A wallet labeled after Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin sent 500 ether, worth approximately $700,000, to mint the lesser-known RAI stablecoin over the weekend. The funds were then used to purchase USD Coin (USDC), trading below its $1 peg. Registered under the name vitalik.eth in the Ethereum Names Service (ENS) domain, the wallet contained more than 5,360 ether as of Tuesday. According to blockchain analytics firm PeckShield, the address exchanged 132.5k $RAI for 378.5k $USDC and 17.5k $RAI for 50k $DAI within the last 3 hours.
Over the weekend, USDC depegged after a collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) caused a cryptocurrency marketwide drop on Friday. As a result, companies like U.S.-based stablecoin issuer Circle – which held some of the reserves for its USDC stablecoin at Silicon Valley Bank as of January 17th – were affected. However, USDC regained its peg on Monday night, resulting in a 10% gain for buyers of the stablecoin within 48 hours. This follows Vitalik Buterin’s recognition of Reflexer Finance-issued RAI in a blog post – an alternate stablecoin not pegged to any fiat currency but backed by ether, with each RAI redeemable for $2.7 worth of ether as of Tuesday.