Vitalik Buterin Cashed Out of ETH During the 2017 Cryptocurrency Bubble

vitalik buterin, ether
Vitalik Buterin cashed out a lot of ether during the crypto craze of 2017, but he's been quite charitable with it. | Source: Steve Jennings/Getty Images

Ethereum mastermind Vitalik Buterin, who holds 350,000 ETH in his main wallet address, allegedly cashed out $40 million worth of ETH between June 2017 and February 2018. The findings came to light by Alex Sunnarborg, a founding partner of the crypto hedge fund Tetra Capital, who dug into Vitalik’s historical account data.

The Breakdown of Vitalik’s ETH Movements

According to Etherscan, Buterin has converted 544,998 ETH to fiat currencies since 2015. This amount equals to almost $49 million, $40 million of which he moved during the period mentioned above.

5/ Vitalik likely cashed out ~ $40,000,000 worth of ETH between June 2017 – February 2018: pic.twitter.com/8RoMKU63ha

— Alex Sunnarborg (@alexsunnarborg) March 19, 2019

While today the balance of Vitalik’s main address is worth $50 million, its net worth reached $500 million when Ethereum exceeded $1,300 in December 2017.

4/ His net worth from this ETH balance alone exceeded $500,000,000 at the...


How Blockchain Can Democratize Artificial Intelligence Development

Data Access for AI: An Under-Explored Use for Blockchain

There is a vast amount of computing power around the world that is not used efficiently. There are an estimated 4 billion personal computers in the world and 90% of them have free capacities at any given moment. This is to say nothing of the idle capacities of other personal devices, like smartphones and tablets. In effect, this excess computing power is wasted.

Lots of startups are trying to use blockchain technology to take advantage of this inefficiency to meet different economic needs. The blockchain is exciting in this context because it provides an infrastructure for distributed computing power, while at the same time providing an incentive for individuals to link their idle devices to the network.

Many of the startups I’ve come across are focused on providing web hosting and/or data storage solutions via blockchain. However, the use case I think is the most exciting involves artificial intelligence or “AI”.

Democratizing AI

The idea of applying the blockchain to artificial intelligence is attracting a lot of attention. Similar to the goal of distributed data storage and web hosting, some experts argue the blockchain could encourage a broader distribution of the data and algorithms that will determine the future development of artificial intelligence.

However, many artificial intelligence experts are concerned that IBM, Facebook, Google and a few other big companies are monopolizing all the talent in the field. These giant corporations also control the massive silos of digital data necessary to create and refine the best machine learning programs. Many argue there is a need to democratize data if A.I. is to develop in a direction to benefit all of humanity.

This is where blockchain technology comes in.

At the most basic level, just as the blockchain allows...


Huobi Prime offers digital currency investors a new way to Trade

Huobi, cryptocurrency
Huobi Prime is the latest offering to cryptocurrency traders by digital exchange Huobi Global. | Source: Shutterstock

Tuesday, March 26 will see customers of the cryptocurrency exchange Huobi experience a whole new way of getting their fingers around cryptocurrencies. Known as Huobi Prime, the system is a coin-launch platform that ensures all currencies purchased by Huobi users are immediately deposited into their accounts and tradable against the Huobi Token (HT) with minimal delays, according to a company press release.

Huobi, cryptocurrency
Currencies offered through Huobi Prime can be traded against the Huobi Token, the platform’s official cryptocurrency. | Source: Shutterstock

Customers will also have access to coins at below-market prices, as well as new projects and currencies not yet listed on major exchanges. Huobi’s executive team works with the project leaders of every coin or token listed, forming close partnerships and determining fair market values for users. Executives have also implemented tiered price limits to relieve customers of extreme volatility.

Speaking with CCN, Ross Zhang – head of marketing for Huobi Group – explains what inspired the new platform’s creation:

Low-quality coins and lack of access to ones with real potential are a perennial problem in the crypto space. While that is nothing new, I do think it’s taken on new importance in the ongoing bear market we find...


Ethereum Governance is Currently Underrated says Vitalik Buterin

When it comes to funding development of Ethereum, Buterin stands behind his push to allow wallet developers to charge a 1 gwei fee per transaction made through their software.

