Crypto 101

The Brain Behind Ethereum: Vitalik Buterin

Ethereum, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency next to Bitcoin, celebrated its 5th birthday last Jul. 30 and of course, we ought to join the celebration by covering the starter of it all: Vitalik Buterin.

Who is he?

A Russian-Canadian programmer and writer, Vitalik is an enthusiast in the cryptocurrency industry. Before his baby came to life, he had started participating in the Bitcoin (BTC) community in 2011, which would soon saw him co-founding and pioneering articles for Bitcoin Magazine. He, together with Mihai Alisie, has become one of the many known budding writers for cryptocurrency then.

What started it all?

The 26-year-old crypto-savvy turned out to become fascinated in the blockchain technology and eventually dropped out of his school in 2013 to focus on extending knowledge and digging in the business. He was born on Jan. 31, 1994 and his first six years life was spent in the Russian city of Kolomna — roughly 62 miles away from Moscow

“I went around the world, explored many crypto projects, and finally realized that they were all too concerned about specific applications and not being sufficiently general – hence the birth of Ethereum, which has been taking up my life ever since,” he quipped in an interview.

Since he is a geek in programming, he started applying it in Bitcoin around 2013. His first aim is to build decentralized apps – known as dapps, apart from the usual Bitcoin Core.

Various tries using Mastercoin – now known as Omni, home of the stable coin Tether, this currency eventually pegged to USD. At this point, he discovered that programming on Bitcoin and the network itself was not enough to functionalize dapp fully. He called it ‘cryptocurrency 2.0’.

Months later, he published Ethereum whitepaper. The terms ‘whitepaper’ contains a detailed rationale and technical design for the protocol, including its overall architecture.

End of 2013, Vitalik along with a niche and handpicked selected developers that include Gavin Wood and Joseph Lubin tied hands to create one of the most talked-about blockchain forms of today.

In a further development, they raised the bar high to take Nick Szabo’s smart contracts this time integrating Solidity, a programming language with features Turing complete developments; the ground was laid for smart contracts on the blockchain.

Then we saw the birth of smart contract in the crypto world.

We’ve learned smart contracts in previous articles, and we will not go to it. Now, apart from Bitcoin, the world got a glimpse of No. 2 – formally defined then as an open-source software platform based on blockchain technology empowering developers to generate smart contracts and decentralized applications.

After various attempts as well as hardships, Vitalik’s efforts paid off. After a positive ICO, that help them raised $16 million in August 2014, the development went on a rampage, and the first block was mined on Jul. 30 in 2015.

This significant moment five years ago made the Ethereum network be compared with the birth of the world computer.

Since then he was awarded different accolades such as the World Technology Award in the IT Software category in 2014, Fortune 40 under 40 list in 2016, and Forbes 30 under 30 records in 2018 among others. His net worth is an estimated $100million.

At this point that his baby is reaching $30billion market cap, no stopping for this man as he unveiled Ethereum 2.0, which highlights Proof of Stake, making ETH a more technical platform. This launch paved the way for the $400 shoot of ETH as seen in the last two years.

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