A list of Vitaliks investment projects: some have a hundredfold return, while others have been shut down

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Original author: Frank, PANews

As a leader in the crypto industry, Vitalik Buterin has always been active in the industry. In addition to being well-known as the founder of Ethereum, Vitalik has also invested in some new crypto projects in his personal name many times. On June 28, MegaETH, a layer 2 project that aims to build an ultra-high-performance real-time EVM, announced that it had received $20 million in financing, and Vitalik appeared on the list as an investor. PANews takes stock of the crypto projects that Vitalik has invested in to see how Vitaliks record as an investor is.

According to public information, Vitalik has invested in 7 crypto projects so far. Among them, there are the well-known StarkNet and Polymarket, as well as Nocturne, which has poor operations and announced the cessation of operations in June this year.

A list of Vitaliks investment projects: some have a hundredfold return, while others have been shut down

StarkNet: Highest return rate 146 times

StarkNet is a permissionless decentralized Validity-Rollup (also known as ZK-Rollup). It runs as an L2 network on Ethereum. Vitalik invested in StarkNet in a seed round in May 2018, with a total amount of $6 million in this round of financing, and Vitaliks proportion of it has not been disclosed. According to chainbroker data, the cost of StarkNets seed round investment tokens was $0.025, and the STRK token has risen to $3.66 so far. Vitaliks highest return on this investment reached 146 times. The current STRK price has fallen back to 0.675, and according to Vitalik, it still has a 27-fold return compared to the cost.

In addition to financially supporting StarkNet, Vitalik has also publicly expressed his support for StarkNet on social media many times.

As of now, StarkNet has completed a total of US$260 million in financing. The most recent round of financing was in May 2022, when it completed US$100 million in financing at a valuation of US$8 billion.

In February 2024, StarkNet completed the first round of airdrops and launched tokens. In May, Vitalik unlocked 845,205 STRK from StarkNet, worth $1.08 million. Currently, Vitalik has not sold STRK tokens.

Aztec Network: No waves after $100 million financing

Aztec Network is the first cross-chain privacy bridge on Ethereum. In 2021, Aztec Network announced the completion of a $17 million Series A financing, led by Paradigm and in which Vitalik also participated. In fact, as early as 2020, Vitalik supported Aztec Network on social media. He not only posted about his participation in the Aztec test, but also tweeted that with Aztecs official entry into ZK rollup, layer 2 expansion and privacy are coming.

In 2022, Aztec Network received another $100 million in Series B funding, and the total funding has now reached $119 million. In 2023, the project launched the Aztec Sandbox Alpha program for developers, which is considered to be the expected testing phase for airdrops. However, as of June 2024, Aztec has not yet announced its airdrop plan, and market attention has gradually decreased. This seems to be due to a lack of marketing capabilities. The latest news shows that Aztec has appointed Claire Kart, the former marketing director of Risc Zero, as the new chief marketing officer (CMO).

Kakarot: An innovative experiment in the Starknet ecosystem

Kakarot is an EVM implemented in Cairo language on Starknet, and is considered an important innovative experiment in the Starknet ecosystem. In June 2023, Kakarot tweeted that it had completed the Pre-Seed round of financing, with participation from Vitalik Buterin, StarkWare, and others. The project did not disclose the specific scale of financing, but as early as November 2022, Vitalik had forwarded Kakarots open source code and commented that it was too cool. On May 22, 2024, Kakarot announced the launch of the test network.

Nocturne: A short-lived privacy protocol

Nocturne is a privacy protocol on Ethereum. The companys goal is to allow users to conduct anonymous transactions in the Ethereum ecosystem. The project was established in 2023 and announced in October of that year that it had received a $6 million seed round of financing. Vitalik was also one of the investors. In November 2023, Nocturne deployed version V1 on the Ethereum mainnet, but announced the closure of the protocol in January 2024. On June 6, Nocturne announced the gradual cessation of company operations and retained the front-end withdrawal function.

Overall, Nocturne may be a relatively failed case of Vitalik鈥檚 investment, but the closure of the project more reflects the difficulties in the privacy track. Judging from the final result, Nocturne, which was able to start and end well, did not live up to Vitalik鈥檚 support.

Daimo: A wallet app with poor marketing capabilities

Daimo is a stablecoin wallet without mnemonics. In March 2024, it announced that it had received $2 million in seed round financing. Vitalik is also one of the investors. In March, Vitalik mentioned Daimo in an article he published, comparing it to Venmo (a popular crypto payment software) on Ethereum. However, Daimos promotion effect seems to be poor so far, with only more than 3,000 followers on Twitter.

Polymarket: US election brings rapid growth

Polymarket is a decentralized information market platform that allows users to make predictions on the worlds most controversial topics. Since its launch in 2020, the project has gradually grown into a leader in decentralized prediction market platforms. In March 2024, Vitalik tweeted Polymarkets data on the percentage of gas fee reduction after the EIP-4844 upgrade. In May 2024, Polymarket announced the completion of a $45 million Series B financing round, with Vitalik Buterin participating in the investment.

On July 2, Vitalik mentioned again on social media: It has become very normal in my Twitter circle for people to use Polymarket, metaculus or http://electionbettingodds.com as evidence of the actual impact of daily political events. In June 2024, as the US presidential election heated up, Polymarkets trading volume reached $100 million, a record high. As the heat of the US election continues to rise, Polymarkets market heat will remain at a high level.

MegaETH: New Hope for Ethereum L2?

MegaETH is a project that Vitalik has recently invested in. On June 28, MegaLabs announced the completion of a $20 million seed round of financing. MegaETH claims that the two key technologies they have mastered – heterogeneous blockchain architecture and super-optimized EVM execution environment can increase TPS to 100,000. At present, the project has not yet been officially launched, but judging from the expected goals and market popularity, MegaETH may become an important weapon for Ethereum to fight Solana.

Among the 7 projects Vitalik has invested in, most of them are innovative projects around privacy protocols, EVM, Layer 2, wallets and other crypto infrastructure. Among these projects, only StarkNet has issued tokens, which can be regarded as providing financial returns to Vitalik. There are also short-lived projects such as Nocturne, hot projects that caught the trend such as Polymarket, and potential future rising stars such as MegaETH.

Overall, Vitalik鈥檚 investment may not be considered a success from a financial perspective, but it is clear that Vitalik鈥檚 choice is more from the perspective of helping the Ethereum ecosystem to develop better. And the amount of Vitalik鈥檚 investment has never been made public. From a practical point of view, his participation may have more strategic support than financial significance. However, judging from the development of Nocturne or Daimo, having Vitalik鈥檚 endorsement is not enough to gain full trust from the market. It is more of a test of whether the product model and operational capabilities can be recognized by the general public.

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