Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has claimed that he is not a billionaire and didn’t get his wealth via unfair pre-mining of Ether (ETH).
This is in response to a bold claim by Nouriel Roubini, who accused Vitalik and Joe Lubin (Ethereum co-founder) of stealing and premining Ethereum upon launch.
Buterin refutes pre-mining accusations
On October 11, Nouriel Roubini, popularly known as Dr. Doom, claimed that Vitalik Buterin and his partner, Joe Lubin became billionaires by skimming Ether coins prior to their public release. This accusation led to a series of tweets by Buterin and others in the crypto space.
Buterin defended his position by revealing the amount of Ether he holds and even though it has the potential to bring him immense wealth, he argues that he hasn’t attained a billionaire status.
Buterin pointed out that he has never held more than 0.9 percent of the total circulating supply of Ether. He posted a link to his official Ethereum wallet which has just around 365,000 ETH coins to refute the claims by Roubini.
At the current valuation of Ether, Buterin holds just around $73 million which is way below the billionaire status that he has been accused of attaining via Ethereum.
Vitalik potentially sold $30 million of Ether (ETH)
At its peak, the wallet contained about 500,000 ETH and it appears that approximately 40,000 ETH was sent out of the wallet between December 14, 2017, and February 2, 2018.
- 30,000 ETH @ $693.58/ETH worth around $21 million (December 14)
- 10,000 ETH @ $917.47/ETH worth around $9.1 million (February 2)
Roubini claimed that Buterin and Lubin stole 75 percent of total Ether supply in a criminal pre-mining sale or scam and became instant billionaires of fake wealth.
Should the market care?
Despite this allegation, the bigger question at the moment is whether the market should care about the wealth that Buterin has amassed from his position as the head of the Ethereum community.
If Buterin has more Ether than he claims to be holding, then investors in the cryptocurrency would feel betrayed. It would be worse if Roubini’s claims that Buterin and Lubin held onto a large amount of Ether prior to the public sale of the coins.
Buterin defended his position by stating that there is nothing criminal against pre-mining holding, reiterating that he has never held 1 percent of the total supply of Ether.
The Ether holdings by Buterin is still substantial and would have fetched him $511 million when ETH attained its all-time high of $1,400 earlier this year.
The major problem now is how the general public will look at the issue of unearned wealth by crypto founders and early adopters. CEOs and early partners in blue-chip stocks attain massive wealth through their holdings and no one considers that to be abnormal.
Crypto, however, is measured with a different yardstick and is in danger of the appreciation that comes through market buyers and leads to overnight billionaire status.
Buterin has been perhaps the most vocal voice in the crypto space as he believes not just in the price increase of cryptocurrencies but the general adoption of the currencies and their underlying technology.
Despite his influence and position, he could become a distraction if the investment sphere believes that they had negative odds from the onset of market release.
Roubini to debate with Buterin
Following their discussion on Twitter, Laura Shin, a well-known crypto journalist, thought it would be fitting to ask Buterin and Roubini if they wanted to go head-to-head in a live debate.
Buterin agreed to the debate instantly while it took time for Roubini to agree. Even though he agreed to a debate, the economist and professor claimed that he did not want Shin to moderate the debate as he claims she is biased.
Buterin suggested that Kevin Pham, a hater of the traditional economy and centralized system should moderate the debate and Roubini agreed to that. Kevin Pham accepted to moderate the debate between the two.
Vitalik’s public address reveals large OmiseGO (OMG) holding
Upon analyzing Vitalik’s public Ethereum address, we noticed an important balance of OmiseGO (OMG) tokens, an ERC20 token, and Vitalik-backed project.
Vitalik currently holds over 30,000 OMG tokens worth roughly $100,000 USD and were worth over $750,000 USD at its peak in January.