Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder, became the latest crypto billionaire in the past week after Ether (ETH) gained surpassed $3,000. After achieving this feat, ETH officially made Buterin a billionaire, seeing as he holds around 330,000 ETH. After unlocking this feat, ETH surged further and entered into the $4,000 level.
At the time of writing, ETH is trading at around $4,347 after gaining 10.41% over the past 24 hours and 28.81% over the last seven days. As such, Buterin’s entire ETH holdings are now worth approximately $1.4 billion. Seeing as Buterin’s ETH wealth only amounts to $1.4 billion, this begs the question of where the remaining $13.8 billion comes from.
Are you looking for fast-news, hot-tips and market analysis?
Sign-up for the Invezz newsletter, today.
To solve this mystery, Buterin’s Ethereum wallet shows that he has $13.8 billion SHIB, the native token of the Shiba Inu project, which mimics Dogecoin (DOGE). Reportedly, this project gifted Buterin 50% of its total supply, which is 1 quadrillion tokens. While the token was practically worthless as the project started, it surged 43,860% in the past 30 days to become the 20th largest cryptocurrency by capitalization.
A risky strategy
Explaining how Buterin came to be the biggest SHIB whale, the project’s whitepaper dubbed WoofPaper said,
After we finished minting 1 quadrillion tokens, we put half into UniSwap and threw away the keys. Then, the remaining 50% was “burned” to Vitalik Buterin’s wallet, which was the start of our army.
Through this strategy, the project seeks to ensure that the token’s price will continue surging provided the demand continues rising. Seeing as speculators are trying to cash in on the next big thing after DOGE, the coin might have a fighting chance.
However, this approach might end up hurting the speculators, considering the claim that the tokens sent to Buterin’s wallet were burned is not accurate. This is because Buterin has not burned any of the tokens. According to WARONRUGS, a renowned Twitter accounts that vets cryptocurrencies to identify those with a risk of a rug pull, Buterin can easily rug SHIB users. This is because he can easily sell his SHIB whenever he pleases, especially now that the tokens are worth a fortune.