August 14, 2023

9 years and 10000x gain, exploring the Journey of Ethereum ICO Addresses

The initial coin offering (ICO) of Ethereum back in 2014 marked the beginning of a revolutionary blockchain platform. Early believers who bought into Ethereum early on received their share of ETH at the Genesis block. What’s interesting is that since then some of these users’ addresses have remained dormant, without moving their initial ETH holdings for 9 years, with an unrealized 10,000x return. In this article, we will dive into their story and deliver you some insights.

1. Ethereum ICO Addresses that Remain Dormant:

Out of the numerous addresses that received ETH during the ICO, a significant number have never moved their holdings. Currently, 678 addresses fall into this dormant category. These addresses collectively hold a total of 1,529,755 ETH.

Why is it important to track the behavior of these addresses?

1. It shows confidence these early believers have in $ETH and in its value increasing in the future.

2. It is good practice to track dormant addresses as their behavior might affect $ETH price in the future.

Notably, the top 1 dormant address holds 250,000 ETH now. This entity paid $75,250 back in 2014, a sum that is now worth $460M.

2. When did these Ethereum ICO addresses first move their ETH:

By examining the year when addresses first moved their ETH, we gain insights into the activity patterns of ICO participants.

The majority of ICO partecipants have moved (potentially sold) their $ETH holdings before 2018 when Ethereum’s price rose to $1300 at the start of the year. More specifically, 4,119 (46.66% of all) Ethereum ICO addresses initiated their first movements of $ETH in 2016, 2,159 (24.46%) in 2015 and 1438 (16.29%) in 2017.

3. Tracking the Remaining ETH Balances of ICO Addresses:

Among the 8,891 addresses that received ETH at the Genesis block, some still retain significant holdings. The total current balance among all ICO addresses is 1,847,631 ETH. This is 3% of the original ICO amount.

There are several whales with large ETH holdings in their addresses. Among the top 10 addresses, 6 addresses are dormant, 3 have higher balance that their ICO amount, the 2nd address bought 560K ETH at ICO and now still owns 243.3K ETH.

4. Small Investments, Big Potential:

A total of 1,157 (13%) addresses spend less than ~$30 at ICO to buy less than 100 $ETH . Collectively, they received 53,850.53 ETH, which is worth ~100M, an average ok USD 85k each.

Out of all these small investment addresses, 224 addresses are still dormant, holding a total of 9,674 $ETH.

5. Recent Dormant Awakening Events:

Occasionally, addresses that have long remained dormant suddenly show movement. Two notable instances of dormant awakening are highlighted below.

For example:

The first event involves an address 0x8b505E2871F7dEb7a63895208e8227dcAa1Bff05 that moved 61,216 ETH to another address which deposited all the funds into Kraken.

The second event saw an address transferring its holdings to Coinbase for Ethereum proof-of-stake (POS) staking.

Check this in Scopescan’s moneyflow:


The journey of Ethereum ICO addresses over the past 9 years is both enlightening and emblematic of the confidence early adopters have in this transformative blockchain platform. A large number of these early investors (678 addresses) have kept holding onto their initial investments even amidst the ups and down of the crypto market.

While it is true that as $ETH experienced peaks and valleys in its valuation, the majority of ICO participants took actions, predominantly before the notable price surge in 2018. However, the untouched wealth in some of these dormant accounts serves as a testament to the enduring faith in Ethereum’s long-term potential. Keeping an eye on what these early buyers do next will be interesting for everyone who is into digital currencies.

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