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Ripple’s XRP Architect David Schwartz Explains His 40,000 ETH ICO Purchase and Missed Fortunes

Ripple’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), David Schwartz, has recently provided insights into his involvement in Ethereum’s early days, shedding light on his purchase of 40,000 Ethereum tokens during the public initial coin offering (ICO).

The revelation came following a query posed by an XRP supporter, MetamanX, on May 10. This prompted Schwartz to elaborate on his engagement with Ethereum before the public pre-ICO phase.

Schwartz clarified that his involvement in Ethereum’s ICO was not merely a business decision but a personal one, as he revealed his acquaintance with Vitalik Buterin, one of Ethereum’s founders. In response to the inquiry, Schwartz disclosed that Buterin, a close friend, had extended an invitation to participate in the ICO, which prompted him to contribute 20 BTC to support Buterin’s initiative.

I knew Vitalik. He invited me to participate. I wanted to support him, so I went in for 20 BTC. I didn’t really ask any questions. It got me 40,000 ETH. I thought of it as helping an acquaintance,” Schwartz stated.

Public records validate Schwartz’s account, indicating that the Ethereum ICO lasted 42 days between July 22 and September 2, 2014. Early investors could secure 2,000 ETH for 1 BTC. As the ICO progressed, the exchange rate of ETH to BTC increased, with 1 BTC eventually fetching 1,337 ETH by the sale’s conclusion.

The pundit shared a tweet from last December in which he disclosed having sold his Ether. Notably, Schwartz’s decision to liquidate his 40,000 ETH portfolio when its value rose to $40,000 marked a commendable return on investment, amounting to roughly 220% after a two-year holding period.

“As many of you know, I sold 40,000 ETH at about $1 to put solar panels on a house I no longer own. That ETH was worth over $100 million shortly after,” Schwartz wrote on December 8, 2023.

However, hindsight reveals a missed opportunity for the Ripple CTO. Had he retained his investment to date, Ether’s current price of $2,927, it would be worth a staggering $117,166,291, reflecting a 292,816% increase from his sale price of $40,000.

In a reflective tone revealing the sale, Schwartz shared a personal tale, drawing parallels between his actions and those of his father. He recounted his father’s decision to sell Apple stock to fund renovations and a new house, only to witness the stock’s value soar subsequently. 

“My father, ironically, did almost the same thing. After my older siblings moved out, my parents didn’t need the enormous house we were living in. But it needed quite a bit of fixing up to sell. So, my father sunk a lot of money into gutting and redoing the house. But during the months it took to do that, as renovation costs escalated, the real estate market crashed. He took a huge loss on the deal.” Schwartz revealed.

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