Vitalik Buterin may be able to lay claim to having some of the strongest hands in crypto, after it emerged that the recent drop in the price of Ethereum to the verge of double digits accelerated his losses this year to $464 million. The Ethereum founder has, by and large, left his personal wallet untouched all year, meaning that his 355,000 tokens are now worth $40 million, down from a high of $504 million in January.
Down, but Still Up
Buterin has rarely commented on the price of Ethereum, seemingly showing much more interest in the development of the project itself, something that can now be backed up by his disinterest in selling at any point during Ethereum’s meteoric rise. The increase and subsequent decrease of his personal wealth divided opinion among commenters, with some praising him for having ‘strong hands’ in holding his stack, while others maintained that he shouldn’t be upset over his investment now only being worth $40 million, given that he is still 34,585% up from the ICO price.
Buterin’s decision to hold his tokens rather than selling them at the height of their value is in contrast to that of Litecoin founder Charlie Lee, who sold his Litecoin holdings in December 2017 with the price at an all-time high of $375. Lee said at the time that this was due to a conflict of interest, but the timing of the sale, whether coincidence or otherwise, will always be a spot of contention, something that cannot be levelled at Buterin.
When Will He Let Go?
Buterin seems to be more preoccupied with the scaling issues affecting Ethereum rather than its price, with rumors persisting that he is becoming less of a driving force behind the project. Reports even indicate that he may even step down after five years working on it, during which time he has become as much a spiritual figurehead as a project leader.
It will be interesting to see when Buterin eventually sells his Ethereum holdings, but after refusing to sell through the 2018 bear market very few people would begrudge him selling out at the top of the next one… whenever that might be.