Crypto Royalty: What Is Vitalik Buterin’s Net Worth in 2024?

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Vitalik Buterin is one of the most well-known and revered personalities in the crypto world. As a 19-year-old, he conceptualized Ethereum (ETH), which later became the world’s second-most valuable public blockchain.

Although accumulating wealth has never been his primary motivation behind his crypto ventures, Buterin has become a crypto millionaire due to the success of Ethereum.

So, how did Vitalik Buterin get so rich? In this article, we discuss Vitalik Buterin’s net worth, crypto portfolios, investments, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • Forbes estimated Buterin’s personal fortune at $1.4 billion in 2022.
  • On-chain data showed Buterin held most of his wealth in ETH.
  • According to Camila Russo, Buterin received about 553,000 ETH when Ethereum launched.
  • Onchain data showed Buterin held 278,425 ETH tokens, or 0.22% of ETH’s total supply, as of April 24, 2024.
  • Buterin is a prominent angel investor and has made investments in Kakarot, HackMD, and StarkWare, among others.

Vitalik Buterin’s Early Ventures

Vitalik Buterin is a Russian-Canadian computer programmer. He was born on January 31, 1994, in Kolomna, Russia. His family emigrated to Canada when he was six years old.

In 2011, Buterin began writing for a publication called Bitcoin Weekly, which paid him five BTC per article. When Bitcoin Weekly shut down, Buterin co-founded a new publication called Bitcoin Magazine in 2012 with Mihai Alisie.

In November 2013, Buterin published the Ethereum whitepaper. Later, in 2014, he dropped out of the University of Waterloo after receiving a grant of $100,000 from the Thiel Fellowship to work full-time on Ethereum.

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Ethereum launched its main net in 2015.

Breakthrough With Ethereum & Its Impact on Vitalik Buterin’s Wealth

Before Ethereum, the cryptocurrency world was all about Bitcoin (BTC). Alternative cryptocurrencies that existed during the time – Litecoin (LTC) and Dogecoin (DOGE) – were inspired by Bitcoin and were designed to facilitate peer-to-peer (P2P) payments.

Ethereum introduced a novel blockchain protocol for hosting decentralized applications (DApps). These DApps allowed blockchains to be used beyond P2P payments and powered financial applications for trading, lending, saving, gaming, and much more.

Interestingly, Ethereum also allowed DApps to easily issue their own tokens. This feature ultimately led to the initial coin offering (ICO) boom in 2017 that gave birth to numerous crypto tokens including Aave (AAVE) and Basic Attention Token (BAT).

Ethereum has dominated the smart contract platform sector and has established itself as the second most valuable cryptocurrency in the world, with a market capitalization of $387.39 billion as of April 24, 2023.

According to CoinMarketCap, ETH price has increased by over 111,800% since its inception, which has contributed immensely to Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin’s wealth.

So, how rich is Vitalik Buterin today?

Ethereum (ETH) Historical Performance. Source: CoinMarketCap

What Is Vitalik Buterin’s Net Worth?

There are varying records on Vitalik Buterin’s net worth.

In this article, we sourced on-chain information from blockchain analytics firms Arkham Intelligence and Nansen to learn how rich Vitalik Buterin is. We have also quoted information from Forbes.

How much money does Vitalik Buterin have? According to Nansen, Buterin’s net worth exceeded over $900 million as of April 2024.

Meanwhile, Arkham Intelligence estimated Vitalik Buterin’s net worth to be much lower at about $782 million.

Vitalik Buterin's Portfolio Value.
Vitalik Buterin’s Portfolio Value. Source: Arkham Intelligence

However, the two firms only considered Buterin’s known crypto holdings. It is challenging to accurately determine Buterin’s total net worth when his non-crypto assets and undisclosed crypto remain unknown.

Forbes estimated Buterin’s personal fortune to be $1.4 billion in 2022, which made him the youngest known crypto billionaire at the time at 27 years old. Forbes doesn’t reveal Vitalik Buterin’s net worth as of April 2024.

What Does Vitalik Buterin Own?

According to Nansen, ETH made up a large chunk of Buterin’s crypto holdings.

Onchain data showed that crypto wallets identified to be owned by Buterin held 278,425 ETH tokens (0.22% of ETH’s total supply) worth $887.52 million as of April 24, 2024.

Other than ETH, Buterin held USDC stablecoins worth $21.75 million and wrapped ETH tokens worth over $818,812.

The rest of Vitalik Buterin’s money in crypto was held in legacy Kyber Network tokens (KNCL), ENS, UNI, and several others.

Value of Vitalik Buterin's Token Portfolio
Value of Vitalik Buterin’s Token Portfolio. Source: Nansen

How Did Vitalik Buterin Make His Money?

How did Vitalik Buterin get rich? Well, the answer is pretty straightforward. He created the world’s second-most valuable public blockchain in the world – Ethereum.

In 2014, the Ethereum Foundation conducted a 42-day ETH crowdsale that offered ETH at a price range of 2,000 ETH per 1 BTC and 1,337 ETH per 1 BTC.

The Ethereum Foundation created two endowment pools, each credited with 0.099x the initial quantity of ETH sold. One of the pools was used to distribute ETH to early contributors, while the other was allocated to the Ethereum Foundation.

60 million ETH tokens were sold in the initial ETH token sale. Thus, 5.94 million ETH tokens (0.099 x 60 million) were distributed to early contributors.

According to Camila Russo, author of “The Infinite Machine,” Buterin received the biggest share of the contributors’ endowment at about 553,000 ETH.

It is not known how much Vitalik Buterin makes in a year.

Vitalik Buterin’s Companies

In this section, we talk about Vitalik Buterin’s investments beyond his crypto holdings.

However, it is challenging to determine Buterin’s non-crypto investments as he is not obligated to disclose them.

According to Arkham Intelligence, Buterin participated in the seed round investment of an Ethereum scaling solution company called StarkWare, which reached a valuation of $8 billion in 2022.

In February 2024, StarkWare launched a token called STRK, which now boasts a market cap of $952 million at the time of writing.

According to PitchBook, Buterin is a prominent angel investor in the crypto sector. He has investments in eight companies – Nocturne Labs, Orchid, Kakarot, Aztec Labs, HackMD, Swift Solar, ChainSafe, and StarkWare.

Philanthropy & Spending

In 2020, Buterin received 50% of Shiba Inu’s (SHIB) total supply upon the token’s launch. Buterin went on to burn 90% of the SHIB tokens he received and donated the rest to a community-run COVID-19 relief fund in India called Crypto Relief India.

In 2023, Buterin donated an extra $10 million to Crypto Relief India.

In 2022, Buterin donated $9.4 million to the University of Maryland to fund research into germicidal ultraviolet light switches to be used to eliminate highly contagious pathogens from the air, more quickly and effectively than ventilation and filtration.

The Bottom Line

It is no surprise that Vitalik Buterin is a crypto millionaire or even a billionaire. Over the past decade, he has had a profound impact on the crypto industry.

As the reach of Buterin’s creation, Ethereum, goes beyond the crypto space and into the world of traditional finance, we can expect to see Buterin’s net worth skyrocket even further.

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Mensholong Lepcha
Crypto & Blockchain Writer
Mensholong Lepcha
Crypto & Blockchain Writer

Mensholong is an experienced crypto and blockchain journalist, now a full-time writer at Techopedia. He has previously contributed news coverage and in-depth market analysis to Capital.com, StockTwits, XBO, and other publications. He started his writing career at Reuters in 2017, covering global equity markets. In his free time, Mensholong loves watching football, finding new music, and buying BTC and ETH for his crypto portfolio.