On March 7, onchain observers noticed that Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, had allegedly sold billions and trillions of airdropped ERC20 tokens, resulting in a gain of an estimated $700,000 in value. The market liquidity of the airdropped tokens was shallow, and the relatively unknown ERC20 tokens plummeted in value after Buterin reportedly sold the funds.
Crypto Speculators Question Motives Behind Vitalik Buterin’s Airdropped Token Sell-Off
According to a record of token transfers associated with an address labeled “VB,” Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, appears to have sold a significant amount of ERC20 tokens that were airdropped to his address. Blockchain explorer statistics show that the address associated with Buterin sold billions of cult dao (CULT) tokens, billions of MOP, billions of kiboshib (KIBSHI), trillions of dingo (DINGO), and trillions of shikoku (SHIK) tokens. An onchain visual from Arkham Intelligence also shows that other unknown, low-liquidity coins from chains like the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) were also sold.
Onchain observers noted that the address associated with Buterin was selling tokens with low liquidity and small market capitalizations during the course of the day.
The blockchain security and data analytics company Peckshield also reported on the sold tokens originating from the wallet associated with Buterin. Peckshield noted that the price of shikoku (SHIK) dropped 95.8% against the U.S. dollar. Some token supporters complained that Buterin willingly caused the price of these coins to drop, while others argued that it was Buterin’s funds, and he could do whatever he wanted with them.
“Not sure what you guys expected, his wallet, his money, LOL,”one individual said.
Some speculated that Buterin may have sold the airdropped tokens for tax compliance purposes. “Seems like a strange move, he is more than aware this would tank prices and drain liquidity,” one Twitter user said. “My assumption is that his accountant warned him these tokens would count as income on his tax sheet. Selling to cover the expense.”
Others criticized Buterin’s decision, suggesting that the coins could have been sent to a burn address to destroy them instead. In May 2021, Buterin donated $1 billion worth of shiba inu (SHIB) tokens to India’s Crypto Covid Relief Fund charity after being gifted the tokens during the token’s launch.
Coincidentally, following Buterin’s sale of low-liquidity ERC20 tokens, the Balvi Filantropic Fund, co-founded by Ethereum’s creator, donated $15 million in USD Coin (USDC) to the University of California San Diego. The donated funds will be used to research and study airborne pathogens. Kimberly Prather, a UC San Diego atmospheric chemist and professor, expressed gratitude to Buterin and the Balvi Fund for their donation in stablecoins.