One of the founders of blockchain Ethereum and its cryptocurrency token Ether (ETH) has quit the space entirely, partly because of concerns for his personal safety.
Canadian Anthony Di Iorio also heads up digital startup Decentral, which he reportedly plans to sell for fiat currency — that is, regular dollars and cents.
The news, first reported by Bloomberg on July 17, led to a tumble in the price of Ethereum’s main token, Ether (ETH).
On July 18, ETH was trading US$1,976 ($2,703). By July 20, it was at US$1,744 ($2,364).
That said, the token has seen a slight uptick since, and is still way up on its US$741 ($1,011) price point at the beginning of the year.
Di Iorio, who founded Ethereum back in 2013, along with seven co-founders, told Bloomberg he made the decision partly out of concern for his safety. He has travelled accompanied by a security team since 2017.
The sector has “a risk profile that I am not too enthused about,” he said.
“I don’t feel necessarily safe in this space. If I was focused on larger problems, I think I’d be safer.”
He also said he no longer wants to be known as simply a ‘crypto guy’, but wants to become someone who takes on ‘complex problems’ — as if creating a new digital currency isn’t quite complex enough.
The entrepreneur, however, seems to be turning his mind to philanthropy, and supporting projects tackling some of the biggest challenges facing the world, including climate change.
He’s currently involved in a project building a zero-emissions vehicle, for example.
That’s not to say he’s sworn off crypto altogether.
“I will incorporate crypto when needed, but a lot of times, it’s not,” Di Iorio said.
“It’s really a small percentage of what the world needs.”
Decentral’s flagship digital waller product Jaxx reportedly has more than 1 million customers, and Di Iorio estimates it could be worth “hundreds of millions” of dollars.
The Forbes list of the richest people in cryptocurrency, published in 2018, estimated his net worth to be between US$750 million and US$1 billion.
Since then, the price of ETH has almost doubled.