How can the news of one man’s death send a thriving cryptocurrency into meltdown? It can happen when someone or something spreads the word that its creator is dead, even though he isn’t. That’s what happened recently, and it led to an Ethereum price crash that wiped nearly $4 billion off its value.

ethereum price crash vitalik buterin alive
Image Source: Vitalik Buterin/Twitter

Ethereum price crash: what happened?

Vitalik Buterin, the creator of ethereum, wants you to know that he isn’t dead. You may be wondering why this is so important to a man you probably have never heard of. It’s because over the weekend, he was the subject of a hoax. Here’s what you need to know.

It all started for Buterin when an article was published on the website Vionews.com. The article seemed to be genuinely reporting the news of a devastating car crash in which the occupants of the vehicles passed away. According to the article, five people were injured, and Vitalik Buterin was supposedly one of the two who died. According to Vionews.com, local police confirmed the accident and fatalities. The problem for Buterin was that this story was posted to 4Chain by a user.

In turn, the site reported: “Creator of blockchain technology Ethereum and currency Ethereum — died in a fatal car accident.”

The story went viral, but there was a huge factual error in what was being reported, as Vitalik Buterin is alive. The story was fake news, and it led to the most recent ethereum price crash. That’s why he wants you to know he’s alive.

Buterin on Twitter

What is the best way to prove you’re not dead? Post a picture of yourself on Twitter with data that could only have been gathered after your supposed passing. That’s what Buterin did, as you can see in the tweet above; in it, he’s holding blockchain data written on a piece of paper. If you know what you’re looking at, it’s obvious that this image was taken after his supposed fatal accident.

But it was too little too late…

The damage was done

Unfortunately for Buterin and users of ethereum, his attempts to convince people of his well-being came too late, as the cryptocurrency’s value began to tumble from a high of $317 to $286 in moments, before closing at $216. It means that this ethereum price crash cost the cryptocurrency somewhere in the region of 11% of its previous value. That equates to about $4 billion in cold, hard cash! However, cryptocurrencies are resilient, and they tend to bounce back from blips like this. In fact, the recent all-time highs set by ethereum demonstrate its resilience.

More importantly though, the ethereum price crash and preceding hoax show just how vulnerable digital currencies are. This has caused some serious concern about their volatility and how the market can be manipulated. It may be that this hoax was just a prank; however, its repercussions will be felt for some time to come. Unfortunately, this has more than likely opened the gates to more stunts like it in the future.

At the time of writing this, ethereum’s value had recovered somewhat to $300.21, up some 0.75%. If you’ve never heard of ethereum before today, here’s everything you need to know.