Vitalik Buterin's Net Worth (Updated)

January 8, 2024



Research Team

Table of contents


    Vitalik Buterin’s net worth is estimated to be at least $552.86 million.

    This article will investigate Vitalik Buterin's net worth & examine how it has fluctuated over time. It will look into the Ethereum Cofounder’s known crypto holdings and compare them to those of other top ETH holders, as well as the other Ethereum Cofounders. Additionally, it will look through Buterin’s other potential sources of wealth & provide context as to how large these might be.


    • Vitalik Buterin’s net worth is estimated to be at least $552.86 million as of January 2024.
    • Most of Buterin’s known crypto net worth is in the ETH token, meaning it is highly dependent on ETH’s fluctuating price.
    • Buterin’s non-ETH holdings include his investments in various crypto companies including StarkNet, as well as a handful of other tokens like KNC & WETH.
    • Buterin’s estimated net worth ranks relatively highly compared to the other Ethereum Co-founders & other early ETH holders.


    Vitalik Buterin is renowned for being the co-founder of Ethereum - from which he generated the majority of his known wealth. He started working in crypto in 2011 at age 17, founding Bitcoin Magazine with Mihai Alisie (who later became one of Ethereum’s co-founders). Alongside Bitcoin Magazine, Buterin and Alisie worked on Egora, a decentralized eBay for Bitcoin. He is reported to have grown dissatisfied with the limitations of Bitcoin, such as the limited scripting language, which constrained Bitcoin’s ability to run more complex smart contracts & decentralized applications. Buterin subsequently released the Ethereum Whitepaper in November 2013 (age 19) - proposing Ethereum as the antidote to Bitcoin’s limitations.

    Buterin met his Cofounders in the months following the whitepaper’s publication. He was first joined by Anthony Di Iorio, Charles Hoskinson, Mihai Alisie and Amir Chetrit. They were later joined by Joseph Lubin, Gavin Wood and Jeffrey Wilcke, with whom they set up the Ethereum Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the development of the Ethereum network. In June 2014, Buterin received a $100,000 grant from the Thiel Foundation, allowing him to drop out of the University of Waterloo where he was studying Computer Science and focus all of his attention on Ethereum.

    In Summer 2014, Ethereum held its pre-sale in which participants paid BTC to acquire ETH. ETH's initial supply at the time was over 72 million tokens, with 16.53% allocated to the founders. The ETH founder allocation would go on to comprise a large portion of Buterin’s net worth. 

    Ethereum then officially launched on the 30th July 2015 - Buterin remains the only founder still working on the network, as the others have left for other projects. He has overseen the network’s evolution overtime, including the transition from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) in 2022.

    The majority of Buterin’s known crypto holdings come from the ETH allocation he received during Ethreum’s launch, which temporarily gave him billionaire status when ETH price crossed the $3,000 mark in 2021. Furthermore, Buterin has invested in a number of crypto companies such as StarkNet, which also contribute to his overall wealth.

    Buterin was born on the 31st January 1994 in Kolomna, Russia. His family moved to Canada when he was 6 & he later graduated from the Abelard School in Toronto - a private high school. Buterin was gifted from a young age. There are unfounded and undoubtedly false online claims that he has an IQ of 257. While this would be almost impossible by any reasonable IQ test’s measurement process, there’s no doubt he’s exceptionally gifted & has a high IQ, which has helped him achieve his extraordinary wealth.


    Vitalik Buterin has an estimated, known net worth of approximately $552.86M. His actual net worth is likely to be higher than this, as it would comprise his known crypto holdings, any unknown crypto holdings he has, as well as his non-crypto holdings, such as his equity stakes in a number of investments he’s made.

    In this section, we’ll examine his crypto holdings, including ETH and non-ETH holdings, as well as any non-crypto holdings he might have.


