Blockchain entrepreneur Justin Sun has emerged as the largest Ethereum (ETH) pledger, committing over 282,796 ETH, approximately equivalent to $439 million.
Sun committed significantly to the Ethereum 2.0 staking platform, Lido, utilizing two distinct addresses. This recent blockchain activity underscores Sun’s ongoing investment in the Ethereum ecosystem.
Sun’s Investment in the Ethereum Ecosystem
On Oct. 12, the founder of Tron moved 4,500 ETH (valued at $6.96 million) from the Huobi exchange to stake it on the Lido platform. Over the past week, Sun applied to withdraw 80,251 ETH (worth $132 million) and transfer it to Lido, according to data from Crypto tracker Lookonchain. He has already deposited 43,000 ETH (valued at $70 million) on Binance. In addition, he staked 5,000 ETH (worth $7.87 million) into Lido.
Lookonchain data also indicated that 1,000 ETH (valued at $1.64 million) has been deposited on the crypto exchange Bitstamp. The movement of a crypto address associated with Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin is also being tracked.
Out of the total 137,325 ETH withdrawn by Sun in the past month, the Lido platform saw staking of 90,070 ETH (worth $146 million), demonstrating Sun’s confidence in staking assets on Lido.
Sun has emphasized the importance of learning from traditional finance, emphasizing their commitment to safeguarding customer funds and data.
Lido’s liquid staking solution offers an alternative to traditional Proof of Stake (PoS) staking, enhancing the liquidity of staked tokens and making it more accessible for users. This move has raised speculation about whether Sun intends to completely divest his ETH stake, potentially leading to a significant price drop in the token.
Sun’s Exchanges Show Unusual Trading Volume Spikes
Amid the high Lido staking numbers, crypto analytics firm Kaiko recently released a report highlighting unusually high trading volumes on Huobi and Poloniex, both owned by Sun. The report comes in the wake of the rebranding of Huobi as HTX (Huobi Tron Exchange), a move that coincides with similarities to the now-defunct FTX exchange led by Sam Bankman-Fried.
According to Kaiko’s document, trading volume on Sun-owned Poloniex exceeded $20 billion in August 2023, notably higher than other exchanges. The surge did not correlate with any major changes that could explain such a significant increase in trade volume.
In March 2023, the SEC charged several violations to Justin Sun and his companies. These included the unregistered sale of crypto assets TRX (Tron) and BTT (BitTorrent Token), engaging in wash trading, and allegedly paying celebrities to promote these tokens without properly disclosing the compensation.
While it cannot be confirmed that the surge in volume on Poloniex in August was due to wash trading, there has been a historical precedent for such behavior in Justin Sun’s ventures.