Did Vitalik Buterin, Co-Founder of Ethereum, Leave Fenbushi Capital?

Vitalik Buterin, the high-profile co-founder of Ethereum, has quietly left China-based investment firm Fenbushi Capital.

Techcrunch reported that Vitalik has left the company. But later on an update came to the article saying “Note: Article updated to add that Buterin will remain an advisor to Fenbushi”. 

And on the website of Fenbushi Capital, Vitalik still seems to be on the team as General Partner.

Fenbushi did not respond to a request for comment.

In a lengthy statement released to TechCrunch, Buterin explained that he plans to spend more time ensuring that Ethereum fulfills its potential as a platform.

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

Buterin’s departure 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 cynical onlooker might conclude that is the reason Fenbushi has kept his name. That said, Fenbushi’s longevity in the space has made it a name within the crypto community worldwide, now it’ll have to do that independently.

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 juggled 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 to TechCrunch that he is no longer involved full-time. He will, however, retain a role as an advisor.

Adam Webb is editor in Smartereum, blockchain and currency news, where he produces updates on Blockchain, Ethereum and other alternative cryptocurrencies.

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