In the most recent episode of Into the Ether, Vitalik Buterin appears to discuss all things Ethereum. One of the subjects that came up was the Ethereum governance model. Eric Conner asked Buterin about on-chain governance models, and his thoughts on how Ethereum’s governance stacks up against them.

Current Governance Model Underrated: Vitalik Buterin

Buterin says that the current Ethereum governance model works pretty well, considering the problems it has guided the protocol through.

I actually think that Ethereum governance is under-rated at this point. Because it’s not something that we can attach a cool name to and advertise. And honestly, moderation is a less exciting pitch for people than either on-chain votes, maximum coin holder engagement, or on the other hand immutability. We as a community have never tended to go for extremes. But in reality, on the one hand people complain about governance as a process. But on the other hand, in terms of concrete outcomes that Ethereum governance has achieved, it’s done really well.

It’s implemented the issuance reductions. The issuance reductions seem to be something that most people tend to agree with. […] When there was a crisis back in the year 2016 DOS attacks, it managed to implement, roll, stack out, test and roll out a hard fork all within a time span of 6 days. That’s not something we want to repeat but it’s clearly something we can do if we really wanted to.

When there was a Constantinople bug, it managed to delay the fork within a few hours. It is achieving the things that you might reasonably want a governance of a protocol to achieve, which is to make changes people want and not make changes people want. The one thing that it’s not achieving is dispute resolution or...


Insights from the "future of crypto trading" meetup with FRST in Chicago

What do you get when you add a bitter cold and windy city, over 50 cryptocurrency enthusiasts, and three informative presentations? The Chicago Ethereum Meetup of course!

As you may have read, we made a short presentation to the group about our smart order router and algorithms we’re developing. We talked to founders of a handful of digital asset traders and we’re humbled by the feedback we received about our technology.

If you weren’t lucky enough to be at the meetup, don’t despair, I’ve embedded a video of my presentation below. Take a look at let us know what you think!

FRST’s presentation was mind-opening, it’s unreal to see how much information is available at the wallet and transaction level and how it can be used to trade cryptocurrencies more intelligently. You can read more about FRST here

The final presentation was by Andrew Gordon, an accountant specializing in cryptocurrency tax law. Tax time for crypto traders can be a nightmare, but he shared some great information about how to streamline and simplify the process. You can learn more about him here.

If there was one main takeaway from the meetup it’s that there are so many areas of the digital assets ecosystem that are currently unexplored. It’s said that 99% of the ocean floor is currently unexplored and I believe we are currently in the same place with blockchain and digital assets.


LGO Markets, the New Industry Standard for a Safe, Secure & Transparent Digital Asset Exchange

LGO Group CEO Hugo Renaudin

LGO Group announced Monday the launch of LGO Markets, a digital asset trading platform dedicated to institutional clients. Trading on LGO will start on March 11th, 2019.

Institutional investors have been waiting for a reliable and suitable infrastructure to enter the cryptocurrency market. With this in mind, LGO Markets has been specifically designed to remove the main hurdles faced by institutions: risk and lack of transparency.

FOLLOW LGO on FacebookLinkedInTwitter  | Medium

The company is committed to providing a highly secure and trustworthy environment for its clients. Data and volume manipulation are prevented through the use of blockchain technology. Trading on LGO Markets also means no counterparty risk as clients hold their funds (non-custodial). LGO Markets aims to be fully compliant with regulations and is currently applying for a BitLicense and a FINRA broker-dealer license.

LGO Markets’ platform will initially offer a physically settled Bitcoin to USD spot market. Hugo Renaudin, CEO of LGO Markets added: “This could be considered as the simplest financial product, yet it does not exist in the cryptocurrency market. By bridging the processes of traditional financial exchanges and the benefits of blockchain transparency, LGO is built to be the reference venue for institutional digital asset trading .”

As for now, more than ten institutional clients have already joined the platform. They are mainly OTC trading desks, hedge funds, crypto businesses, and market makers.

