Indian athletes who have won medals at the Tokyo Olympics have been promised free cryptocurrencies by Indian crypto exchange Bitbns, according to a report by the Economic Times.

Fast facts

  • Bitbns will create systematic investment plans denominated in Bitcoin and Ethereum worth around US$2,695 for gold medalists, US$1,348 for silver medalists and US$674 for bronze medalists. 
  • The funds will be credited to the medalists’ accounts and they will be able to access them after completing know-your-customer procedures. The SIPs will be structured for a 3-5 year period. 
  • Bitbns plans to start by honoring Mirabai Chanu, who won a silver medal in the women’s weightlifting category, and P.V. Sindhu, who won a bronze medal in women’s singles badminton.
  • Indian Olympic winners have been offered a wide range of cash prizes and gifts — from free pizzas for life from Dominos India and movie tickets from INOX to cement for building homes by Shree Cements.
  • Although Bitbns’ offer is smaller than the cash prizes promised by the Indian Olympic Association and state governments, its giveaway is worth more than other companies’ offers, and may grow if the cryptos appreciate. 
  • The publicity may also help to boost crypto’s image in India, where investors are still battling with regulatory uncertainty and mixed signals from the government about a crypto ban.