Gavin Wood

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Gavin Wood
Gavin Wood in 2017.jpg
Wood in 2017
Gavin James Wood

April 1980 (age 41)
EducationLancaster Royal Grammar School
Alma materUniversity of York
Known forCo-founder of Ethereum and former CTO of the Ethereum Foundation; co-founder of Polkadot; CWO and Chairman of Parity Technologies; author of the Polkadot White Paper and the Ethereum Yellow Paper

Gavin James Wood is an English computer scientist, co-founder of Ethereum and creator of Polkadot and Kusama.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Wood was born in Lancaster, England, United Kingdom. He attended the Lancaster Royal Grammar School and graduated from the University of York with a Master of Engineering (MEng) in Computer Systems and Software Engineering in 2002 and completed his PhD entitled "Content-based visualisation to aid common navigation of musical audio" in 2005.


Prior to developing Ethereum, Wood worked as a research scientist at Microsoft.[1] He co-founded Ethereum, which he has described as "one computer for the entire planet,"[3] with Vitalik Buterin, Charles Hoskinson, Anthony Di Iorio and Joseph Lubin during 2013–2014.[4][5] Wood proposed and helped develop Solidity,[6] a programming language for writing smart contracts and released the Yellow Paper defining the Ethereum Virtual Machine,[7] the runtime system for Smart contracts in Ethereum, in 2014. He also served as the Ethereum Foundation's first chief technology officer.[8][9][10] Wood left Ethereum in 2016.[11]

Wood founded Parity Technologies (formerly Ethcore), which developed a client for the Ethereum network and creates software for companies using blockchain technology, with Jutta Steiner, who also previously worked at the Ethereum Foundation.[1][9] The company released the Parity Ethereum software client, written in Rust, in early 2016. He serves as Parity's CWO, as of 2018.

He founded the Web3 Foundation, a nonprofit organization focusing on decentralised internet infrastructure and technology, starting with the Polkadot network.[9] In comparison to Ethereum's Proof of Work mechanism, Polkadot relies on Proof of Stake mechanism and allows developers to create their own blockchain that can talk to other ledgers, forming a system of parachains. Developers can decide what kind of transaction fees to charge and how fast to confirm blocks of transactions across the digital ledgers. In 2019, he founded Kusama, an early stage experimental development environment for Polkadot.[citation needed]


  • Ethereum: A Secure Decentralised Generalised Transaction Ledger[12]
  • Polkadot: Vision for a Heterogenous Multi-Chain Framework[13]


  1. ^ a b c Francisco, Danny Fortson in San (25 June 2017). "British coder revealed as brains behind bitcoin rival". The Sunday Times. ISSN 0956-1382. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Ethereum Blockchain Killer Goes By Unassuming Name of Polkadot". 17 October 2020.
  3. ^ "Ethereum: the competitor to Bitcoin which could transform entire industries". New Statesman. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Ethereum Regains Title as Second Most Valuable Cryptocurrency Behind Bitcoin". Fortune. Archived from the original on 8 January 2018. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  5. ^ Post, Claire Brownell Financial (27 June 2017). "Vitalik Buterin: The cryptocurrency prophet | Financial Post". Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  6. ^ Jeffries, Adrianne. "Ethereum hacking continues to be extremely lucrative". The Outline. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  7. ^ Dannen, Chris (16 March 2017). Introducing Ethereum and Solidity: Foundations of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Programming for Beginners. Apress. ISBN 978-1-4842-2535-6.
  8. ^ Paumgarten, Nick (15 October 2018). "The Prophets of Cryptocurrency Survey the Boom and Bust". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  9. ^ a b c Shieber, Jonathan (1 November 2017). "The future of Blockchain infrastructure, with Gavin Wood and Jutta Steiner". TechCrunch. Retrieved 9 January 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Jain, Aman (17 August 2021). "Founders' Fork: The Ethereum Architects Now Locked in Battle". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  11. ^ "Ethereum co-founder Dr Gavin Wood and company release Parity Bitcoin". International Business Times UK. 27 April 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  12. ^ Ethereum Yellow Paper
  13. ^ Polkadot White Paper