Asset Analysis: How Rich Are Vitalik and the Ethereum Co-Founders?

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Original author: ARKHAM Research Team

Original translation: Block unicorn

Vitalik Buterin鈥檚 net worth is estimated to be at least $830 million. The following information is from the ARKHAM data archive.

This article will explore Vitalik Buterins (Ethereum founder) net worth and its fluctuations over time. We will examine the Ethereum co-founders known cryptocurrency holdings and compare them to other top ETH holders and other Ethereum co-founders. In addition, we will examine Buterins possible other sources of wealth and provide context for the size of these wealth.

How did VITALIK BUTERIN get rich?

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has amassed most of his known wealth as a coin owner. In 2011, at the age of 17, Buterin began to enter the cryptocurrency field and founded Bitcoin Magazine with Mihai Alisie (who later became one of the co-founders of Ethereum). While founding Bitcoin Magazine, Buterin and Alisie were also developing Egora, a decentralized Bitcoin eBay. He was dissatisfied with Bitcoins limitations, such as the limited scripting language, which restricted Bitcoins ability to run more complex smart contracts and decentralized applications. Subsequently, Buterin published the Ethereum white paper in November 2013 (at the age of 19), proposing Ethereum as a solution for Bitcoin upgrades.

In the months following the release of the white paper, Buterin met his co-founders. He first worked with Anthony Di Iorio, Charles Hoskinson, Mihai Alisie, and Amir Chetrit. Later, Joseph Lubin, Gavin Wood, and Jeffrey Wilcke joined, and together they founded the Ethereum Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of the Ethereum network. In June 2014, Buterin received a $100,000 grant from the Thiel Foundation, allowing him to drop out of the University of Waterloo where he was studying to focus on the development of Ethereum.

In the summer of 2014, Ethereum conducted a pre-sale, where participants purchased ETH with BTC. At that time, the initial supply of ETH exceeded 72 million, of which 16.53% was allocated to the founders, and the ETH allocated by the founders constituted the majority of Buterins net worth.

Ethereum was officially launched on July 30, 2015. Buterin is the only founder still working on the network, as the others have left to work on other projects. He has overseen the networks development, including the transition from Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS) in 2022.

Most of Buterins known cryptocurrency holdings come from the ETH allocation he received when Ethereum was released, and he became a billionaire when the ETH price broke through $3,000 in 2021. In addition, Buterin has invested in some crypto companies such as StarkNet (STRK), which also contributed to his overall wealth.

Buterin was born on January 31, 1994 in Kolomna, Russia. His family moved to Canada when he was 6 years old, and he later graduated from Abelard School (a private high school) in Toronto. Buterin was very talented from a young age, and there are unconfirmed and unfounded rumors online that his IQ is 257. While this is almost impossible in any reasonable IQ test, there is no doubt that he is very talented and has a high IQ, which has helped him achieve extraordinary wealth.

How Rich is Vitalik Buterin? Net Worth Overview

Vitalik Buterin鈥檚 known net worth is estimated to be around $552.86 million ($830 million now). His actual net worth is likely higher as it includes his known cryptocurrency holdings, any unknown cryptocurrency holdings, and his non-cryptocurrency holdings, such as his equity in some investments.

In this section, we will explore his cryptocurrency holdings, including both ETH and non-ETH holdings, as well as any non-cryptocurrency holdings he may have.

How Much Crypto Does Vitalik Buterin Own?

Currently, Vitalik Buterin鈥檚 known cryptocurrency holdings are $552.86 million. The majority of this comes from his ETH holdings, which is around 246,730 tokens. Buterin鈥檚 cryptocurrency holdings can be estimated by looking at his known Ethereum wallet addresses. While this does not rule out the existence of any undisclosed wallets, given the size of Buterin鈥檚 holdings in known wallets, these holdings likely make up the majority of his net worth.

We can see these holdings and how they change over time on Buterin鈥檚 personal page at Arkham:

Asset Analysis: How Rich Are Vitalik and the Ethereum Co-Founders?

