Vitalik Buterin is one of the creators of Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin.
Their objective was to expand the use cases of blockchain technology beyond payments and store of value. Since then, the development of Ethereum focused on the improvement of smart contracts and the introduction of new DApps that offered new financial products and services responsive to the needs of its community.
Vitalik is also known for his contributions to the development of the whole tech industry, including $763,970 worth of ETH to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute and $2.4 million to the SENS Research Foundation.
Buterin, or simply Vitalik as he is affectionately known across the crypto space, was born in Russia in 1994 and emigrated to Canada as a child.
At 17-years-old, Buterin learned about Bitcoin from his computer scientist father.
In 2011, he started writing for Bitcoin Weekly, earning five Bitcoin per article until the website shut down. In the same year, fellow Ethereum co-founder Mihai Alisie, contacted Buterin to start a new publication, which became known as Bitcoin Magazine.
During the same time, Buterin was attending the University of Waterloo where he worked as an assistant for cryptographer Ian Goldberg.
Whilst increasing his involvement in the cryptocurrency community online and at conferences, Buterin was inspired to meet others who wanted to create an alternative to Bitcoin that extended its capabilities with a more general scripting language.
In late 2013, Buterin published a white paper describing this alternative as Ethereum, a decentralized mining network and software development platform that enables the creation of new cryptocurrencies and applications sharing a single blockchain. Many reached out to Buterin to discuss the concept after the white paper was distributed by friends and acquaintances.
In 2014, Buterin dropped out of university after being awarded a $100,000 grant from the Thiel Fellowship for innovators under 20 to pursue their inventions.
Buterin started to focus on Ethereum full-time with a team consisting of Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio, Charles Hoskinson, Joe Lubin and Gavin Wood. The team announced the project in 2014 and released a publicly-available version in 2015.
Buterin and the team built Ethereum into the world's second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
In 2018, Buterin was granted an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Basel for his work and contribution to cryptocurrency.
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