Ethereum (ETH) co-founder and newly found billionaire, Vitalik Buterin, has risen to the occasion and donated massive amounts of dog-themed tokens and ETH to charitable organizations and community projects. Nine transactions cost him over USD 800 in fees.
The epic donation spree amounts to a grand total of ETH 16,342, worth nearly USD 68m at the time, 49.3trn Akita Inu (AKITA) coins (worth approx. USD 431m at the time), 432trn Dogelon (ELON) tokens (USD 336m), plus 50trn Shiba Inu (SHIB) tokens, worth approximately USD 1.2bn at the time.
The moves came at the peak of so-called “memecoin” mania, during which multiple Dogecoin (DOGE) ripoffs like SHIB, AKITA, ELON, and others went through significant appreciations in value. However, many of the offloaded coins have collapsed up to -60% in value due to Buterin’s actions.
Here’s how the chain of the transactions looked like:
- First, the chief scientist at the Ethereum Foundation donated all AKITA tokens gifted to him by the community to Gitcoin, a public Ethereum-based fundraising platform.
- Then, he sent ETH 13,292 to Givewell, a nonprofit organization aimed at promoting world’s top charities.
- A donation consisting of ETH 1,000 (two transactions of ETH 250 and ETH 750) plus all of Buterin’s ELON tokens went to Methuselah Foundation, a nonprofit that supports efforts in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
- ETH 500 and over 50 trillion of SHIB tokens were donated to India’s Crypto COVID Relief Fund.
- ETH 1,050 went to Machine Intelligence Research Institute.
- Lastly, he donated ETH 500 to Charter Cities Institute – a public policy research organization.
These nine transactions cost him ETH 0.217395307, which at the time of writing is worth around USD 844, while less than a day ago when the tokens were sent, it was valued at around USD 900. The most expensive transaction cost over USD 200, while the cheapest one was around USD 30.
In either case, some industry observers speculate that the move marks the beginning of Buterin’s fight against meme “pump and dump” coins that were clogging the Ethereum blockchain in the past few days, raising the transaction fees (gas) up to and over USD 200 per transfer.
As a result, some of the sold meme coins tanked up to 60% in the last 24 hours. At 9:00 UTC, SHIB lost – 39% of its value, ELON tanked -61% and AKITA token lost -45% of its value. Most of Buterin’s memecoins were sent to him by the meme project representatives in hopes to promote their projects.
Many in the community seem to praise Buterin for this move, which, according to some, could spell the end for the “memecoin mania.” For instance, a Reddit user u/wallstreetdumbass called it a “500 IQ play,” arguing that it:
- Memecoins are useless ERC-20 tokens and were luring people into ‘pump and dump’ schemes.
- Buterin donated Shibacoins to India, which is the second most populated country in the world, and was surrounded by rumors and efforts of banning cryptocurrency altogether.
- ‘’The purge’ of memecoins will make Ethereum more useable again, as it will lower gas fees once gain.
Bobby Ong, Chief Operations Officer (COO) at popular crypto market data provider CoinGecko, called Vitalik Buterin “an absolute chad.” Sandeep Nailwal, one of the initiators of India’s Crypto COVID Relief Fund, as well as co-founder of Polygon (formerly Matic Network), took to Twitter to thank Vitalik Buterin for his generosity.
One thing we have learnt from Ethereum and @VitalikButerin is importance of community
We will not do anything which hurts any community specially the retail community involved with $SHIB
We will act responsibly!
— Sandeep – Polygon(prev Matic Network) (@sandeepnailwal) May 12, 2021
However, not everyone was praising Buterin.
Lol no. They become crypto haters that like posts by nouriel roubini.
Also I care only slightly that it went to charity vs his pocket.
— i.am.nomad (@IamNomad) May 13, 2021
Also, other memecoin holders were not so enthusiastic about Buterin’s actions that caused their favorite coins to plummet in value. Soon after that, a new coin called “Fuck Vitalik Inu (FUCKVB) emerged on Ethereum blockchain with a maximum supply of 1,000,000,000,000,000 tokens that were all sent to Buterin. (P.S. The sender, “RULTON FYDER,” paid USD 98 in fees for this transaction.)
— ∞ CO฿IE (@CryptoCobain) May 12, 2021
Meanwhile, per Forbes, yesterday, Buterin also moved ETH 325,001 (USD 1.27bn) from his main public address to a separate wallet “generated via gnosis safe, a platform which allows one to manage assets on the Ethereum blockchain and enables multi-sig transactions.” Vice president of digital asset strategy at New York-based Fundstrat Global Advisors, Leeor Shimron, commented that the purpose of the movement is unclear and could be to increase security or merely upgrade the coin setup.