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How to Invest Like Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:53 PM
P. H. Madore
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:53 PM

If you’ve ever wanted to model your crypto portfolio after that of Ethereum wunderkind Vitalik Buterin, your chance has finally arrived.

Buterin responded to an Ask Me Anything session  on Reddit by disclosing his current crypto holdings and other financial interests.

Based on Buterin’s statement, we can estimate that he owns less than $5 million in cryptocurrencies besides Ethereum and ETH-based tokens. We arrivate at this round figure by looking at his publicly available wallet and his statements. In Ethereum tokens, he also owns less than 10%, the majorilety of which are denominated in Kyber Network (KNC), Maker (MKR), OmiseGO (OMG), and Augur (REP).

Bitcoin Plays Minor Role in Vitalik Buterin’s Portfolio

crypto ethereum bitcoin
Unsurprisingly, Ethereum is the largest holding in Vitalik Buterin’s portfolio, but it’s not the only cryptocurrency he owns. | Source: Shutterstock

The disclosure comes as the result of a complaint filed  by an Ethereum community member which reads, in part:

“Regardless of whether the initial concerns had merit, the response to them is irresponsible — especially considering a huge fork is less than two weeks away. The decision of the Parity release manager to wipe his Twitter account and go dark 11 days before the Constantinople fork is a bad one. It’s a bad look for Parity, and it’s a bad look for Ethereum.”

The complaint was lodged as a result of Afri Schoedon’s trolling and subsequent rage-quitting.

While Buterin has several addresses besides his primary one , we can estimate his wealth at less than $60 million in liquid assets, without accounting for his business interests. The majority of these assets are in Ethereum, of which he holds around 350,000.

Here’s what else he holds:

•Non-ethereum-ecosystem tokens: BCH, BTC, DOGE, ZEC; total value < 10% the value of my ETH

•Non-ETH ethereum ecosystem tokens: KNC, MKR, OMG, REP, total value <10% the value of my ETH

•Significant corporate shareholdings: Clearmatics, Starkware

•Revenue in the last 12 months other than ethereum foundation salary: a few advisor tokens (included in above)

•Non-financial interests: friends in the ecosystems represented by the above projects, as well as some non-token ethereum ecosystem orgs (eg. L4, Plasma Group, EthGlobal, EDCON) and non-token non-ethereum orgs (mainly professional cryptography and economics circles)”

The upshot is that crypto investors now know how to structure their portfolios like those of one of the community’s most revered influencers – not that Buterin would recommend that they should.

Ethereum’s Justin Drake is Close to ‘Full Crypto’

Buterin draws a salary from the Ethereum Foundation, as do several other core developers. Some projects like Parity have been given large grants by the same foundation .

Buterin was a major angel investor alongside Naval Ravikant in Starkware. It is a blockchain company that seeks to help build industrial blockchain applications. He also lists holdings in Clearmatics , an English company founded in 2015 that builds tokenized platforms.

Two other Ethereum developers also disclosed their holdings and the nature of their wealth.

Researcher Justin Drake disclosed that he has almost no fiat capital and that 99% of his holdings are in Ethereum. The foundation pays him in Ether.

Martin Swende noted that over 95% of his holdings are in Ethereum and that he draws a salary from the foundation in euros.

Other community members took part in the discussion, but much of the conversation around it was in questioning the nature  of making such disclosures.

Vitalik Buterin Image from Zcash/YouTube