    At present, Vitalik Buterin’s known crypto holdings amount to $552.86M. Most of this comes from his ETH holdings, which amount to approximately 246,730 tokens. Buterin’s crypto holdings can be estimated by looking at his known Ethereum wallet addresses. While this doesn’t rule out the existence of any undisclosed wallets, given the size of Buterin’s holdings in his known wallets, it likely comprises most of his net worth. 

    We can see these holdings on Arkham under Buterin’s profile page, as well as how they’ve changed over time:



    According to a Tweet in 2018, Buterin claimed that he had never held more than approximately 0.9% of ETH’s total supply. 

    To verify Buterin’s claim, we can check what portion of the total ETH supply is in his known wallets from 2015 till now by checking the amount of ETH that he has held over the years through the portfolio archive section on his Arkham profile.


    With this information, we can then estimate how much of his holdings represent a percentage of the total ETH supply in each year. The result is shown in the following table whereby his holdings on the 31st December of each year are used as a benchmark for his ETH holdings in the corresponding year. His holdings on the 8th December 2023 are also included to represent his most recent known ETH holdings.

    We can see that Buterin’s claim seems to hold true. His known ETH holdings have never significantly exceeded 0.9%, with 2015 being the moment at which he had his highest ownership of ETH’s total supply at 0.91%. In fact, his ETH holdings have been decreasing every year, both due to apparent sales of tokens and increases in the total supply of ETH, which has increased each year due to the network’s inflationary design.


    To assess the significance of Buterin’s ETH holdings, we will compare it with the holdings of the other top ETH holders. Entities that hold the highest number of ETH tokens can easily be identified by checking the top holder section on Ethereum’s Arkham profile.



    The following table shows the top 20 ETH holders by entity at the time of writing:

    The ETH2 Deposit Smart Contract secures the top spot by holding 34,259,215.29 tokens as the contract holds a large number of ETH tokens because validators, who validate data in the Ethereum network must deposit their ETH tokens in the contract to take part in the validation process. 

    Exchanges Coinbase and Binance secure the 2nd and 3rd place respectively. The majority of those above Buterin in the rankings appear to be exchanges like Kraken and Robinhood & institutional managers like Grayscale, all of which hold large amounts of ETH as a part of their operations. Exchanges, for example, hold a significant amount of ETH to facilitate the withdrawals and swaps of ETH tokens for their users. On the other hand, Grayscale’s ETH holdings mark its investment in the ETH tokens. 

    Buterin appears to be the leading individual ETH holder with access to his tokens. While Rain Lohmus holds approximately 250K of ETH for which he paid $75,000 in the ETH presale, these are inaccessible as he has lost the private keys for the wallet which holds the ETH.


    By examining Buterin’s historical crypto holdings through the Portfolio Archive of his Arkham profile, the fluctuations of his known crypto holdings over the years can be clearly seen. The following table records his known crypto holdings on 31st December of each year, as benchmarks for his estimated crypto holdings in the corresponding year. The table also includes his estimated crypto net worth on the 18th November 2021 when ETH briefly reached its peak price of $4,891 - this would represent the peak of Buterin’s known net worth.

    From the 31st of December 2015, to date, Buterin’s net worth has multiplied by over 900x - from $596,760 to $551.22M. His highest year on year percentage net worth increase was from $4.23M on 31st December 2016 to $278.37M on 31st December 2017 - in the midst of the 2017 bull run.

    Buterin’s known crypto net worth is hugely affected by ETH price fluctuations, given ETH makes up over 99% of his portfolio. As such, anytime ETH price spikes up, so does Buterin’s net worth. Anytime it falls, his net worth would equally be down from all time highs.

    In 2021, Buterin became a billionaire at the age of 27, as ETH’s price crossed $3000, leading his known crypto net worth to surpass the $1B mark. On the 18th of November 2021, at the absolute pinnacle of the bull market, Buterin’s net worth briefly touched $2.09B as ETH’s price hit an all-time-high of $4891.

