Vitalik Buterin, 2016
|Alma mater||University of Waterloo|
|Known for||Ethereum, Bitcoin Magazine|
|Fields||Digital contracts, digital currencies, game theory|
Vitaly Dmitriyevich "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.
Buterin was born in Kolomna, Moscow Oblast, Russia, to Dmitry Buterin, a computer scientist, 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. While in grade three of elementary school in Canada, Buterin was placed into a class for gifted children and started to understand that he was drawn to math, programming, and economics.
Buterin attended the Abelard School, a private high school in Toronto, for four years, 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". Buterin has written that although he was "never particularly inspired by the traditional education system", 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."
Buterin learned about Bitcoin, from his father, at age 17. In 2012, he obtained a bronze medal in the International Olympiad in Informatics. 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. He attended the University of Waterloo but dropped out in 2014, when he received the Thiel Fellowship in the amount of $100,000, and went to work on Ethereum full-time.
On 30 November 2018, Vitalik Buterin received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of Basel on the occasion of the Dies Academicus.
Buterin met a person on a bitcoin chat forum trying to start a bitcoin blog. The owner offered five bitcoin (about $3.50 at the time) 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.
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.
In addition Buterin wrote about bitcoin-related topics for other publications, including Bitcoin Weekly. Bitcoin Magazine in 2012 later began publishing a print edition and has been referred to as the first serious publication dedicated to cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin Magazine was then purchased by BTC Media, where Buterin continued to write until mid-2014.
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.
Buterin is a co-founder and inventor of Ethereum, described as a "decentralised mining network and software development platform rolled into one" that facilitates the creation of new cryptocurrencies and programs that share a single blockchain (a cryptographic transaction ledger).
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.:88 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." However, in a 2018 New Yorker article, his father suggests that Buterin is trying to avoid the focus on him as the philosopher king of the blockchain world. “He is trying to focus his time on research,” Dmitry [Buterin’s father] said. “He’s not too excited that the community assigns so much importance to him. He wants the community to be more resilient.”
Open source software
Buterin has contributed as a developer to other open source software projects. He also contributed to DarkWallet by Cody Wilson, Bitcoin Python libraries, and the cryptocurrency marketplace site Egora.
As Buterin was recognizing the economic and political relevance of the Ethereum enterprise for his native Russia, he met with Vladimir Putin on June 2, 2017, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) event. The president of Russia stated that he "supported the idea of establishing ties with possible Russian partners".
Awards and recognition
- Thiel Fellowship Award, 2014
- World Technology Award in the IT Software category, 2014
- Fortune 40 under 40 list, 2016.
- Forbes 30 under 30 list, 2018.
- Fortune the ledger 40 under 40 list, 2018.
- University of Basel Honorary doctorate, 2018.
- Donation of $763,970 worth of Ether to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute in 2017.
- Donation of $2.4 million worth of Ether to the SENS Research Foundation in 2018, for the research on rejuvenation biotechnologies and human life extension.
- Donation of $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, in 2018.
- Donation of $93,469 worth of Ether, matched by the Pineapple Fund, to the Internet Archive in 2018.
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- Melendez, Steven (10 February 2014). "Could this 20-Year-Old kid make Bitcoin obsolete?". Fast Company. Archived from the original on 2014-03-01. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
- del Castillo, Michael (24 September 2014). "Dark wallet: A radical way to Bitcoin". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 2013-09-25. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Brownell, Claire (2017-06-27). "Vitalik Buterin: The cryptocurrency prophet". Financial Post. Archived from the original on 2018-03-08. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
- Peck, Morgen (2016-06-13). "The Uncanny Mind That Built Ethereum". Backchannel. WIRED. Archived from the original on 2017-07-13. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
- Snyder, Benjamin (2017-06-23). "Meet Vitalik Buterin, the 23-year-old founder of bitcoin rival ethereum". CNBC. Archived from the original on 2018-01-29. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
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- "Results | IOI 2012". www.ioi2012.org. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-07-21.
- Braga, Matthew (13 Oct 2016). "Change Agents 2016: Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum". Canadian Business. Archived from the original on 2017-06-07. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
- Elliot, Josh (July 2, 2014). "Why a 20-year-old Toronto drop-out accepted $100,000 to stay out of school". CTV. Archived from the original on 2016-06-01. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
- "4chan's Vitalik Buterin Death Hoax Crashes Ethereum Price". Bitsonline. 2017-06-25. Archived from the original on 2017-06-26. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
- "Vitalik Buterin receives Honorary Doctorate". cif.unibas.ch. Retrieved 2019-07-03.
- "Interview with Vitalik Buterin". Bitcorati, Inc. January 10, 2014. Archived from the original on 2015-02-17. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
- Stankovic, Stefan (29 January 2018). "Who is Vitalik Buterin, The Mastermind Behind Ethereum?". Unblock. Archived from the original on 2018-04-11. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- Vigna, Paul; Casey, Michael J. (2015). "Community". The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and the Blockchain Are Challenging ... Macmillan Publishers. p. 88. ISBN 9781250065636.
- "Ledger". Archived from the original on 2016-02-20. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- Aron, Jacob (6 February 2014). "Bitcoin: How its core technology will change the world". New Scientist (2955). Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
- "Vitalik Buterin on Ethereum and The Decentralized Future". Future Thinkers Podcast. 2015-04-21. Archived from the original on 2016-05-18. Retrieved 2016-05-13.
- "White Paper· ethereum/wiki Wiki · GitHub". Archived from the original on 28 March 2015.
- Tapscott, Don; Tapscott, Alex (2016-05-07). The Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World. Portfolio. ISBN 978-0670069972.
- Paumgarten, Nick (15 October 2018). "The Prophets of Cryptocurrency Survey the Boom and Bust". www.newyorker.com. The New Yorker. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
- 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.
- Antonopoulos, Andreas M. (December 20, 2014). "#4. Keys, Addresses, and Wallets". Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies. O'Reilly Media. p. 82. ISBN 978-1449374044.
- Sebastian, Clare (Nov 2017) "Russia eyes cryptocurrency dominance" Archived 2018-07-20 at the Wayback Machine CNN Tech. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
- Self Published (2014). "2014 World Technology Awards Winners". www.wtn.net. The World Technology Network. Archived from the original on 2018-08-09. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- 40 under 40: Vitalik Buterin, 22 Archived 2016-09-25 at the Wayback Machine, Fortune, September 2016.
- Forbes 30 under 30 Archived 2017-12-01 at the Wayback Machine, Forbes, November 2017.
- Stankovic, Stefan (29 January 2018). "Who is Vitalik Buterin, The Mastermind Behind Ethereum? - Unblock". Unblock. Archived from the original on 2018-04-11. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
- "Fortune The Ledger 40 under 40: Vitalik Buterin". 29 July 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-07-29. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
- "Dies Academicus of the University of Basel: Honorary doctorates for Hansjörg Schneider and Vitalik Buterin". 30 November 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-12-05. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
- "Fundraising success! - Machine Intelligence Research Institute". Machine Intelligence Research Institute. 2018-01-10. Archived from the original on 2018-07-07. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
- Elena, Milova (March 20, 2018). "Vitalik Buterin: The Best Thing to Donate Money to is The Fight Against Aging". LIFE EXTENSION ADVOCACY FOUNDATION. Archived from the original on 2018-03-22. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
- "OmiseGO And Vitalik Buterin Donate $1 Million In Crypto To Charity For Ugandan Refugees". maija247news.com. 2 April 2018. Retrieved 2018-04-30.