Australia: Bitcoin for COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients

To encourage the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccination in Australia, a local millionaire pledged to give away a tiny sum of BTC to everyone who receives the vaccine.

Fred Schebesta, an Australian entrepreneur, announced that he will give away $5 worth of bitcoin to residents who have received the COVID-19 vaccine or who will receive it in the future. Given Australia’s population, he would need to disburse $104 million (about $75 million USD) if the offer is accepted by everyone.

Fred Schebesta, the co-founder of financial comparison website Finder, announced intentions to distribute $5 in bitcoin to Australians who have received a coronavirus vaccination since February. Additionally, the entrepreneur stated that anyone scheduled to receive a vaccine would benefit from his offer:

“I’ve had this crazy idea right now – I’ve never spoken about this. We’re going to give everyone in Australia who gets vaccinated $5 of Bitcoin. Get vaxxed baby, and get your Bitcoin baby as well.”

The 40-year-old blogger clarified that each individual could apply for this offer only once. Individuals would need to download the Finder app and provide confirmation of immunization in order to claim the BTC. Once this is completed, the digital asset will be added to their wallets.

Around 50% of the Australian population over the age of 16 has had at least one coronavirus vaccination, while around 27% have received the entire immunization cycle. By the numbers, Schebesta would have to distribute nearly half of his $155 million fortune to keep his commitment.

While some experts believe bitcoin is a fickle and hazardous asset, the millionaire recently predicted the cryptocurrency’s price would reach $255,000 by 2025. If this prediction comes true, holders’ bitcoin exposure will nearly double. Schebesta made the statement during an interview with radio personality Kyle Sandilands, who played the song ‘Get Vaxxed Baby’ last month in an attempt to convince residents to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

In Italy, the story is much different.

While Fred Schebesta invited Australians to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in exchange for bitcoin, scammers in Italy offered thousands of people forged coronavirus passes in exchange for bitcoins. According to CryptoPotato, the Italian authorities recently shut down multiple organizations operating on the online chat service Telegram, where locals circumvent the law and purchase immunization certificates. The vendors preferred payment with digital assets for the service.

The thieves did not have a set fee for the illicit service, although it was available for as little as 500 euros or $588. Nonetheless, the Italian authorities did not identify the type of digital assets accepted by the crooks. Italy was one of the worst-affected countries in Europe by the COVID-19. According to the most recent government statistics, more than 66% of Italians are fully vaccinated. However, it is unknown if all of the certificates were obtained properly or were obtained as part of the bitcoin hoax.

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