Indian black marketeers have started offering unapproved COVID-19 vaccines to desperate high-profile patients in the region in exchange for bitcoin (). So far, over 151k Indians have been killed by the virus and the government is yet to officially approve any vaccine, according to reports on January 12, 2021.
Bitcoin for Vaccines
While the total number of daily new cases of COVID-19 is steadily decreasing across India, there is still widespread fear, uncertainty and doubt in the hearts of some high profile individuals suffering from the disease in the region and black marketeers are now exploiting these VIPs.
Despite the fact that the Indian government is yet to officially approve any variant of the COVID-19 vaccine for mass use in the country, some doctors have revealed that a good number of highly important personalities in the nation have been offered the unauthenticated vaccine by black marketeers in exchange for bitcoin.
It’s no longer news that the deadly virus has already undergone mutation, which has given rise to deadlier strains of COVID-19 that are currently wrecking more havoc in various parts of the world, including the United Kingdom and South Africa.
Bitcoin for the Wrong Purpose
As Indians continue to wait for authorities to kickstart the vaccination process, their anxiety levels are rising by the minute and bad actors are now exploiting this serious weakness to peddle possibly fake vaccines to citizens for bitcoin payments.
Commenting on the issue, Dr. R Giridhara Babu, epidemiologist and member of Technical Advisory Committee for Covid-19 management in Karnataka advised the government to investigate the matter and clamp down on black marketeers, as fake vaccines could cause significant harm to users.
“The government should track down black marketeers. It worsens the inequities since only those with money and power can gain access. Those taking such vaccines might be under the impression that it’s an immunity booster, but they may end up taking a harmful and useless product.”
Since the creation of Bitcoin (BTC) by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto 12 years ago, have always found a way to take advantage of its botherless nature to execute their illicit deals.
According to the Chanialysis Crypto Crime Report for 2020, criminals used blockchain-based digital currencies like bitcoin to facilitate a massive 1.1 percent of their total activities, generating $11.5 billion in the process.
Even with its dark side, the future looks quite bright for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as institutional investors are now pumping in their monies into the industry.
At press time, the price of bitcoin sits at $35,664, with a market cap of $665.91 billion, as seen on CoinMarketCap.