Vitalik Buterin is one of the most influential figures in the world of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain. At the tender age of 24, he is the founder of Ethereum, the second biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Not only is Eteherum a cryptocurrency it’s also a platform where decentralized applications can be built.
Below, we are going to take a look at 15 facts about Vitalik Buterin that you probably don’t know.
- Vitalik was born on Jan. 31, 1994 in a small town of Kolomna, Moscow Oblast, Russia
- His parents immigrated to Canada when Vitalik was six years old in search of better employment opportunities making Vitalik Buterin both a Rusian and a Canadian in terms of his nationality.
- Vitalik Buterin was considered to be autistic growing up. It’s something that made him weak at social interactions. There is a bizarre story from his childhood that reveals that he once swallowed a whole lemon fruit along with its skin.
- As a kid, Vitalik Buterin was naturally predisposed to math and programming. He also possessed a keen interest in economics and could add three digits numbers in his head twice as fast as the average kid his age.
- At the age of 13, Vitalik Buterin was more focused on earning extra levels playing World of Warcraft to the extent that he neglected his homework. It all changed one day in 2010 when his character was changed due to a Blizzard update. He proceeded to cry himself to sleep and quit the World of Warcraft altogether.
- His father introduced him to cryptocurrencies more specifically Bitcoin. However, he didn’t get into it straight away. He was of the opinion that the currency would fail because it didn’t have any intrinsic value. However, after hearing about it a few more times, he started to develop an interest. As he would later state; “if hear about something more than once it’s good to invest some time and find out more.”
- Vitalik Buterin has always viewed anything to do with the government regulation and corporate control with scepticism. It was the decentralized and uncontrollable nature of Bitcoin that arouse his interest in the project. Interestingly, what motivates him is the conviction that the powerful have too much power in their hands.
- He is also good at giving. It is said that he recently donated $300,000 to a startup working on Ethereum development. This occurred after a member of Prysmatic Labs commented on a tweet airing his views on how developments within the blockchain is slow and others should join in their effort in getting development up to speed as their team is reasonably small to handle everything. As a result, Vitalik Buterin sent them 1000 ETH for the further development of their project. Vtalik Buterin is also said to have donated $1 million worth of Ether to the project OmiseGo. His biggest known donation till date is over $2.4 million to SENS research foundation.
- To own his first BTC coins, Buterin found work as a writer for various blogs that paid him in Bitcoin. He was paid 5 BTC per article. However, it wasn’t his initial plan though. He wanted to experiment with the new economy but couldn’t get his hands on some coins as he didn’t have the computing power to mine nor the cash to buy some BTC.
- In late 2011, Vitalik Buterin co-founded the Bitcoin Magazine together with Mihai Alisie, a Romanian based crypto enthusiast.
- At the age of 17, Vitalik Buterin was the head writer at Bitcoin Magazine, had a part-time job as a research assistant for Ian Goldberg, a cryptographer and was also taking five advanced courses at the University of Waterloo.
- At his age, Vitalik Buterin has received several awards including a honorary doctorate from the University of Basel. In 2018, Vitalik Buterin was featured on Forbes 30 under 30 list. Vitalik Buterin has also previously featured on Forbes 40 under 40 list and Fortune 40 under 40 list.
- At 19 he used some of his Bitcoins to finance himself as he travelled the world to meet some of the people who were trying to grow the Bitcoin protocol.
- Vitalik Buterin wrote the Ethereum white paper at the age of 19. After interacting with the crypto community for some time, he realized that it was possible to generalize what different protocols at the time were doing by replacing all their functionalities with a Turing complete programming language. Initially, he presented this idea to the already existing projects, but they rejected it claiming it was too early to execute such grand things. It was when he decided to do it himself.
- Finally, there was a rumour about his death in 2017. The false news originated from 4Chan, on June 25. The report stated that he had been involved in a car accident which took his life. This rumour caused the price of Ethereum to drop sharply highlighting his importance to the project.
Vitalik Buterin is undeniably one of the most influential people within the crypto space. Not only is he the founder of the 3rd largest cryptocurrency by market cap (after Ripple) but he is also one of the biggest contributors within the crypto space.
Vitalik Buterin has also been active in philanthropic activities from donations to giving educational talks at conferences and Blockchain meetups.
Its safe to say he is one of the brightest minds the world will live to remember.