The company is aspiring to bring innovative solutions to the financial markets, where all representations of value can be exchanged seamlessly, transparently and with less risk thanks to the blockchain technology. Frédéric Montagnon, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of LGO Markets, added: “This launch is only our first step towards achieving our long term mission. We see an opportunity to accompany the whole financial industry to transition to blockchain and distributed ledger technology. By rolling out our offer on the Bitcoin market, we position ourselves to become the leading exchange for blockchain-based assets - whether cryptocurrencies or tokenized traditional financial contracts .”


Why Every Portfolio On The Planet Should Be Holding Bitcoin

Editor’s Note: Art Jonak is an investment analyst with both a wide and deep synthesis approach to research data. His commentary threads on titans like Netflix, Amazon and Facebook are a minor legend for their insight, detail and clarity. He also navigates venture funding, and emerging sector data, in a narrative, often with striking visualization, that reveals trends in their formation long before they are visible. It should not need to be said for investment disclosure that Art is holding crypto assets himself. He is obviously making a case of why everyone should.

Here is Art’s 2019 message thread for investing in Bitcoin, in particular. In our eyes, it slams the case for why every single portfolio on the planet should be holding Bitcoin, and treated as a portfolio asset class.

Here's one case for why some should consider adding Bitcoin to their investment portfolio:

* Bitcoin is a non-correlated asset — This is the holy grail of any portfolio. Bitcoin’s current 180 day correlation to the S&P 500 is 0 and the correlation to the dollar index is near zero as well. Investing in non-correlated assets should reduce the risk and increase the returns of a portfolio according to modern portfolio theory.

* Bitcoin has an asymmetric return profile — There is much more upside than downside in owning the asset. The downside (loss of capital) is capped at the total amount of capital invested, yet the upside is ~100X+ (if Bitcoin only becomes gold equivalent).

The modern portfolio theory argument for investing in Bitcoin is quite strong. But how has theory played out in practice?

Bitcoin has been the best performing asset over the last 10 years. It has experienced a 1,300,000X+ increase in value from $0.003 to ~$4,000 today. It has beat the S&P 500 for the last 10 years, the last 5 years, and the last 2 years. As a fixed supply asset, I believe Bitcoin will continue to outperform traditional assets in the future as demand continues to increase too.

Although I believe in Bitcoin’s future outlook, most people should not put significant funds at risk in this investment opportunity. It is risky and speculative. They could lose 100% of the money that they invest. For that reason, each person needs to evaluate their current situation, their goals, and the amount of capital they would be willing to lose.

If the thesis plays out how many smart people anticipate though, an investment of 100 basis points or less would materially change the performance of your portfolio fund, which ultimately changes the quality of life you will live when you retire. Most institutions have permanent, long-term capital which allows them to stomach more volatility than most investors.

For example, an investment of 1% of assets at $4,000 BTC price would yield a 25% increase in your portfolio total assets if Bitcoin reached $100,000. If you decided to invest 0.1% of assets, the same price appreciation would increase total assets by 2.5%.
However, the exciting part is that many people believe Bitcoin will not only reach $100,000 one day, but rather be worth $1,000,000+. If that comes to fruition, a 0.1% investment today could lead to the same 25% increase in total assets for your portfolio. These types of trade-offs are the definition of an asymmetric return profile.

And still, most people's portfolios have 0% exposure to Bitcoin and crypto. Something to consider as we head into 2019.


MainBloq to present with FRST at Chicago Ethereum Meetup today

Join FRST + MainBloq 6pm tonight at WeWorks in Chicago. MeetUp info HERE

Blockchain technology is complex, dynamic, and ever-evolving, which is why we’re thrilled to be presenting at the Chicago Ethereum Meetup about blockchain analytics alongside our partner FRST enterprise-grade trading tools for digital assets.

The FRST team members Karl Muth, Patrick Gorrell and Jonas Frost will be presenting about the personification of wallets and how their platform allows research into the history, trading strategies, holdings, and relationships of wallets and have that data can be applied to public blockchain transactions. We think FRST’s data is impressive and we’re excited to be presenting with them.

