7 Things you probably didn’t know about Vitalik Buterin & Ethereum
As we’re inching closer to “The Merge,” the major upgrade to officially mark Ethereum’s switch to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus, we’d like to share some really interesting facts about Ethereum’s founder, Vitalik Buterin and his brainchild Ethereum.
Vitaly Dmitriyevich “Vitalik” Buterin (Russian: Виталий Дмитриевич Бутерин; born 31 January 1994) is a Canadian programmer best known as one of the co-founders of Ethereum. Buterin became involved with cryptocurrency early in its inception. Here are 7 interesting facts about his life:
- Vitalik’s father was a computer scientist and his source of knowledge about Bitcoin. He started learning about Bitcoin at a very young age of 17
- Vitalik invented Ethereum at an age of 19 – At an age when most of us were deciding our career paths, Vitalik had invented Ethereum, a decentralised mining network and software development platform. Today Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization, second only to Bitcoin
- While in grade three of elementary school in Canada, Vitalik exhibited advanced levels of IQ, well above his peers. He was placed into a class for gifted children and was drawn to mathematics, programming, and economics.
- Besides being a super advanced analytical mind, Buterin was an exceptional writer. He started early in 2011, when he began writing for a publication called Bitcoin Weekly post meeting a person at the Bitcoin forum in the pursuit to earn bitcoin. He used to get paid 5 BTC ($3.5 per BTC back then). In the same year, he started his own publication after being reached out by Mihai Alisie. He was the co-founder and also contributed as the lead writer.
- A University Dropout – He attended the University of Waterloo where he took advanced courses as a research assistant under cryptographer Ian Goldberg, one of the former board of director of the Tor Project. In 2013 Buterin published a white paper proposing Ethereum. In 2014 he was awarded a grant of $100,000 by the Thiel Fellowship, a scholarship offered by ace venture capitalist Peter Thiel. From there on he has been working on Ethereum.
- In 2017 a hoax over Vitalik’s death in a car crash had spurred a $4 Billion wipe out in the overall market value of Ethereum. The fake news arose from a post on 4Chan, the notorious online message board frequented by internet trolls. Buterin had to disprove his own death and took to social media to prove that he was, in fact still alive, posting an ethereum block number and corresponding hash.
- Why did he pick the name, “Ethereum?” When he wrote the whitepaper for Ethereum in 2013 during his travel, he was inspired by a medieval scientific theory and looked up science fiction terms for inspiration. While surfing the web for those terms he came across the word, “Ether.” In the 19th century, scientists assumed ether was a substance that is transparent, weightless, frictionless, undetectable chemically or physically, spreading through all matter and space. As per Camilla Russo in her book “The Infinite Machine”, “Vitalik wanted his platform to be the underlying and imperceptible medium for every application, just what medieval scientists thought ether was, plus, it sounded nice.”
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