Vitalik Buterin Reveals His Ether (ETH) Holdings, Responds to Roubini's Accusations

Omar Faridi
  • NYU professor and renowned economist Dr. Roubini has accused Vitalik Buterin of engaging in "criminal" acts by premining Ether (ETH).
  • Buterin responded by revealing how much ETH he owns and that it's not illegal to premine digital currencies. 

Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, recently responded to Dr. Nouriel Roubini’s accusation that he was the “ring-leader”, along with other prominent Ethereum founders such as Joseph Lubin, in orchestrating a “criminal” ETH premine “sale/scam that created Ether.”

In response to Roubini’s allegation that Buterin and other Ethereum developers “stole 75%” of the total ETH supply to become “instant” billionaires of “fake wealth”, Buterin clarified via Twitter that he “never personally held more than (approximately) 0.9% of all ETH” in circulation.

The Russian-Canadian programmer added that his net worth “never came close to $1 billion” at any point. He further noted that there are probably “no criminal laws against pre-mining.” When questioned by Twitter user @mechanicalmarkets if he would disclose all his cryptocurrency trading activity, including the pre-sale, Buterin provided an etherscan link which shows that the Ethereum address (that presumably belongs to him) currently holds about 365K ETH.

365,000 ETH, $100,000 In Omise (OMG)

At press time, 365,000 ETH is valued at around $72.8 million. However, Buterin has also reportedly invested approximately $100,000 in OmiseGo (OMG), an open-source payment network and decentralized exchange (DEX) developed on the Ethereum blockchain.

Additionally, Buterin said he has a few other crypto addresses which hold digital tokens whose worth is “quite small relatively speaking” and that the address he has shared accounts for most of his digital currency trading activity.

As CryptoGlobe reported on October 8th, this is not the first time that New York University (NYU) professor and renowned economist Dr. Nouriel Roubini, who is known as “Dr. Doom” for accurately predicting the 2008 global financial crisis, has criticized cryptocurrencies and the people working closely with their ongoing development.

The Harvard economics Phd recently compared cryptos to North Korea, which is now at least the second time that he has pointed to what he thinks are similarities between them. Via Twitter, Roubini alleged that decentralization is a “myth” - which is also something he has repeatedly said, in addition to claiming that decentralized applications (DApps) are ponzi schemes.

Gini Coefficient

According to the former US Treasury senior advisor, “bitcoin wealth” is more centralized than North Korean wealth. In order to support his claim, Roubini said “the Gini inequality coefficient of bitcoin is worse than North Korea.”

Specifically, the Gini inequality ratio (or coefficient) - which is a measure of statistical dispersion of wealth distribution in a particular group or population - is 88% for bitcoin and of around 86% for North Korea, according to Roubini.

A Gini coefficient value of zero represents “perfect” wealth equality whereas a Gini coefficient of 1 (or 100%) indicates extreme and the highest possible level of wealth inequality.