Vitalik Buterin

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Vitalik Buterin
Vitalik Buterin, 2016
Native name Виталий Дмитриевич Бутерин
Born (1994-01-31) January 31, 1994 (age 24)
Kolomna, Russia
Nationality Russian-Canadian
Alma mater University of Waterloo
(dropped out)
Known for Ethereum, Bitcoin Magazine
Awards Thiel Fellowship
Scientific career
Fields Digital contracts, digital currencies, game theory

Vitalik Buterin (Russian: Виталий Дмитриевич Бутерин; born January 31, 1994) is a Russian-Canadian programmer and writer primarily known as a co-founder of Ethereum and as a co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine.[1][2][3]

Personal life[edit]

Buterin was born in Kolomna, Moscow Oblast, Russia, to Dmitry Buterin, a computer scientist,[4] and Natalia Ameline (née Chistyakova). He lived in the area until the age of six when his parents emigrated to Canada in search of better employment opportunities.[5] While in grade three of elementary school in Canada, Buterin was placed into a class for gifted children[6] and started to understand that he was drawn to math, programming, and economics. He also had the ability to add three-digit numbers in his head at twice the speed of his peers.[5]

Buterin attended the Abelard School, a private high school in Toronto, for four years,[7] which he said, "proved to be among the most interesting and productive years of my life; the closer connection between students and teachers [&] the level of depth at which the material was taught, made me want to learn, and to focus on learning as my primary goal".[7] Buterin has written that although he was "never particularly inspired by the traditional education system",[7] when subjects were presented with "dedication and focus on intellectual inquiry", he said:

"I noticed my attitude and my results almost immediately and drastically change. Education is ultimately much more than simply memorizing individual facts, or even learning individual concepts. [What] matters most: learning how to think, learning how to reason and learning how to learn."[7]

Buterin learned about Bitcoin, from his father, at age 17.[5] In 2012, he obtained a bronze medal in the International Olympiad in Informatics.[8] In 2013, he visited developers in other countries who shared his enthusiasm for code. He returned to Toronto later that year and published a white paper proposing Ethereum.[9] He attended the University of Waterloo but dropped out in 2014, when he received the Thiel Fellowship in the amount of $100,000,[10] and went to work on Ethereum full-time.[10]

On June 25, 2017, Buterin was the subject of a death hoax originating from 4chan.[11]


Beginnings at Bitcoin Magazine[edit]

Buterin met a person on a bitcoin chat forum trying to start a bitcoin blog. The owner offered five bitcoin (about $3.50) to anyone who would write an article for him. Buterin wrote for the site until its website shut down soon thereafter due to Bitcoin's lack of mainstream attention.[12]

In September 2011, another person reached out to Buterin about a new publication called Bitcoin Magazine, a position which Buterin would accept as the first co-founder, and contribute as a leading writer.[13]

In addition Buterin wrote about bitcoin-related topics for other publications, including Bitcoin Weekly.[1][14] Bitcoin Magazine in 2012 later began publishing a print edition and has been referred to as the first serious publication dedicated to cryptocurrencies.[15] Bitcoin Magazine was then purchased by BTC Media, where Buterin continued to write until mid-2014.[citation needed]

In addition, he held a position on the editorial board of Ledger, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal that publishes full-length original research articles on the subjects of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.[16]


Buterin is a co-founder and inventor of Ethereum, described as a "decentralised mining network and software development platform rolled into one"[attribution needed] that facilitates the creation of new cryptocurrencies and programs that share a single blockchain (a cryptographic transaction ledger).[17][18][19]

Buterin first described Ethereum in a white paper in late 2013. Buterin argued that bitcoin needed a scripting language for application development. But when he failed to gain agreement, he proposed development of a new platform with a more general scripting language.[citation needed] About the Ethereum Project, Buterin has said: "I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to work in such an interesting and interdisciplinary area of industry, where I have the chance to interact with cryptographers, mathematicians and economists prominent in their fields, to help build software and tools that already affect tens of thousands of people around the world, and to work on advanced problems in computer science, economics and philosophy every week."[7]

Open source software[edit]

Buterin has contributed as a developer to other open source software projects.[1] Some early examples are: Kryptokit, pybitcointools,, and btckeysplit.[20] He also contributed to DarkWallet[21] by Cody Wilson, Bitcoin Python libraries,[22] and the cryptocurrency marketplace site Egora.[2]

Awards and recognition[edit]


Buterin donated 2.4 million dollars in Ether to the SENS Research Foundation in 2018, for the research on rejuvenation biotechnologies and human life extension.[28]

