Who is Vitalik Buterin and how did he create Ethereum?

By June 12, 2018 No Comments

“Whereas most technologies tend to automate workers on the periphery doing menial tasks, blockchains automate away the center. Instead of putting the taxi driver out of a job, blockchain puts Uber out of a job and lets the taxi drivers work with the customer directly.” – Buterin
Vitalik Buterin is a 24 year old Russian-Canadian programmer and writer who is known for creating Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
A reporter from Wired who wrote an article about him once had this to say about Buterin.
“I’ve been told by various people that Buterin learned to speak fluent Mandarin in just a few months, that he’s an autistic wunderkind, that all of his worldly possessions fit into one suitcase, that he once ate an entire lemon without removing the rind, that he’s an android powered by the Ethereum network.”
Let us take a look at Buterin and blockchain – a forward thinking innovator and a disruptive advancement in technology that are altering the way we think about contracts and raising capital for businesses.
Origin of Buterin’s Innovative Streak
In the 90s, most kids enjoyed playing outside, running around with their friends in the middle of a game of Tag or Cops and Robbers. Buterin on the other hand, has said that one of his favourite hobbies as a child was using Microsoft Excel.
Buterin was born in Moscow and migrated to Canada at the age of five at which point he was entering the third grade. His teachers found that he could mentally add three digit numbers twice as fast as his peers. They realised that he was different and got him into the gifted program after which his gifts began to flourish.
As he got older, Buterin, began to look for his next interest after he had quit playing World of Warcraft, his obsession at the time. It was then that his father introduced him to something that would change his world – Bitcoin. To this day, Buterin has never revealed what about Bitcoin got him intrigued but does admit that it became his next obsession – not that we need that confirmation from him, he’s the founder of Ethereum for Ethereum for crying out loud!
He began to collect more information about his newest interest and began going to conferences and talking to the thought leaders of the space. He stayed focused and this laser focus of his allowed him to formulate his idea and evolve it into one of the most talked about new blockchain concepts in a negligible period of time.
Commitment to Cryptocurrency
His curiosity in cryptocurrency was increasing by the day and he spent most of his time learning and generating unique concepts. He eventually dropped out of college as many iconic figures before him have (Jobs, Gates, Zuckerberg…there’s a trend here). He traveled the world and talked to people to learn more about bitcoin. He published his findings in a white paper in 2013. His White paper got a lot of attention and this led to him being rewarded with a $100,000 Peter Thiel Fellowship.
Soon after this, he created the Ethereum Foundation to expand his research on cryptocurrency. Later that year, he announced the sale of Ethereum and the introduction of Ethereum mining in a blog post. This new cryptocurrency wouldn’t be similar to Bitcoin – it would be vastly different.
A new wave of Blockchain Technology
Buterin didn’t just create a new cryptocurrency, he created a new blockchain platform that can perform many different, useful tasks. His cryptocurrency features contracts and the Ethereum Virtual Machine. The currency can be used for peer to peer transactions using smart contracts to negotiate and facilitate these agreements.
With blockchain technology, we are provided with a decentralised way of verifying and executing these smart contracts. The contracts provide heightened security and cost less than traditional contracts. There has been much support from the corporate world with over 80 firms including ING and Toyota who have joined a group that is aiming to utilise this technology to executer smart contracts at Fortune 500 companies.
Additionally, one can create causes to be supported and seek contributions from the community to raise the required money for the cause. This can be kept open either until a particular date or until a particular goal is reached. This allows us to do what is already being done whilst eliminating any middle men companies like Kickstarter so that all funds collected can be used for the actual cause without any loopholes.
What Lies Ahead for Ethereum
Buterin looked at the disruptive but nascent blockchain technology and cryptocurrency industry and asked himself what else could be done in this space. When he first developed the Ethereum idea, he thought it was too good to be true. It turned out that the idea was fundamentally good and completely sound.
Ethereum is second only to bitcoin and is sure to be a competitor to all major cryptocurrencies both today and in the future. It is changing what we understand blockchain technology’s utility to be with its new applications which prove that there is much more to this disruptive new technology than just peer to peer currency transactions.

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