Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin is reportedly worth more than $400 million, but he’s nonchalant about his vast wealth. The 24-year-old, says today’s bitcoin millionaires became rich mostly through luck, although most won’t admit it.
The Difference Between Intelligence and Luck
Cryptocurrency bulls like to think they’re smarter than “the masses” for buying crypto before it became trendy, but Buterin says no one could have foreseen the bitcoin bubble and ensuing riches it bestowed on early adopters.
“It’s the luck of the draw, where everyone who won the draw seems to feel like they deserved it for being smarter,” Buterin told the Financial Times April 19, 2018. “[They think] ‘I was loyal and I was virtuous, and I held through, and therefore I deserve to have my five mansions and 23 Lambos!’”
This sentiment is not the first time that Buterin has mocked the “When Lambo?” trend popular among new crypto millionaires. He finds the obsession with cryptocurrency prices and get-rich-quick schemes unseemly. In fact, Vitalik is aloof regarding the daily price swings of bitcoin and ether, Ethereum’s native currency.
When Buterin’s net worth started ballooning into the millions, his first thought wasn’t, “Yay, I get more stuff!” he recalled. “It’s more certainty that I won’t have to worry about money for a long time.”
Buterin: We’re Sort Of In A Bubble
While skeptics dismiss bitcoin as a bubble that’s bursting, even crypto evangelists like Buterin concede that we are in a bubble-like environment.
“We’ve created a culture where some totally random project raising something like $8 million is like, ‘Oh, yeah that’s peanuts,’” he says. “[That’s how you know] you know you’re in a bubble!”
However, Buterin remains confident about the future of the cryptocurrency industry and especially about Ethereum, his $125 billion open-source, blockchain-based platform.
He’s also pleased about the growing chorus of mainstream investments pouring into blockchain, which even crypto skeptics say could be a game-changer for finance, supply-chain management, healthcare, and the entertainment industry.
Institutional money from the Rockefeller family has already begun trickling into blockchain startups. Moreover, market observers say it’s only a matter of time before multi-billion-dollar pension funds and university endowments start investing in crypto, as BTCManager has reported.
I Want to ‘Positively Impact’ People’s Lives
While many young investors dream of the fame and fortune Buterin now enjoys, he says being famous is a hassle. “Last year it got to the point where [the fame] got more annoying than good,” he said.
What appeals more to Buterin is enjoying his life, being authentic, and helping others. That’s why he spreads the wealth by donating to charity.
In early-April 2018, Buterin donated $1 million in cryptocurrencies to an East Africa non-profit group that helps refugees and indigent people living in Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda, as BTCManager also reported.
In February 2018, Buterin made a $2.4 million donation in ether to the SENS Research Foundation, a Silicon Valley nonprofit that researches age-related diseases.
At the time, Vitalik reaffirmed that his goal isn’t to become rich but to make a positive impact on the world. “[SENS’] focus on creating solutions to the diseases of aging — one of the greatest problems facing humanity — is very much in line with my goal to positively impact the lives of millions of people around the world,” he said.
When asked what he would do if he had eternal life, Buterin quipped: “The most important thing is to enjoy it.”