Vitalik Buterin, ethereum’s co-founder, has sold at the top in almost all cases since 2016, with price drastically falling every time around the same period he sold.
He crashed the price in March 2016, May 2017, June to July 2017, January 2018, and donated crumbs at the very bottom of November-December 2018.
The above address began with 500,000 eth. Some 14,000 of it was sold at the very peak of the first “big” bull run on June 14th 2017.
Then another ◊20,000 was gradually sold until July 2017, making this a combined circa $12 million worth of eth at the time.
That big red candle there raises the question of whether he market sold, with that huge flash crash just seven days later.
It could also be the case that others saw he moved his eth, and so sold, but the local bottom above coincides almost precisely with Buterin no longer selling eth.
So price recovers, and then goes on to moon, with Buterin selling another 30,000 eth on December 13th 2017 at the price of around $700, worth $21 million.
This makes headlines so Buterin moves another 10,000 eth, at the time worth circa $13 million, and this is basically right at the top on or around January 14th 2018, pretty much the precise date price crashed.
At this point he knows people are watching, so unlike previously when he just sent it straight to Bitstamp, we now have VB2 and Maker DAI and Oasis and basically obfuscation.
As price keeps falling throughout the year and people start complaining, we have donations at the very, very bottom of eth prices.
November -December 2018 might look like yesterday to some of you, but it was around 360 days ago.
That’s when eth reached $80 or so, with Buterin throwing some crumbs to Lighthouse of just $80,000 worth at the time or so, furnished with a Twitter “announcement” of him throwing pennies to a few projects.
He did make some other donations that apparently amount to $8 million or so, but we can’t easily see them on the blockchain so they were perhaps in fiat.
The above address, VB2, has some $1 million worth of tokens at current prices. Around half a million dollars being in MKR and another half a million in Augur’s REP.
According to etherscan “loan” data, Buterin borrowed through DAI, now known as SAI, and repaid, but fairly small amounts compared to the above:
He even got about 0.1 eth or so of Fomo3d, with Buterin clearly keeping an eye on developments and more importantly, keeping a close eye on the price.
Specifically, he sold 50,000 eth on the 13th of March 2016. “Basically at the top.” At the then price of $14, with that being his first pay off of $700,000.
Then he sells another ◊50,000 on the 2nd of August 2016 when price was around $10, with this worth half a million dollars.
This would have been around the DAO fork so his balance increases by ◊60,000 somehow, for him to then sell ◊80,000 on September 2nd 2016 at $12, worth about $1 million.
Another mini price crash then follows as Buterin sells 20,000 eth on the 4th of May 2017 at around $100 each, making it $2 million.
So in total this is about $50 million, with Buterin still having 350,000 eth in his main address and a few thousands more in addressees scattered around.
The sum itself is obviously interesting, but far more interesting is this considerable price fall every time he sells.
That suggests either he is taking no care to sell in a way that limits slippage, through for example block-trading, or it suggests people assume he knows something they don’t, and thus they front-run him or join him at the same time.
This seemingly cunning ability to know the top does raise considerable questions, although of course it could have been a coincidence or it could have been caused by him or perhaps his nativity in not considering how others might react to his blockchain movements.
Yet for someone who ostensibly doesn’t care much about the price, it does look according to blockchain data that he has shown much interest and influence in the price of ethereum for the past now circa four years.