I will be presenting the first ever public look at our Smart Order Router — a piece of technology that we believe will revolutionize the trading of digital assets. We allow traders to access deeper pools of liquidity faster than anyone else through our direct, streaming connections to dozens of exchanges. I’ll also be talking about our development of trading algorithms—TWAP, VWAP, IWAP, Iceberg, et cetera.

At Mainbloq we’re all about making cryptocurrency trading smarter. These are just some of our first steps. Going to be in Chicago? Come to the Ethereum Meetup and say hello! See details below.


Samsung Galaxy S10 includes storage for digital currency private keys

Samsung’s latest flagship phone will include a dedicated secure storage function designed for cryptocurrency private keys.

CoinDesk - Samsung Confirms Galaxy S10 Will Include Private Crypto Key Storage
CryptoNews - The Mystery of Samsung's Galaxy S10 Private Key Storage Remains
Forbes - Samsung Confirms Galaxy Fold And S10 Security Surprises

The news that Samsung added a private key storage to its new Galaxy S10 smartphone shook the crypto world, as many have taken it as a sign of endorsement from the South Korean tech giant. However, as details are scarce, many are wondering what “hardware storage” the company announced and why it wasn’t mentioned during keynote presentations.

 New Samsung Galaxy S10 Includes Baked-In Storage for Private Keys
New Samsung Galaxy S10 Includes Baked-In Storage for Private Keys

Samsung announced in February that their newest phone, the Galaxy S10, will include secure storage for its users’ cryptocurrency private keys.

The company made a press release detailing the phone’s many features, notably including Samsung’s proprietary defense platform, Samsung Knox, which will feature secure private key storage that it claims is specifically “for blockchain-enabled mobile services.”

Baked-in support for cryptocurrencies in smartphone platforms is not completely unique to the space, although this initiative by Samsung represents a major step for the technology’s integration into mainstream products. As it stands, there are currently two smartphones that support crypto assets: HTC’s Exodus 1 and Sirin Labs’ Finney.

These two phones have seen much more limited adoption than any product Samsung could release for several reasons....


Reddit Founder Alexis Ohanian says "Bitcoin winter is great for crypto industry"

Cryptocurrency investors “should have been thinking long term,” says Reddit cofounder and Coinbase backer Alexis Ohanian.

Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit and known crypto bull, claimed that the crypto hype is gone, leaving space for true crypto believers. Ohanian spoke on the subject in an interview with YahooFinance released on Feb. 22.

Alexis Ohanian Sr. (u/kn0thing) - Redditt
Alexis Ohanian Sr. - alexisohanian.com

alexis ohanian reddit bitcoin crypto coinbase
Reddit co-founder and Coinbase investor Alexis Ohanian said that Crypto Winter is actually good for bitcoin. | Source: AP Photo / Jeff Chiu, File

Bitcoin investors should not be discouraged by the brutal Crypto Winter because the mass purge is actually good for the long-term health of the industry. That’s the observation of Coinbase investor Alexis Ohanian, better known as the founder of social media network Reddit.

‘This Is the Spring of Crypto Innovation’

Ohanian — the husband of American tennis star Serena Williams — admits that bitcoin is experiencing a prolonged market slump.

However, despite the Crypto Winter, he says now is actually the “spring of crypto innovation.” Why? Because the people that remain in the industry after the market crash are die-hard enthusiasts, not flaky, fair-weather speculators.

“This is the Crypto Winter, no doubt,” Ohanian told Yahoo. “But a friend of mine, Brian Armstrong — who’s the CEO of Coinbase — said, ‘This is the spring of crypto innovation.'”

“What he means is, ‘Yes, the prices are depressed. The speculators have fled, and that’s great.’ Because the people who are now building on crypto are true believers. They’re actually building the infrastructure that it’s going to take to really make this happen.”

Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian: Bitcoin bear market is good for the crypto industry.
Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian: Bitcoin bear market is good for the crypto industry. (Yahoo)

Market Attrition Reveals the True Believers

While naysayers point to the market slump as evidence that bitcoin is dead, Ohanian says nothing could be further from the truth.”

“Some of the smartest people I know in tech are still working on solving these problems. They’re building companies that are built on blockchain.”

“The hype is...