TL;DR: “The 92k ETH sent to Kraken today originated from a single whale,” blockchain analytics watchdog ViewBase alerted, “which in turn received most of its ETH from Vitalik Buterin. The whale is likely an ETH dev or VB himself,” they mused. Buterin himself denied the transfer or dumping.
Ethereum Co-Founder Questioned After $11 Million ETH Sent to Kraken
“204,530 $ETH has been sent to exchanges,” ViewBase announced earlier, “with 89,058 ETH going to #Kraken, 25,908 ETH going to #Binance and 99,987 ETH to #Huobi respectively.” A chief worry among cryptocurrency watchers is when critical members of a project’s team “dump” or effectively try and cash out. Thinking among speculators is that such behavior, beyond profit-taking, is perhaps a signal all is not well and a price crash could be imminent.
“Yeah,” Buterin responded, “I have no idea what that address is. Possibly someone mistook some exchange’s intermediate address for my own.” It didn’t help that the price of ETH was falling to lows not seen since earlier this year, and on the same day. More recently, Buterin was interviewed by Eric Weinstein of Thiel Capital where he revealed having how he “did get the Ethereum Foundation to sell 70,000 ETH like basically at the top and that’s doubled our runway now, so it was one good decision that had a lot of impact,” causing howls among critics at the time and only adding to the Christmas day FUD.
Trustnodes narrowed the culprit down to Jeffrey Wilcke, a prominent Ethereum developer and co-founder. He apparently did send 92,000 ETH (roughly $11.5 million) to Kraken on Christmas. Their analysis used “an account that moved 408,000 eth in January 2016,” then well-known as having been funded by the Ethereum Foundation. “Presumably the funding was part of the initial distribution that the founding team got at the inception of Ethereum,” they suggested.
That same address “shows continuous, but gradual, selling or movement of funds until this Christmas it sees a sharp drop in funds.” It still retains some $27 million worth of ETH more. Wilcke was a lead developer of the ethereal Go client and coded alongside the from 2013. He apparently has formally left, and is working on a video game project for Grid Games, which matches the patterns of Ethereum devs generally who cashout as they depart. When peppered by skeptical enthusiasts as to why, Wilcke insisted, “I worked my fucking ass off since December 2013 until I was burned out and couldn’t continue anymore. I was broken.”
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