The Bitcoin and Ethereum are familiar and most popular cryptocurrencies in the world. The all crypto lovers know the founder of Bitcoin but there’s a lot of speculation as to who might have found a Bitcoin. But they know as founder is Elias Satoshi Nakamoto. On the other hand, the founder of Ethereum is Vitalik Buterin.
Unlike all the contenders for Satoshi Nakamoto, Vitalik Buterin isn’t some 50 or 60-year-old mathematician or programmer. In fact, Vitalik Buterin is only 28 years old today.
Vitalik Buterin first entered the cryptocurrency in 17 years old. He proposed Ethereum at 19 years, and he launched a darn thing at 21 year old.
PToday, Vitalik Buterin is the world’s youngest crypto billionaire, and he’s already donated over $1 billion to Satoshi.
Childhood of Vitalik Buterin
On January 31, 1994 in Kolomna, Russia was the birth place. He lived a lot of his early childhood in Russia, but most of his former diviors were in Canada. As his family moved there when Vitalik was six.
From very early on, it was clear that Vitalik Buterin wasn’t an ordinary child.
In third grade, Vitalik Buterin was accepted into a program for gifted students, and many of his teachers were surprised by how talented Vitalik Buterin was in math and programming.
Unfortunately, it looks like Vitalik Buterin fell into this stereotype of being a nerd that was not very social.
Vitalik really took part in social gatherings and extracurricular events. Something that Vitalik Buterin was heavily involved in though was World of Warcraft.
There’s often a lot of stigma surrounding gaming, as it’s seen as a waste of time that offers little to no real-life value.
However, for Vitalik Buterin, World of Warcraft was actually a thing that would introduce him to the crypto space.
The story goes then, 2010, Blizzard, the developers of Wow; removed the damage component of Vitalik’s beloved Warlock Siphon live spell.
This change made Vitalik extremely upset, and he says that he cried himself to sleep that night. For the first time, Vitalik realized the downfalls of a centralized system.
This distraught eventually introduced Vitalik to the cryptocurrency space the following year.
When Vitalik was first introduced to Bitcoin, he says that he was quite skeptical like most of us.
His primary concern with Bitcoin was that it didn’t have any physical backing. How could nothing have value?
But as Vitalik Buterin looked more into cryptos. He realized that the same argument could be made against fiat currencies as well.
At 17, Vitalik Buterin got a job writing for a Bitcoin magazine called Bitcoin Weekly.
He was only paid $1.50 per hour. But given that Vitalik wasn’t in it for the money, he was okay with it.
Also, something that should be noted was that Vitalik was paid in Bitcoin. The owner of the magazine paid him five Bitcoins per article; which was only worth $3.50 at the time.
This means that Vitalik Buterin was roughly paid $2.1 for Bitcoins per hour. In hindsight, I think we’d all agree that this wasn’t bad at all.
Unfortunately, Bitcoin Weekly eventually shut down due to insufficient revenue. But by the time the publication closed, Vitalik was able to build a name for himself in the crypto space.
Thus, when a crypto enthusiast named Mihai Alisey started his own Bitcoin publication. Vitalik Buterin was one of the top choices.
Vitalik Buterin started own Business
This was nearly a full-time job for Vitalik as he would spend 30 hours per week researching crypto; writing about crypto, and working on other crypto projects.
Despite putting so much effort into crypto, Vitalik didn’t drop the ball on school either. Vitalik Buterin continued to be a top performer in high school. And he even won on bronze medal in the International Olympiad in Informatics in 2012.
After high school, Vitalik enrolled in the University of Waterloo, but in college, crypto would start a consumer’s life.
He was traveling around the world to meet with crypto experts and write about their perspectives and outlooks in his magazine.
He meet crypto experts
As he met with all these crypto experts, Vitalik started to notice a common set of complaints and pitfalls regarding crypto projects. Most crypto built for specific use cases and were not very applicable outside of their niches.
Vitalik Buterin felt that the shortfall could easily fixed by replacing the current protocols with the touring complete programming language.
Vitalik proposed his idea to all of the existing projects that he had built relationships with; but none of them really interested in the idea.
So, Vitalik decided to do it himself. In late 2013, Vitalik wrote about his idea for Ethereum in a white paper, which he shared with his crypto friends.
His crypto friends then shared it with their friends, and in no time, a large portion of the crypto community was talking about the potential of Ethereum.
The positive feedback was super encouraging, but Vitalik wasn’t quite ready to make the jump. Yes, he owned a business and he probably had dozens of Bitcoin; but this wasn’t really worth that much at the time
Vitalik Buterin and
In an effort to get some funding, Vitalik would apply to the Theo Fellowship, which awards $100,000 to young people who want to quote, build new things instead of sitting in a classroom. And sure enough, Vitalik would win the $100,000.
