The 27-year-old co-founder of the Ethereum blockchain and its digital cryptocurrency, Eth, Vitalik Buterin is the youngest crypto billionaire in the world. Today Ethereum is the second-largest crypto project after Bitcoin in terms of market cap. According to Forbes, in May 2021, he owned around 333,520 ETH, worth $4,000 each today.
Buterin’s early life
Vitalik was born on January 31, 1994, in Russia, but he spent most of his childhood and adolescent life in Canada, where his parents emigrated when he was 6 years old. Buterin lived not only in Canada and Russia but also in the city of Zug in Switzerland. Since 2017, the creator of Ethereum has been living in Singapore. Vitalik is fluent in three languages: Russian, English, and Chinese.
Vitalik and cryptocurrency
In 2011, when Vitalik was 17 years old, he received an offer from Mihai Alisi to become one of the founders and authors of Bitcoin Magazine. The main emphasis in Bitcoin Magazine was on information, news, and comments about cryptocurrencies, in particular, Bitcoin.
At the end of 2013, Vitalik introduced a white paper, which revealed the potential benefits of his concept of a decentralized applications platform based on smart contracts, dubbed Ethereum. Then he sent it out to fifteen colleagues for critical review.
His colleagues, in turn, showed the project to their contacts. After a couple of weeks, about 20 people expressed their readiness to take part in its implementation. They similarly presented the project to their friends, attracting more people on board with the idea.
Buterin entered the University of Waterloo but dropped out in 2014 after winning the Thiel grant of $100,000 from former PayPal CEO and the first Facebook investor Peter Thiel.
The main reason for leaving the university was Buterin’s desire to devote himself to projects related to blockchain technology. He worked with his team on the Ethereum project for two years. In 2015, the team launched the Ethereum network and blockchain – all ready for developers to build their decentralized applications on the platform.
The platform quickly gained popularity, and in two weeks, Buterin managed to raise $18 million. While everyone around was engaged in the creation of virtual currencies based on the blockchain, Vitalik was working on a platform that could be embedded in other applications.
The main goal of Ethereum was to simplify the transfer of any process to the blockchain. In addition, Ethereum gives more freedom to developers. Ether, the native token of the Ethereum blockchain, is used to fuel the network, utilize its services and protect it against unscrupulous users. The more complex the operation performed by the user, the more ethers he will have to pay.
Unlike Bitcoin, ETH has an unlimited supply of tokens, with 18 million added to the circulating supply each year. Ethereum was developed on a technology called the blockchain just like Bitcoin.
If Bitcoin was designed as an electronic cash and payment system just like regular money, then Ethereum is a platform and programming language used by developers to build and run decentralized applications. Today Ethereum cryptocurrency (ETH) is one of the most expensive ones with a market capitalization of $513.29 billion.
According to the forecasts of market participants, Ethereum will surpass Bitcoin in terms of growth rates in a few years. A CoinShares poll found that 42 percent of investors cite Ethereum as the cryptocurrency with the most compelling prospects.