Vitalik Buterin鈥檚 Ethereum Holdings

According to a 2018 tweet, Buterin claimed that he had never held more than about 0.9% of the total ETH supply.

Asset Analysis: How Rich Are Vitalik and the Ethereum Co-Founders?

To verify Buterin鈥檚 claims, we can check what percentage of the total ETH supply he holds by looking at his ETH holdings in known wallets from 2015 to present. We can see the amount of ETH he has held over the years by looking in the Portfolio Profile section of his Arkham profile.

Asset Analysis: How Rich Are Vitalik and the Ethereum Co-Founders?

With this information, we can estimate his holdings each year as a percentage of the total ETH supply. The table below shows his holdings on December 31st of each year as a benchmark for his ETH holdings for that year. His holdings on December 8th, 2023 are also included, representing his most recently known ETH holdings.

Asset Analysis: How Rich Are Vitalik and the Ethereum Co-Founders?

We can see that Buterin鈥檚 claims appear to be correct. His known ETH holdings have never significantly exceeded 0.9%, with 2015 being the highest year he owned ETH at 0.91%. In fact, his ETH holdings have been decreasing every year due to the apparent token sales and the network inflation design increasing the total ETH supply every year.

Buterin鈥檚 ETH holder ranking

To assess the significance of Buterin鈥檚 ETH holdings, we compare it to the holdings of other top ETH holders. The entities holding the most ETH tokens can be easily identified by looking at the top holders section of Ethereum鈥檚 profile on Arkham.

Asset Analysis: How Rich Are Vitalik and the Ethereum Co-Founders?

Who are the largest holders of Ethereum?

The following table shows the top 20 ETH holders by entity as of the time of writing:

Asset Analysis: How Rich Are Vitalik and the Ethereum Co-Founders?

The ETH 2 deposit smart contract tops the list with 34,259,215.29 tokens held, as validators must deposit their ETH tokens in the contract to participate in the validation process.

Coinbase and Binance are ranked second and third respectively, and most entities ranked ahead of Buterin appear to be exchanges like Kraken and Robinhood, and institutional managers like Grayscale, which all hold large amounts of ETH for their operations. Exchanges hold large amounts of ETH to facilitate user withdrawals and token swaps, while Grayscale鈥檚 ETH holdings, on the other hand, reflect its investment in ETH tokens.

Buterin appears to be the main individual ETH holder with access to his tokens. While Rain Lohmus owns around 250,000 ETH, which he paid $75,000 for in the ETH presale, he cannot access because he forgot his private keys.

Vitalik Buterins cryptocurrency net worth over time

By looking at Buterins portfolio profile in the Arkham profile, we can clearly see the fluctuations in his known cryptocurrency holdings over the years. The table below records his known cryptocurrency holdings on December 31st of each year as a benchmark for the corresponding year. The table also includes his estimated cryptocurrency net worth on November 18, 2021, when ETH briefly reached a peak price of $4,891 – which would represent the peak of Buterins known net worth.

Asset Analysis: How Rich Are Vitalik and the Ethereum Co-Founders?

From December 31, 2015 to now, Buterin鈥檚 net worth has increased more than 900 times, from $596,760 to $55.122 billion. His highest annual percentage increase in net worth was from $4.23 million on December 31, 2016 to $27.837 billion on December 31, 2017, during the 2017 bull run.

Buterins net worth in known cryptocurrencies is greatly affected by ETH price fluctuations, as ETH accounts for more than 99% of his portfolio. Therefore, whenever the price of ETH rises, Buterins net worth will also rise. Whenever the price of ETH falls, his net worth will also fall from its historical high.

In 2021, when the price of ETH broke through $3,000, Buterin became a billionaire at the age of 27, with his known cryptocurrency net worth exceeding $1 billion. At the peak of the bull market on November 18, 2021, Buterins net worth briefly touched $2.09 billion as the price of ETH reached an all-time high of $4,891.

However, the cryptocurrency bear market struck again, and ETH prices fell. Before December 31, 2021, Buterin held $1.2 billion in ETH, and by December 31, 2022, his account was only worth $300.58 million. Since then, his known cryptocurrency net worth has rebounded, reaching $550 million as of this writing, when ETH was priced at $2,234 (now the price is 3395, with a total asset of about $8.375).

