Who is Vitalik Buterin? Biography and role in Ethereum


Vitalik Buterin is a Russian-Canadian programmer and the co-founder of Ethereum, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin. He is credited with transforming the blockchain technology into a platform for businesses and organizations to build applications. He has been a major figure in the world of cryptocurrency since his early days as a teenager when he first became involved in Bitcoin. He is a highly respected figure in the Ethereum and cryptocurrency communities, and his work and leadership have been instrumental in the development of Ethereum.

Who is Vitalik Buterin?  Forklog explains


Who is Vitalik Buterin?  Forklog explains



  • Vitalik Buterin is one of the founders of Ethereum and the main “face” of the project.
  • Born in Russia in a family of programmers, at the age of 6 he moved to Canada, where he grew up and received an education. I have been interested in software development and mathematics since childhood.
  • Buterin first introduced the Ethereum architecture at the end of 2013. Several people are among the co-founders of the project, including Gavin Wood and Joseph Lubin.
  • Buterin still plays an important role in the blockchain platform development community, and is also one of the recognized leaders in the crypto industry.

Where was Vitalik Buterin born and raised?

Vitaly Dmitrievich Buterin, better known as Vitalik Buterin, was born on January 31, 1994 in the city of Kolomna near Moscow.

His parents Dmitry Buterin and Natalya Amelina are programmers by education. In 1997 they divorced. After that, his mother emigrated to Canada, and at the age of six, Buterin and his father also moved there.

They settled in Toronto, where the future creator of Ethereum went to school with in-depth study of mathematics, programming and economics, and then entered and graduated from a private educational institution – the Abelard School.

According to Canadian Business, it was his father who introduced Vitalik Buterin to cryptocurrencies. Now both of his parents run crypto projects: Natalia is CryptoChicks, and Dmitry is BlockGeeks.

What is the education background of Vitalik Buterin?

As his father recalled, Buterin showed an interest in mathematics and computer science from childhood. While still at school, he took third place at the International Olympiad in Informatics, which is held under the auspices of UNESCO.

Since 2012, Buterin entered the University of Waterloo, Canada’s leading university for programmers. But already in 2013 he was expelled. According to Buterin himself, he actively studied and wrote code in the field of blockchain, and there was no time left for study.

Already in 2018, the University of Basel awarded the creator of Ethereum an honorary doctorate, calling him “a key player in the digital revolution of our time.”

What was Vitalik Buterin doing before creating Ethereum?

In 2011, Buterin became the author of the Bitcoin Weekly portal dedicated to the first cryptocurrency. His publications attracted Romanian crypto enthusiast Mihai Alisi, who offered to start together a printed cryptocurrency magazine. Buterin agreed. So he became one of the founders of Bitcoin Magazine. 9 out of 12 articles in the first issue of the publication were written by Buterin.

In addition, after being expelled from the university, Buterin got an internship at the NextThought IT company, where he was engaged in back-end development.

How Vitalik Buterin founded Ethereum?

At the beginning of 2013, Buterin went on an international trip, including to get acquainted with the teams of various crypto projects. In Israel, he met with the creators of Mastercoin, the first “cryptocurrency 2.0” project. This became a landmark event in Buterin’s biography.

The founder of Mastercoin, John Willet, is known for holding the first-ever ICO in 2012. In the white paper of the project, he – also for the first time in the history of cryptocurrencies – described the concept of smart contracts and some other ideas, including DAO, algorithmic stablecoins and others.

Mastercoin was the first blockchain project to go beyond a digital currency and aim to create an application platform. But this concept has already been implemented in Ethereum. Mastercoin was renamed to Omni, and the Tether stablecoin was first released on this network.

In November 2013, Buterin sent his fellow crypto enthusiasts white paper Ethereum. Having received a positive response to the document, together with some of them, he began to bring the project to life.

One of his closest associates was Gavin Wood, under whose authorship in early 2014 the so-called “yellow paper” is a document with the technical details of Ethereum. In the same place, Wood first described the platform’s virtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine, which became the “heart” of the smart contract system. Wood later had a hand in other iconic crypto projects, notably Polkadot.