    However, the crypto bear market hit again and the ETH price dropped. The value of his holdings dropped by approximately 75% from $1.2 billion in 31st December 2021 to $300.58 million in 31st December 2022. Since then, his known crypto net worth has bounced back reaching $551.22 million as of the time of writing with ETH price at $2,234.


    Another contributing factor to changes in his known crypto net worth is that his known ETH holdings appear to decline each year. Buterin has been known to sell his ETH holdings on multiple occasions. For instance, in May 2023, Buterin sold 200 ETH by sending them to a crypto exchange, which was then followed by the Ethereum foundation selling 15,000 ETH. Notably, Buterin has claimed that he had not sold ETH for personal gain since 2018. He further clarified that when he sends ETH to exchanges, they are for donations and not to sell his ETH.


    Using data from Arkham’s portfolio archive on Buterin’s profile, we can see his non-ETH holdings. Some of his top non-ETH token holdings as of the time of writing include 869,500 KNCL, the token of the decentralized liquidity protocol Kyber Network for which Buterin serves as an advisor, worth approximately $609,780, 196.42 Wrapped Ether (WETH) tokens worth approximately $436,920 and 101 million THE tokens worth approximately $127,950.

    While not making up Buterin’s top non-ETH holdings, the following tokens warrant some attention:

    1. $1290 worth of Tornado.Cash’s TORN token. This relates to Vitalik’s usage of the infamous mixer. His Arkham profile reveals multiple instances of fund transfers using Tornado Cash, which he says include donations to Ukraine.


    2. 6.345 million Shiba Inu ($SHIB) worth $60.65. In 2020, Vitalik received 50% of the token’s supply directly from its developer upon the token’s launch, which caused his known crypto net worth to briefly spike up to approximately $10B. This was intended to create major hype surrounding the token through its association with one of crypto’s most prominent personalities. Buterin subsequently burned 410 trillion $SHIB tokens which made up over 90% of the tokens that he received which, at the time, was worth approximately $6 billion. He then donated the remaining 50.69 trillion $SHIB tokens worth $1.56 billion at the time to CryptoRelief India.



    Buterin participated in the seed round of StarkWare, a zero-knowledge proof technology developer, which, as of 2022, reached an $8 billion valuation.

    Due to a lack of public data on his non-crypto assets, it is hard to estimate the value of his non-crypto holdings and how it affects his overall net worth - however, we can presume that the value of his investment in StarkWare (if still held) adds some amount to his net worth, as well as the value of any other undisclosed investments.


    Like Buterin, the other Ethereum Cofounders experienced a financial windfall from their ETH holdings. In this section, we’ll compare Buterin’s estimated net worth against that of the other Ethereum Cofounders. For this section, we’ll take his known crypto holdings of $552.86 million as representative of a whole or significant proportion of his net worth, due to the lack of knowledge regarding how large his non-crypto holdings are. 

    Publicly available estimated net worths of the other co-founders are presented in the following table (Note: Net worth estimates are not necessarily available for all of the Cofounders for 2023 - as a result, some of the data is taken from the last known available point and might mark the high point of their net worth, or a significantly lower amount than is currently the case.):



    In conclusion, we have estimated the components of Vitalik Buterin’s net worth and how it has fluctuated overtime. The bulk of his >$500M comes from his ETH holdings, which have & will continue to fluctuate as the ETH price changes. Stay up to date with Buterin’s wealth by tracking his profile.

    Information provided herein is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute investment or other advice on financial products. Such information is not, and should not be read as, an offer or recommendation to buy or sell or a solicitation of an offer or recommendation to buy or sell any particular digital asset or to use any particular investment strategy. Arkham makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this website and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. Digital assets, including stablecoins and NFTs, are subject to market volatility, involve a high degree of risk, can lose value, and can even become worthless; additionally, digital assets are not covered by insurance against potential losses and are not subject to FDIC or SIPC protections. Historical returns are not indicative of future returns.