Vitalik Buterin was named the youngest Billionaire in 2021 at only 27 years of age. Buterin is the co-creator of Ethereum and a highly respected figure in the cryptocurrency industry. While his exact net worth is relatively unknown due to the volatility of the cryptocurrency market, his story of success is unique. Find out how Buterin came to create the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
Background on Vitalik Buterin
Vitalik Buterin is a Russian-Canadian programmer and writer who at a young age demonstrated a high level of intelligence in mathematics, computer science and economics. He was introduced to Bitcoin (BTC) in 2011 by his father but did not believe the digital currency would take off.
Upon further studying the blockchain technology behind Bitcoin, he became much more intrigued. Buterin was never a big fan of how much power centralised systems had and believed that blockchain could be the answer on how to give the power back to the people.
He decided to dive deep into this new space and co-created Bitcoin Magazine with Mihai Alisie. The magazine launched in 2012 and he was a senior writer until 2014.
In 2013, Buterin went on to travel the world in search of connecting with others who had similar interests in Bitcoin. He noticed merchants were accepting Bitcoins and how the hype was growing, however, mainly only from a currency standpoint. He was much more interested when he discovered projects like Mastercoin which were using the Bitcoin blockchain for different applications.
Vitalik Buterin and Ethereum
Buterin began to think of what other purposes blockchain could bring to the world. This is when he wrote his white paper for Ethereum. The white paper describes the use of blockchain for a number of other use cases. He specifies in the white paper:
“alternative applications of blockchain technology include using on-blockchain digital assets to represent custom currencies and financial instruments (coloured coins), the ownership of an underlying physical device (smart property), non-fungible assets such as domain names (Namecoin), as well as more complex applications involving having digital assets being directly controlled by a piece of code implementing arbitrary rules (smart contracts) or even blockchain-based decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs)”
The whitepaper goes on to describe how the Ethereum network would work from a technical standpoint. Buterin believes blockchain technology is different from the others who tried decentralisation in the past because it solves two main problems; it allows consensus based on the nodes alone, and it allows free entry into the consensus program.
Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin Sought Feedback From Colleagues on Ethereum White Paper
Once the whitepaper was created, Buterin sent it out to his colleagues to hear their feedback and to see what they could add. Together they came up with the programming language and when that was completed the uses for the platform accelerated.
They realised how easy it was to create decentralised file storage with just a couple of lines of code.
The core group of individuals behind the 2014 launch were Vitalik Buterin, Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio, Charles Hoskinson, Joe Lubin and Gavin Wood.
The team expanded with community organisers around the world to push the movement, including Paul Paschos, Tracy Leparulo and Edward Buchi.
Buterin unveiled the Ethereum network at the Bitcoin Expo 2014 in Toronto Canada, they also sponsored the event and later started the ICO to fund the project. Around the same time, Vitalik was awarded the Thiel Fellowship from Peter Theil for $100,000 USD, dropped out of university, and put all of his focus on Ethereum.
The India COVID Relief Fund
In May 2021, Buterin donated over $1 billion in crypto to the India COVID Relief Fund. He did this after unloading huge volumes of doge-themed crypto tokens including Shiba Inu (SHIB) and Akita Inu (AKITA). In one single transaction, Buterin donated over 50 trillion SHIB tokens (worth $1.2 billion at the time) to the India COVID Relief, set up by co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of Polygon (MATIC), Sandeep Nailwal.
Future For Vitalik and Ethereum
The whitepaper was published in 2013 and since the launch, it has gone through an enormous amount of upgrades and evolutions. A huge advantage that Ethereum has to Bitcoin is that there is an actual team and co-founders behind the product making changes as they discover problems or find solutions to make it even better. It is because of Buterin and the Ethereum community that Ethereum has become the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world.
It is clear that Buterin is a trailblazer in the tech space. He has poured millions of dollars into not only the Ethereum project for it to succeed but also DeFi projects and other altcoins that are built using ETH tokens.
Now with ETH 2.0 being unveiled in December 2020, the stages have begun for this technology to become even more efficient. The opportunities are endless for Buterin and Ethereum.