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Vitalik Buterin
Vitalik Buterin

About Vitalik Buterin

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder, is an important figure in the crypto world. The reason for his success is due to Ethereum, which allows decentralized applications to be developed. However, despite his countless efforts, people within the crypto world have different opinions about him, particularly because of his young age. This profile will explore Vitalik’s background, his vision for Ethereum, and the controversies that surround him.

Vitalik Buterin’s early life

At the age of 8, Vitalik’s parents, who were both computer scientists, decided to move from Russia to Canada in hopes of better lives. This is also the time they decided to switch Vitalik’s original name from Vitaly Dimitievich Buterin to Vitalik Buterin since it’s easier to pronounce.  Right after starting school in Canada, Vitalik was placed in the class of gifted children as he was drawn toward mathematics, economics, and programming

Later, Buterin attended The Abelard School, one of Canada’s finest private high schools. At school, while he was not good at gatherings and extracurricular events, he performed well in his academic subjects, especially Mathematics. The high school also made him hungry for more knowledge and to take as many risks as possible in his professional life.

Other than his academics, Vitalik was addicted to World of Warcraft and played the game from 2007 to 2010. However, when the company behind World of Warcraft known as Blizzard abruptly decided to remove the damage component from his favorite warlock’s life skill, Vitalik was extremely touched by the unannounced decision and vowed never to play the game. Interestingly, this is also the moment in Vitalik’s life when he learned how horrible centralized services can be, as they have the ultimate power to make as many changes as they want to.

Initial Involvement in Crypto 

In early 2011, Vitalik’s father introduced him to Bitcoin. At first, he doubted the concept of a decentralized digital currency. He did not perceive any potential in it, primarily due to Bitcoin’s lack of physical backing as a currency. Nevertheless, his eagerness to gain further knowledge inspired him to continue delving into the subject of Bitcoin. Consequently, by the end of 2011, Vitalik was captivated by Bitcoin and its fundamental Blockchain technology underpinning it.

After finishing a quarter of his studies, Vitalik left the University of Waterloo in 2013. He made this choice after receiving a bronze medal at the International Olympiad in Informatics in Italy. It was this victory that made him decide that from here onwards, his entire focus should be on the creation of Ethereum. In addition, he also won $100k from the Thiel Fellowship. This allowed him to visit several other countries, and meet like-minded developers, and upon his return, he published Ethereum’s whitepaper

Contribution to the crypto world by Ethereum’s birth

At the end of January 2014, Vitalik’s vision to create Ethereum became more clear. He and his handpicked team realized creating decentralized file storage, something that would run Ethereum, was not that difficult. That is why, just a month later, Vitalik was successfully able to create Ethereum. After its development, he introduced Ethereum to the audience at a Bitcoin conference in Miami. A few months later, Vitalik organized Ethereum’s Initial Coin Offering (ICO) which managed to raise an impressive $18 million. 

The reason for Ethereum’s success was attributed to the fact that it adhered to several principles, which included simplicity, agility, non-discrimination & censorship, universality, and modularity. Ever since the launch of Ethereum, it has risen in popularity and stood next to Bitcoin in terms of market cap. 

Vitalik’s Vision & Philosophy with Ethereum

With Ethereum, Vitalik wanted the world to have a launchpad for all sorts of sociopolitical experimentation, which includes but is not limited to; a fairer voting system, universal basic income, urban planning, public works, and the development of decentralized digital products and applications. Above anything, with Ethereum, Vitalik wants a platform that can easily counterweight authoritarian governments and companies that control people’s lives. Vitalik rejects the idea that anyone be given unilateral power in every walk of life. 

This is also visible with Ethereum, as despite being its co-founder, he does not have complete control over it. In addition, Vitalik also ensured that Ethereum’s network will regularly undergo improvements, as he understood that technology is ever-evolving and that without timely updates, Ethereum can become obsolete. To date, Ethereum has undergone three important upgrades, including London Upgrade, Berlin Upgrade, and Shanghai hard fork. All these upgrades allowed Ethereum to shift from a Proof of Work consensus mechanism to Proof of Stake

Vitalik’s foundations and investments

Over the past few years, Vitalik has made 3 different investments. His first investment was in StarkWare Industries, his Second investment was in Swift Solar, a Canadian company, and his third was in Aztec. Right after the launch of Ethereum, Vitalik also launched the Ethereum Foundation (EF) which serves as a Non-Profit Organization dedicated to supporting Ethereum and other related technologies. Immediately following Ethereum’s development, Vitalik established the Ethereum Foundation (EF), intending to provide support for Ethereum and its associated technologies. 

In 2018, Vitalik created TokenEO, a platform specifically designed for individuals seeking to enhance their understanding of virtual tokens. The goal of this service is to provide investors with comprehensive insights into tokens before they can commit to investing in them. TokenEO also serves as a crypto exchange. Furthermore, Vitalik serves in 8 different board and advisor roles. He also made headlines when he donated $1 billion to India’s COVID relief fund, which helped save countless lives.

Criticism of Vitalik Buterin

Ethereum faces multiple challenges, particularly because it is being used as a tool for money launderers and cyber criminals to transfer funds. Additionally, Ethereum constantly undergoes network congestion as it simply cannot handle a large number of users. This results in driving up its gas prices, ultimately making every transaction on the network expensive during times of high demand. Ethereum 2.0 was also delivered after more than three years of delays. Therefore, considering all these facts, many people remain skeptical about both Vitalik Buterin and Ethereum.

Contact and Social Media

Vitalik is mainly active on his X account, formally known as Twitter. He occasionally shares his thoughts and opinions on his website vitalik.ca. He also has a Facebook and LinkedIn profile but is not active there. 

Work Experience

NextThought, LLC
NextThought, LLC
Developer Intern
2012
Bitcoin Magazine
Bitcoin Magazine
Writer
2011 - present
Ethereum
Ethereum
Founder
2013 - present

Education

The Abelard School
The Abelard School
High School
2012
University of Waterloo
University of Waterloo
Computer Science
2012-2013
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