Vitalik Buterin has left the VC firm Fenbushi Capital

Nishanth Shetty

January 16, 2018 11:18 am

Vitalik Buterin has left the VC firm Fenbushi Capital | Coindelite News
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Vitalik Buterin has left the VC firm Fenbushi Capital

Vitalik Buterin, C0-founder of Ethereum, has quit the China-based investment firm Fenbushi Capital.

Fenbushi was founded in 2015 and its $50 million fund was one of the first to actively put capital into blockchain companies through seed investments and participation in ICOs. As one of the most visible funds, it picked up stakes in dozens of firms no doubt helped by its connection to Buterin, who is synonymous with Ethereum.

Buterin was never full-time as he manipulated the role with his work for the Ethereum Foundation. He is still listed as a general partner on the firm’s website, but he confirmed that he is no longer involved full-time. He will, anyhow, retain a role as an advisor.

Fenbushi did not respond to a request for comment.

Buterin revealed that he plans to spend more time securing that Ethereum fulfills its potential as a platform.

Buterin said:

“2017 really has been the year where hype in crypto, including financial hype and social hype, in general,, has far exceeded the reality of what existing blockchain systems can offer. There is a lot of attention, and a lot of eager expectation, but as far as reality goes the practical usability of blockchains has in some cases even regressed due to rising transaction fees. I expect 2018, at least within the Ethereum space that I’m best able to speak about, will be the year of action. It will be the year where all of the ideas around scalability, Plasma, proof-of-stake, and privacy that we have painstakingly worked on and refined over the last four years are finally going to turn into real, live working code that you can play around in a highly mature form in some cases on testnets, and in some key cases even on the public mainnet. Everyone in the Ethereum space recognizes that the world is watching, and we are ready to deliver.”

His escape from Fenbushi will not be a huge surprise to those working in the blockchain space, or indeed anyone who follows Buterin on Twitter.

These months, Buterin has urged the community to develop product rather than navel-gaze as the price of Ether, the Ethereum Foundation’s token has risen. Ether reached the $1,000 level for the first time on January 4, 2018, up massively from less than $10 per token one year previous.

It’s unclear how much Buterin profited from Fenbushi’s deals, but as a co-founder of Ethereum, he is clearly independently wealthy — in digital terms — although his specific holdings today are unknown. Recently, he announced plans to donate the tokens given to him for advising Omise Go and Kyber Network to charities and/or to fund Ethereum infrastructure. Buterin also said he had “sent a bunch of fiat”-based donations to the Against Malaria Fund and GiveDirectly.

Buterin’s exit is likely to be a huge blow for Fenbushi. There’s little doubt that having the ‘face of Ethereum’ on your website is good for business, especially in the highly competitive investment space. A skeptical onlooker might conclude that is the reason Fenbushi has kept his name. That said, Fenbushi’s advantage in the space has made it a name within the crypto community worldwide, now it’ll have to do that independently.

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