On June 11th, an unknown cryptocurrency trader allegedly Instagram posted his or her 413 percent accumulated profit early this year from ether–the name for the Ethereum blockchain‘s digital currency.
The Instagram post left no clue as to the identity of the the trader except for his virtual wallet identification code 0x00A651D43B6e209F5Ada45A35F92EFC0De3A5184.
The post comes with an image of a supposed hardware powering a mining operation. Its accompanying text is in Indonesian language, Bahasa, and translates as follows in English:
“I get many private messages asking how much ether I have. One of the cool things about Ethereum is that all wallets around the world are transparent and open for everyone to see. And this is my wallet’s savings.”#Ether trader made $283 million in just a month! More millionaires to come.Click To Tweet
Upon checking with Etherchain, 0x00A651D43B6e209F5Ada45A35F92EFC0De3A5184 is now worth $135,885,947.97 USD, over $147 million USD less than the $283 million USD original value posted a month ago.
The Anonymous World of Virtual Currency
The world of digital currency is best known for its pseudonymity. Cryptocurrency traders are only known by code names and are not required to give any personal identification. Because of anonymity, the digital currency market was able to attract more traders.
Spencer Bogart, head of research at venture firm Blockchain Capital, stated:
“One of its more important features is that you don’t have identities tied to this. This financial privacy is an important characteristic.”
While crypto-traders see anonymity as a vital security feature of virtual currency, some individuals engaged in criminal activities are using this to launder significant amounts of money.
In October 2013, Ross Ulbricht, known as the ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ was arrested by DEA on accounts of masterminding the Silk Road marketplace, a money-laundering, hacking, and narcotic trafficking exchange. Ulbricht purportedly used the cryptocurrency Bitcoin in all his anonymous transactions until his arrest. In 2015, he was convicted and was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
While cryptocurrency can be used to conduct illegal transactions, 0x00A651D43B6e209F5Ada45A35F92EFC0De3A5184 cannot be directly accused of doing such things despite his wealth. Ether has been continuously showing a steady increase in value that positively affects investments. At the beginning of the year, ether rose from $8 USD a unit to $400 USD in June, before landing $250 USD today.
However, a draft legislation issued by the European Parliament in March sees the lack of transparency among cryptocurrencies as a hindrance to mainstreaming digital money. The draft read:
“The credibility of virtual currencies will not rise if they are used for criminal purposes. In this context, anonymity will become more a hindrance than an asset for virtual currencies.”
More Cryptocurrency Millionaires
Ether is the second most popular cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. Like other digital currencies, a person can use ether to make payments for applications that run on the Ethereum blockchain.
‘Smart contracts’ are used to operate agreements made in the blockchain automatically. Many believed that this structure has the potential to reshape business and finance. JPMorgan Chase & Co., BP Plc, Microsoft Corp. and ING Groep NV are among the organizations and companies that are currently experimenting with the cryptocurrency system.
According to Bloomberg, with ether’s value at $23 billion, dozens of electronic wallets have already accrued nine-figure positions. Some possible crypto-millionaire candidates include Michael Novogratz, a former executive at Fortress Investment Group and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Joesph Lubin, founder of ConsenSys.
As governments and organizations start to acknowledge and adopt cryptocurrency, the digital currency market is expected to grow stronger and produce more millionaires like code 0x00A651D43B6e209F5Ada45A35F92EFC0De3A5184 in the future.