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This article was published on June 28, 2017

Ethereum hoax led to $4B in losses

Ethereum hoax led to $4B in losses
Rachel Kaser
Story by

Rachel Kaser

Internet Culture Writer

Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

The price of cryptocurrency Ethereum dropped dramatically following news of its creator’s death. One problem: he wasn’t dead.

A post on 4Chain claimed Vitalik Buterin — creator of blockchain technology Ethereum and currency Ether — died in a fatal car accident. Following news of what was later confirmed to be a hoax, the price of Ether went from $317 to $286 in moments, before bottoming out at around $216.

Buterin dispelled any notion he was dead with a selfie. In it, he’s holding up blockchain-based data mined from days after his “death,” to prove was around. Still, this wiped out about $4 billion in Ethereum’s market value.

Ether has since recovered — it was trading at around $300 at the time of writing. While this was likely not the sole reason for the drop, it certainly didn’t help.

This isn’t the first time fake news has caused real problems — remember Pizzagate?

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