A couple of years ago, the idea that anyone would ever become a billionaire from cryptocurrency would have sounded like pure lunacy. Today there are at least a dozen known individuals, including the Winklevoss twins, who are officially billionaires thanks exclusively to their crypto holdings. The latest entrant to the crypto billionaire club is Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin.
Vitalik Buterin owns around 333,000 Ethereum coins. As of this writing, a single Ether coin will cost you around $4,100. So Vitalik's stash of 333,000 are officially worth…
Yet that's not the number you see right now on Vitalik's public wallet.
Here's a screenshot of the public wallet:
Where's that other $15 billion coming from? This is a truly insane story that only makes sense in the completely bonkers crypto world.
According to a story first reported by the website decrypt.co, roughly $14 billion if Vitalik's wealth came in the form of A GIFT. The gift was given to him by the creators of a dogecoin knockoff called Shiba Inu, aka "SHIB."
Buterin has nothing to do with SHIB and he had no idea about the gift.
Last month the creators of SHIB released a white paper, which they called a "woofpaper". In the woofpaper they revealed that they sent 50% of all SHIB, roughly 505 billion coins, to Vitalik's wallet without his knowledge.
***UPDATE*** As of 8pm EST on Monday, Vitalik's net worth is actually $21 billion!!! His SHIB holdings are worth $18 billion. ***
Why would they do this?
According to my friend who very deep in the crypto world:
"Probably as a publicity stunt the worked phenomenally well. Thinly veiled as them burning half the coins in circulation, but they probably still own a shit ton of SHIB."
Sort of like, imagine if I gifted half of CelebrityNetWorth to Elon Musk and then within a few weeks CNW was one of the largest websites in the world thanks to the publicity. Kind of brilliant actually… hmmm….
At the time they made the transfer, 505 billion SHIB were worth around $8.6 million thanks to it's price of $0.000000017.
Here's what's happened to SHIB's price in the last few weeks:
The value of SHIB has increased more than 700% in the last week alone. It increased nearly 4,000% the week of 4/20. The price roughly doubled in the time I began writing this article on Sunday afternoon, May 9 and Monday morning, May 10.
When you include Vitalik's holdings, SHIB is the 12th-largest cryptocurrency in the world.
Now of course it should be noted that Vitalik could destroy SHIB in an instant if he decided to offload the entire currency at once. Also, there's likely a very artificially low supply of purchasable SHIB which is driving up the price significantly.
As I type this article right now, Vitalik's unwittingly gifted collection of 505 billion SHIB are worth…
It appears as though a bunch of other stunt coins have begun gifting Vitalik huge shares of coins as well. As of this writing, I count dozens of random coins in Vitalik's wallet. His third-largest holding (after Ether and SHIB) is a coin called Akita Inu. As of this writing, Vitalik owns $700m worth of AKITA. He also owns $265 million worth of Dogelon and $21 million of HuskyToken.
When you combine all of these holdings, Vitalik Buterin's net worth is…
At $16.3 billion net worth, according to our list of the richest people in the world, Vitalik Buterin currently ranks at…
Who Is Vitalik Buterin?
Vitalik Buterin was born in Russia in 1994. His family moved to Canada when he was six.
Vitalik excelled in mathematics, economics and computer science at a young age and was placed in a high school for gifted students.
He first became interested in cryptocurrency while he was still in high school. In his senior year of high school, Vitalik and a group of friends co-created Bitcoin Magazine. The magazine is considered the first serious publication dedicated exclusively to cryptocurrency news and information.
In 2013 Vitalik enrolled at the University of Waterloo where he took advanced computer science and programming classes while pursuing a burgeoning obsession with digital currency. That obsession eventually resulted in a 2013 white paper published by Vitalik in which he described a goal of creating a blockchain application that could be attached to real-world assets such as property, stocks and bonds.
This kernel of an idea led to the 2014 announcement of Ethereum.
That same year, Vitalik dropped out of college to fully concentrate on Etheurem after receiving a $100,000 Thiel Fellowship grant. The currency officially launched in July 2015.
The price stayed fairly flat, under $10, from its launch until mid-2017. Take a loot at what's happened in the middle of 2018 and in the last few months:
As of this writing, Ethereum has a market cap of $450 billion. That's second only to Bitcoin's $1.1 trillion. The price of Ethereum has risen 400% since January alone.
As we mentioned previously, Vitalik Buterin owns 333,521 ETH. At the current price I'm seeing of $3,900, Vitalik's ETH stash is worth $1.3 billion.
What is Ether All About?
Ether's distinguishing feature is its focus on digital contracts that potentially have very valuable real-world applications. For example, in a traditional music catalog sale – like when Bob Dylan sells his copyrights for $400 million – the artist takes a huge chunk of money to relinquish all future income from the music. With an Ethereum-powered digital contract, an artist might opt to sell their catalog with a clause that allows them to earn a fee every time the catalog is sold again, in perpetuity.
That's exactly what's happening with NFTs.
Did you hear about how the artist Beeple sold a piece of digital art for $69 million? Every time that same piece of art is re-sold in the future, the blockchain will send part of the new purchase price back to Beeple.
True believers in Ethereum see the currency eventually being a crucial element any time someone buys a major asset, physical or not. For example a house, a car, a piece of art or even stocks.
Or maybe a website 🙂
If any crypto billionaires out there want to make an offer on CNW, Twitter DMs are open!
On the afternoon of May 12, Vitalik began dumping huge chunks of the dog coins. In a matter of hours his net worth dropped in half to $10 billion. In a few hours he converted $60 million to Ether and donated the proceeds to various charities. He transferred $1 billion worth of SHIB to India's Covid relief fund.
More info these sales as they happen in this article: