 in bitcoin to locals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine or who will receive one in the future. Given the population of Australia, he would have to distribute $104 million (roughly $75 million USD) if everyone took advantage of the offer.

    ‘Get Vaxxed, Baby, And Get Your Bitcoin.’

    Fred Schebesta, co-founder of the financial comparison website Finder, announced plans to give $5 in bitcoin to Australians who have received a coronavirus vaccine since February. The entrepreneur also mentioned that those who are about to receive a vaccine would benefit from his offer:

    “I’ve had this crazy idea right now – I’ve never mentioned it before. We’re going to give $5 in Bitcoin to everyone in Australia who gets vaccinated. Get vaccinated, and then get your Bitcoin baby.”

    The 40-year-old blogger clarified that each person could only apply for this offer once. People would have to download the Finder app and show proof of vaccination to claim the amount of BTC. After that, the digital asset will appear in their wallets.

    A little less than half of the Australian population over the age of 16 has received at least one coronavirus vaccination, while a full vaccination cycle is only received by about a quarter of the population. To keep his promise, Schebesta would have to distribute nearly half of his $155 million fortune.

    While some experts consider bitcoin to be a volatile and risky investment, the millionaire recently predicted that its price would reach $255,000 by 2025. If this prediction comes true, hodlers’ cryptocurrency exposure will nearly sixfold.

    Schebesta made the announcement during an interview with radio host Kyle Sandilands, who performed the song ‘Get Vaxxed Baby’ last month in order to persuade locals to get a coronavirus vaccine.

    It’s a different story in Italy.

    While Fred Schebesta urged Australians to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by offering them bitcoin, scammers in Italy offered thousands of people fake coronavirus passes in exchange for cryptocurrencies.

    The Italian police recently halted several groups operating on the online messaging app Telegram, where locals circumvent the law and purchase vaccine certificates. For the service, the sellers preferred digital asset payments.

    The criminals did not have a set price for the illegal service, but it could be purchased for up to 500 euros ($588). Nonetheless, the Italian authorities did not specify the type of digital assets accepted by the scammers.

    Italy has been one of Europe’s worst-affected countries by the COVID-19. According to the most recent government statistics, more than 65 percent of Italians are fully vaccinated. However, it is unclear whether all of the certificates belong to people who legally obtained them or to people who were involved in cryptocurrency fraud.

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