If you thought downloading billions of unsolicited tokens arriving in your wallet was easy, you are wrong. Just ask Ethereum co-founder and developer Vitalik Buterin, who had to get rid of Shiba Inu tokens (quotation SHIB) worth nearly $ 7 billion.
Vitalik Buterin's breakdown of SHIB movements
Speaking with Cobie and Ledger on a Thursday podcast, Ethereum's Buterin discussed a myriad of topics, including how he was able to get rid of the approximately $ 6,7 billion worth of SHIB tokens without a second thought.
In May 2021, the creators of the popular Dogecoin emulator, Shiba Inu, gave Buterin 50% of the total supply. At the time of the transaction, Buterin held a total of SHIB 504 trillion, equivalent to $ 8 billion back then, when the news hit the press.
The developers of SHIB sent the massive chunk of their coin supply to Vitalik in order to attract publicity and raise prices by actually burning the tokens. He, however, had not agreed to receive the funds or participate in the grand plan.
After holding his stash of Shiba Inu for a while, the creator of Ethereum sent SHIB and other unsolicited cryptocurrencies he had received to various charities around the world. For example, he donated SHIB 50 trillion (worth about $ 1,1 billion at the time) to India's COVID Relief Fund.
Buterin then burned 410 trillion Shiba Inu tokens (which represented 90% of the SHIB holdings in his portfolio) by sending them to an inactive address, thereby putting them out of circulation. In a statement incorporated into one of the transactions at the time, he asked people not to give him more coins because he didn't want to be such a "locus of power".
What's even more interesting is the incredible complexity of the SHIB token disposal process.
Because the process of disposing of SHIB tokens was complex
Buterin detailed to Cobbie and Ledger how difficult it was for him to gain access to the SHIB tokens and even ship them. He described the whole process as "scary and fun at the same time". To begin with, the cryptographic wunderkind had to buy a new laptop for around $ 300 from Target just for this purpose.
According to Vitalik, the SHIB treasure was in a cold wallet - which is a cryptocurrency wallet that does not connect to the internet unless it is manually connected to a computer - whose private key was in the form of two numbers written on different sheets of paper. One of the papers was in Buterin's possession, while the other was with his family in Canada. Therefore, he had to call his family and have them read the number.
After entering the numbers into his newly purchased laptop, Buterin downloaded a program that would help him generate QR codes. Then she generated the transaction in Ether and scanned the QR code using his phone before copying it to the laptop. Buterin eventually entered it into etherscan.io and was later able to send the tokens.
For Buterin, the whole procedure was scary and would be "a good storyline for a James Bond movie". Or maybe not.