Asset Analysis: How Rich Are Vitalik and the Ethereum Co-Founders?

Another factor that influences the change in his known cryptocurrency net worth is that his known ETH holdings appear to decrease every year, and Buterin has been known to sell his ETH holdings several times. For example, in May 2023, Buterin sent 200 ETH to a cryptocurrency exchange, and then the Ethereum Foundation sold 15,000 ETH. It is worth noting that Buterin claims that he has not sold ETH for personal gain since 2018. He further clarified that when he sent ETH to exchanges, the ETH was used for donations rather than sales.

Non-ETH Cryptocurrency Holdings

Based on data from Arkham鈥檚 portfolio archive, we can see Buterin鈥檚 non-ETH holdings. As of this writing, some of his major non-ETH token holdings include:

1. 869,500 KNCL (the token of the decentralized liquidity protocol Kyber Network, for which Buterin serves as an advisor), worth approximately $609,780.

2. 196.42 Wrapped Ether (WETH) tokens, worth approximately $436,920

101 million THE tokens, valued at approximately $127,950.

Although not Buterin鈥檚 main non-ETH holdings, the following tokens are also worth noting:

1. $1,290 worth of Tornado.Cash鈥檚 TORN tokens. This is related to Vitalik鈥檚 use of the infamous coin mixer. His Arkham profile shows multiple fund transfers using Tornado Cash, which he said included donations to Ukraine.

Asset Analysis: How Rich Are Vitalik and the Ethereum Co-Founders?

2. 6,345,000 Shiba Inu coins ($SHIB), valued at $6.065 billion. In 2020, Vitalik received 50% of the token supply directly from its developers at the time of the tokens launch, which briefly spiked his known crypto net worth to around $10 billion. The move was intended to create huge hype for the token through its association with one of the most famous figures in the cryptocurrency space. Buterin then destroyed 4.1 trillion $SHIB tokens, which accounted for more than 90% of the total tokens he received and were worth about $6 billion at the time. He then donated the remaining 50.69 trillion $SHIB tokens, which were worth $1.56 billion at the time, to CryptoRelief in India.

Asset Analysis: How Rich Are Vitalik and the Ethereum Co-Founders?

Non-cryptocurrency holdings

Buterin participated in the seed round of StarkWare, a zero-knowledge proof technology developer that was valued at $8 billion as of 2022.

Due to the lack of public data on his non-crypto assets, it is difficult to estimate the value of his non-crypto holdings and their impact on his overall net worth – however, we can speculate that if he still holds on to his investment in StarkWare, the value of that investment would increase a portion of his net worth, as well as the value of any other undisclosed investments.

Other Ethereum Co-Founders

Like Buterin, other Ethereum co-founders have also benefited financially from their ETH holdings. In this section, we compare Buterins estimated net worth to the net worth of other Ethereum co-founders. For this section, we consider his known cryptocurrency holdings of $552.86 billion (as of June 30, 2024, now worth $800 million) to be all or most of his net worth, as we have no way of knowing the specific size of his non-cryptocurrency holdings.

Here is a table of publicly estimated net worths of the other co-founders (note: since 2023 net worth estimates for some co-founders are not necessarily available, some of the data is from the last known available point and may mark the peak of their net worth, or be significantly lower than it is currently):

Asset Analysis: How Rich Are Vitalik and the Ethereum Co-Founders?

Asset Analysis: How Rich Are Vitalik and the Ethereum Co-Founders?

in conclusion

In summary, we have estimated the composition of Vitalik Buterins net worth and how it fluctuates over time. Most of his wealth of over $500 million (now $830 million due to price increases) comes from his holdings of Ethereum (ETH), which fluctuate with the price of Ethereum. Stay tuned to his profile for the latest updates on Buterins wealth.

This article is sourced from the internet: Asset Analysis: How Rich Are Vitalik and the Ethereum Co-Founders?

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