But this was nothing in comparison to how much they were about to raise. Vitalik, Meehai, Gavin Wood, and a couple of other crypto enthusiasts started work on Ethereum in January of 2014.
One month later, Vitalik revealed a buffed-up version of Ethereum at the 2014
And a few months later; the team would hold an initial coin offering to raise more money for the project. I’m not sure how much money they were looking to raise; but it looks like they crushed their ICO.
The team ended up raising a whopping $18 million by selling 31,000 Bitcoin’s worth of Ether.
I don’t think you’d surprised to hear that Vitalik dropped out of college after this outstanding funding round. Over the next year. The team developed the bulk of Ethereum, and the platform would officially launch in July of 2015.
Vitalik Buterin launched Etherium
Now, it should be noted that Ethereum itself actually just a platform. The cryptocurrency that people generally refer to as Ethereum actually called Ether.
Anyway, while there was a lot of hype surrounding Ethereum’s launch, it didn’t take long for obstacles to arise as well, with the first major hurdle being the Dow attack.
In 2016, a decentralized autonomous organization, or a Dow, raised money in order to create a venture capital firm based on Ethereum. This was one of the most hyped projects at the time.
In fact, it was so hyped that 14% of all Ether encirculation was invested into the Dow. This translated to roughly $150 million.
Vitalik Buterin face Problem
Less than three months after it’s launched, though, the Dow would be hacked and $60 million was stolen. A code exploit in the Dow’s wallet smart contracts could be leveraged to drain the funds in the Dow’s wallet.
This was a life-threatening issue as this massive security issue cast out on Ethereum as a whole. It’s very possible that Ethereum could have gone down with the Dow attack; but Vitalik was determined to prevent this from happening.
At first, Vitalik proposed a soft fork. With the soft fork, previously valid transaction blocks could be made invalid.
But Vitalik needed the support of the majority of miners in order to complete the fork successfully.
After hearing about this plan, the hackers fired back, claiming that it’s not their fault that there was a security issue, and the funds they stole were quote-unquote, obtained through Fairmeans.
The hackers threatened that they would buy miners using 1 million Ethereum and prevent a soft fork from being completed. As a result, Vitalik was forced to consider a hard fork.
A hard fork is when a substantial change is made to a blockchain network, and miners and users have the option of following the original path or the new path.
Vitalik Buterin execute the hard fork
Vitalik could reimburse the investors using tokens on the new protocol; but this was extremely controversial.
Cryptocurrencies were supposed to be free of a central authority, and a hard fork would clearly violate this principle.
Nonetheless, Vitalik executed the hard fork on July 20th 2016; and this is why there are two major Ethereum tokens today.
Ethereum Classic or ETC and Ether or ETH. This allowed Vitalik to return all the money that was stolen to the investors using the new ETH token.
The hackers returned control of the ETC coins they stole, but given that everyone was dumping ETC, their stake had watered down to $8.5 million.
That’s still quite a substantial amount, but I don’t think Vitalik could have really handled the situation any better.
Latest developments of the Etherium
Since then, Vitalik has tried to be more proactive with updates to Ethereum; and that brings us into the latest development; Ethereum 2.0. Ethereum 2.0 is designed to reduce energy consumption, transaction costs, and transaction speeds of Ethereum.
The key to accomplishing this is switching from the proof of work model to the proof of stake model.
proof of work and stake model
The proof of stake model is superior; but in essence. The proof of work model is when miners buy a crap down of equipment and try to verify transactions through brute force.
This method not only requires a significant amount of energy; but most of the energy used in my crypto is wasted on brute force.
In contrast, in a proof of stake model, transactions are verified by individuals who own a large amount of the given crypto.
The idea is that these people will be truthful while verifying the transactions, given that they wouldn’t want sabotage their own investment.
People who try to abuse the system will either fined or even banned from staking again; depending on the severity of their violation.
By switching to proof of stake, Ethereum will be able to eliminate the large energy consumption required for mining.
Ethereum 2.0’s first phase is already started rolling out in December of 2020.
But the full transition isn’t expected till sometime in 2022.
Many people think that Ethereum 2.0 will be the catalyst that propels Ether a bit coin in terms of market cap. But only time will tell how that plays out.
As for Vitalik today, we don’t exactly know what all of the crypto stakes are; but his net worth is estimated to be somewhere between $1 billion and $3 billion.
Which makes him the world’s youngest crypto billionaire. Vitalik hasn’t been shy when it comes to sharing his wealth either.
For example, in May, Vitalik donated $1.14 billion worth of Shiba coins to end his COVID relief fund. With that type of heart, I think Vitalik more than deserves all his success he’s enjoyed so far.
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