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Ethereum Insider Turned Down 1 Million ETH, Here’s Why


Steven Nerayoff, a former advisor to Ethereum, who is currently preparing a lawsuit against Ethereum founders Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Lubin, has disclosed a pivotal decision from his past. In a detailed statement on X (formerly Twitter), Nerayoff claims that he had turned down an allocation of over 1 million Ether (ETH). This decision, according to Nerayoff, stemmed from his commitment to avoid conflicts of interest and his vision for Ethereum, which he claims diverges from the current trajectory set by its founders.

Why The Ethereum Insider Turned Down 1 Million ETH

In a candid post on X (formerly Twitter), Nerayoff stated: “OVER 1 MILLION ETHER: Here is how much I care. I would have over 1 million Ether if I didn’t refuse my contribution, get reimbursed for expenses which was in Ether & choose not to invest in the ICO to avoid a conflict. I don’t regret it for a second. It’s not what I signed up for.”

Nerayoff attributed the rise in Ether’s price to the initial coin offering (ICO) and utility token model, which he asserts were pivotal in financing numerous projects on the Ethereum platform. Despite his contributions, he expressed discontent with the current state of Ethereum, emphasizing that a focus on decentralized applications (DApps) could have further enhanced Ether’s value.

“But I don’t say that to brag as I’m not happy, that’s the reason it’s valuable. If they had focused on DAPPs then the world would have changed PLUS Ether would be way more valuable. They have hurt the value of Ether. It’s just people don’t realize how much more valuable it would be today if they did what they said and created a truly decentralized scalable smart contracts platform,” he further stated.

Nerayoff’s comments shed light on a significant divergence in vision between him and the Ethereum leadership. He also shared a refusal of his Ether allocation and expense reimbursement, highlighting his focus on changing the world rather than personal gain – unlike Buterin and Lubin. “I cared deeply about changing the world, not Vitalik & Lubin’s insatiable appetite for money & power,” he ended his statement.

Nerayoff Delivers Proofs For His Claims

To substantiate his claims, Nerayoff released communications with Ethereum co-founder Ethan Wilding and former Chief Communications Officer (CCO) at Ethereum, Stephan Tual. These communications date back to 2014 and 2015, revolving around the Ethereum endowment and the allocation of Ether to Nerayoff.

In an email dated March 12, 2015, from Ethan Wilding, he acknowledges Nerayoff’s decision to direct his Ether allocation elsewhere. Nerayoff’s response underlines his dedication to the project without expectation of financial return:

I see. I really was here to help the cause and continue to do so. As such, I wasn’t expecting anything in return. I donated, and continue to when asked, my time and passion to the project.

Further, in communications with Stephan Tual, Nerayoff discusses his financial support for Ethereum, emphasizing his commitment without seeking reimbursement:

No this was not approved although I spoke with Joe [Lubin] about it at length. The issue is that it was the last large office space […] and create a community which will be very beneficial to Ethereum NYC.. Right now I’m paying for it out of my pocket… I suppose for now consider this my gift to Ethereum (along with the Opinion Letter) and whatever the future holds on this is fine with me so long as we are successful.

These revelations come in the midst of Nerayoff’s ongoing preparations for his legal battle with Buterin and Lubin, in which he wants to prove fraud against them. Notably, it is not yet known when Nerayoff will file the suit.

Over the last few months, Nerayoff has repeatedly made new disclosures and accusations against Buterin and Lubin. His claims that Ethereum is a bigger scam than FTX and that the DAO hack was an inside job have caused a particular stir.

At press time, ETH traded at $2,515.

Ethereum price
ETH price closed above the 0.382 Fib, 1-week chart | Source: ETHUSD on TradingView.com

Featured image from WJAR, chart from TradingView.com


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