As the price of ETH continues to nosedive, losing almost 50% of its value over the past 30 days, several altcoin projects have proceeded to move Ethereum holdings out of their fundraiser ICO wallets. Two of the projects, Tezos and Aragon, have provided stated purposes for the transfers which, they say, does not include selling or dumping any Ethereum holdings.
Tezos Foundation Moves 82,050 ETH
When Tezos (XTZ) launched a fundraiser in July of 2017, it collected 361,122 ETH along with a mass of 65,703 Bitcoin. Not all of the ETH went to the same wallet since Bitcoin Suisse, a Swiss cryptocurrency bank also accepted and stored ETH contributions for the project.
In a response to an email from Crypto Insider, Anthony Lacavaro, a spokesman for the Tezos Foundation, indicated that the movement of ETH was merely for relocation purposes only.
“The ETH were moved into a different storage system, not sold,” according to Lacavaro.
As of January 2018, the Tezos treasury wallet contained 203,468 ETH, according to Diar.
That number, since January, has remained steady until November when in recent days over 82,000 ETH was moved from the treasury account.
Diar reported the update via Twitter on Thursday morning:
Our live #Ethereum ICO Treasury Balances is back up.
— Diar (@DiarNewsletter) November 29, 2018
The move originally sparked alarm among crypto watchers concerned whether the 80,000 ETH would be dumped on the open market, further driving down an already sagging Ethereum price.
Other Projects Follow Suit
According to Diar’s data, Tezos is not alone this month in moving Ethereum funds out of treasury wallets.
Aragon (ANT), a dApp built on Ethereum designed to let users create and manage a decentralized organization, which launched an ICO in May of 2017, is another large ETH holder with approximately 263,523 in its treasury at the start of January 2018.
The most recent numbers show Aragon will end November holding just 182,388 ETH, a difference of over 50,000 moved from their treasury since January, the vast majority of which moved in the last 30 days.
According to reports, Aragon has been working to secure their funding and hedge against volatility by securing assets with a loan based on the Ethereum-collateralised Dai stable coin.
Aragon confirmed the reporting on Twitter and said their official position remains “long” on Ethereum:
In the last 24 hours, the AA has sold its XMR position (worth $500k), and a small part of its ETH position (worth $1m).
The AA also just took a 1m DAI loan, collateralizing the CDP with 40k ETH (415.9% collateralization ratio).
We are long ETH.https://t.co/iT7DGCOfyB
— Aragon (@AragonProject) November 27, 2018
Smaller blockchain projects, such as Aragon, will need to be more conservative during downward trends to protect large crypto holdings which can quickly be eaten by day-to-day costs as values plummet.
District0x (DNT), another Ethereum-based dApp ICO from 2017, also moved over 15,000 ETH in the past month.
Crypto Insider contacted District0x for comment but did not receive a response by press time.
ICO Treasuries Not Causing ETH Fall
Despite many ICO treasuries holding significant amounts of ETH, the analysis shows that these accounts amount to roughly 4% of all Ethereum worldwide holdings. Many ICOs from 2017, aside from Tezos, are built on tokens which rely on Ethereum contracts so it would be counterintuitive for those same projects to carelessly dump their holdings which could potentially drag down the ETH price and hurt their own market cap.
The main cause for the Ethereum downturn, other than following Bitcoin, is more likely related to the SEC ruling in mid-November which saw two ICOs agree to fines and refunds which has further exacerbated a bearish environment where projects are looking to protect their assets and weather this storm.
According to the numbers from DappCapitulation, most ICO treasuries have not budged in the past 12 months which means most projects are still holding their ETH untouched. If we start to see the moves multiply in the coming weeks, it could signal that more ICO projects are feeling the crunch or looking toward protective measures.