Buterin has also given $1 million worth of Ether in conjunction with the Ethereum-based OmiseGO open payment platform to the GiveDirectly organization aimed at helping the poorest of poor refugees in Africa.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Finley, Klint (27 January 2014). "Out in the open: Teenage hacker transforms web into one giant Bitcoin network". Wired. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Melendez, Steven (10 February 2014). "Could this 20-Year-Old kid make Bitcoin obsolete?". Fast Company. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  3. ^ del Castillo, Michael (24 September 2014). "Dark wallet: A radical way to Bitcoin". The New Yorker. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Brownell, Claire (2017-06-27). "Vitalik Buterin: The cryptocurrency prophet". Financial Post. Retrieved 2018-03-08. 
  5. ^ a b c Peck, Morgen (2016-06-13). "The Uncanny Mind That Built Ethereum". Backchannel. WIRED. Retrieved 2016-06-15. 
  6. ^ Snyder, Benjamin (2017-06-23). "Meet Vitalik Buterin, the 23-year-old founder of bitcoin rival ethereum". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-03-08. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Students". Abelard School. Retrieved 7 October 2017. 
  8. ^ "Results | IOI 2012". Retrieved 2016-07-21. 
  9. ^ Braga, Matthew (13 Oct 2016). "Change Agents 2016: Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum". Canadian Business. Retrieved 6 June 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Elliot, Josh (July 2, 2014). "Why a 20-year-old Toronto drop-out accepted $100,000 to stay out of school". CTV. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  11. ^ "4chan's Vitalik Buterin Death Hoax Crashes Ethereum Price". Bitsonline. 2017-06-25. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  12. ^ "Interview with Vitalik Buterin". Bitcorati, Inc. January 10, 2014. Retrieved June 3, 2017. 
  13. ^ Stankovic, Stefan (29 January 2018). "Who is Vitalik Buterin, The Mastermind Behind Ethereum?". Unblock. Retrieved 19 April 2018. 
  14. ^ "About us – Bitcoin Magazine". Bitcoin Magazine. Coin Publishing Ltd. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  15. ^ Vigna, Paul; Casey, Michael J. (2015). "Community". The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and the Blockchain Are Challenging ... Macmillan Publishers. p. 88. ISBN 9781250065636. 
  16. ^ "Ledger". Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  17. ^ Aron, Jacob (6 February 2014). "Bitcoin: How its core technology will change the world". New Scientist (2955). Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  18. ^ Hajdarbegovic, Nermin (23 February 2014). "Ethereum launches 'Cryptocurrency 2.0' network". CoinDesk. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  19. ^ "Vitalik Buterin on Ethereum and The Decentralized Future". Future Thinkers Podcast. 2015-04-21. Retrieved 2016-05-13. 
  20. ^ Southurst, Jon (7 January 2014). "Roger Ver and Erik Voorhees Back Bitcoin Wallet KryptoKit". CoinDesk. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  21. ^ Kelly, Brian (2015). "Smart Money, set it and forget it". The Bitcoin Big Bang: How Alternative Currencies Are About to Change the World. Wiley Publishing. p. 156. ISBN 978-1118963661. 
  22. ^ Antonopoulos, Andreas M. (December 20, 2014). "#4. Keys, Addresses, and Wallets". Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies. O'Reilly Media. p. 82. ISBN 978-1449374044. 
  23. ^ Finley, Klint (5 June 2014). "$100k Peter Thiel Fellowship Awarded to Ethereum's Vitalik Buterin". CoinDesk. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  24. ^ Self Published (2014). "2014 World Technology Awards Winners". The World Technology Network. Retrieved 11 April 2018. 
  25. ^ 40 under 40: Vitalik Buterin, 22, Fortune, September 2016.
  26. ^ Forbes 30 under 30, Forbes, November 2017.
  27. ^ Stankovic, Stefan (29 January 2018). "Who is Vitalik Buterin, The Mastermind Behind Ethereum? - Unblock". Unblock. Retrieved 11 April 2018. 
  28. ^ Elena, Milova (March 20, 2018). "Vitalik Buterin: The Best Thing to Donate Money to is The Fight Against Aging". LIFE EXTENSION ADVOCACY FOUNDATION. Retrieved March 21, 2018. 
  29. ^ "OmiseGO And Vitalik Buterin Donate $1 Million In Crypto To Charity For Ugandan Refugees". 2 April 2018. Retrieved 2018-04-30. 

External links[edit]