‘It Was Scary And Fun’: Ethereum’s Vitalik On How He Dumped Nearly $7 Billion Worth Of Shiba Inu Tokens

‘It Was Scary And Fun’: Ethereum’s Vitalik Recounts How He Dumped Nearly $7 Billion Worth Of Shiba Inu Tokens

If you thought dumping billions worth of unsolicited tokens that arrive in your wallet was easy, you’re wrong. Just ask Ethereum co-founder and developer Vitalik Buterin, who had to get rid of Shiba Inu (SHIB) tokens worth almost $7 billion.

The Breakdown Of Vitalik Buterin’s SHIB Movements 

Speaking to Cobie and Ledger on a Thursday podcast, Ethereum’s Buterin discussed myriad topics, including how he was able to dispose of SHIB tokens worth approximately $6.7 billion without a second thought.

In May of 2021, creators of the popular Dogecoin copycat, Shiba Inu, gifted Buterin 50% of the total supply. At the time of the transaction, Buterin held a total of 504 trillion SHIB, equivalent to $8 billion back then when the news reached the press.

The SHIB developers sent the massive chunk of their coin supply to Vitalik so as to attract publicity and boost prices by effectively burning tokens. He, however, had not agreed to receive the funds or participate in the grand plan.

After holding onto his Shiba Inu trove for a while, the Ethereum creator sent SHIB and other unsolicited crypto assets he had received to multiple charities across the globe. For instance, he donated 50 trillion SHIB (worth around $1.1 billion at the time) to the India COVID Relief Fund.


Buterin then burned 410 trillion Shiba Inu tokens (which represented 90% of the SHIB holdings in his wallet) by sending them to an inactive address, thus taking them out of circulation. In a statement embedded into one of the transactions at the time, he asked people not to donate any more coins to him because he didn’t want to be a “locus of power of that kind”.

What’s even more interesting about this is the unbelievable intricacies of dumping those SHIB tokens.

Why The Process Of Disposing Of SHIB Tokens Was Complex

Buterin detailed to Cobbie and Ledger how difficult it was for him to get access to the SHIB tokens and to also send them out. He described the entire process as “scary and fun at the same time”. For starters, the crypto wunderkind had to purchase a new laptop for around $300 at Target solely for this purpose.

According to Vitalik, the SHIB trove was in a cold wallet — which is a crypto wallet that doesn’t connect to the internet unless manually plugged into a computer — whose private key was in the form of two numbers written on different sheets of paper. One of the papers was in the possession of Buterin, while the other one was with his family back in Canada. He, therefore, had to call his family and have them read the number to him.

After entering the numbers into his newly-acquired laptop, Buterin went ahead to download a program that would help him generate QR codes. He then generated the Ether transaction and scanned the QR code using his phone, before copying it to the laptop. Buterin eventually put it into etherscan.io and was afterward able to send out the tokens.

For Buterin, the whole procedure was scary and would “make a good plot for a James Bond movie”.  Or maybe not.