Other Ethereum co-founders include Joseph Lubin, Charles Hoskinson, Jeffrey Wilk, Mihai Alisi, Amir Chetrit, and Anthony Di Iorio.

To fund the development, the Ethereum team used $100,000 that Buterin received from The Thiel Foundation, the foundation of well-known tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel.

In addition, in the summer of 2014, Ethereum held an ICO. As a result of the token sale, they managed to get 31,500 BTC, which was about $18.5 million at that time. Part of the ETH emission was sent to the development team and to the non-profit Ethereum Foundation, which later became an organization for the development of the ecosystem.

We launched the blockchain platform in 2015.

Is Buterin involved in the development of Ethereum?

Today, the creator of the blockchain platform is one of the chairmen of the Ethereum Foundation. He authored or co-authored about 40 proposals to improve the Ethereum protocol – the so-called Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP). They are discussed in the Ethereum developer community and, after refinement, are implemented into the blockchain protocol using hard forks.

Buterin has been involved in the creation of key proposals, such as the introduction of the ERC-20 token standard and the transition to the Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm. He is also working on key components of the massive Ethereum 2.0 update.

In 2021, together with other developers, he published EIP-1559, which was included in the London hard fork. As a result, the system for calculating network commissions has changed and a mechanism for burning ETH has appeared.

In the winter of 2022, Buterin proposed introducing ZK-Rollups technology into the commission calculation system in order to reduce their average size by several times.

In addition, Buterin is a public figure, speaks at various conferences and is a recognized intellectual in the blockchain industry. He comments on the current agenda in his Twitter. Buterin also leads blogin which he publishes his reflections on various issues.

“You wake up in 2035 and 80% of the world’s transactions and savings are in one currency, and that’s not ETH. What do you think it will be the currency?”, — he wrote.

What does Vitalik Buterin write about?

On his website, the founder of Ethereum offers new ways to use the blockchain – from new systems distribution of public goods to creation of “crypto cities”. He also criticizes the legalization of bitcoin in El Salvador, sets out the complexity of the blockchain-based voting procedure, and reasoning about how the prediction market affects modern politics, using the example of the US elections.

His interests are not limited to cryptocurrencies and blockchain alone. The creator of Ethereum is interested in life extension and thinksthat some of those who are born now will be able to live to be 3,000 years old. In addition, he publishes papers on economics. For example, in 2018 Buterin released article on the decentralization of the tax system.

February 2022 became known that in the fall a collection of essays by Vitalik Buterin entitled “Proof of Stake: The Making of Ethereum and the Philosophy of Blockchains” will be published in the United States.

He is also interested in social life. Even before the start of the war in Ukraine, Buterin called on the Russian government to prevent hostilities. When the war began, Buterin supported Ukraine with donations and noted:

“The current situation has reminded many people in the community that the ultimate goal of cryptocurrencies is to do things that have a meaningful effect in the real world.”

How much ETH does Buterin have?

In November 2021, Forbes magazine recognized Buterin as the youngest crypto billionaire. According to the publication, then the general state of the founder of Ethereum was estimated at more than 325,000 coins of ether (ETH), which was about $1.46 billion at that time.

However, due to the correction in the cryptocurrency market, Buterin’s wealth has decreased. In the spring of 2022, his representative admitted that Buterin’s capital is approximately $800 million. Thus, he fell out of the list of cryptocurrency billionaires.

Does Buterin maintain ties with Russia?

The creator of Ethereum is a Canadian citizen. For the first time since emigrating, he visited Russia in 2016. Then he spoke at a conference of the Skolkovo Foundation and met with representatives of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, which was then developing the Masterchain interbank blockchain platform based on Ethereum.

Buterin saw great potential for the development of the project in Russia and planned to involve Russian businesses and programmers in cooperation.

A year later, he returned to Russia and met with Vladimir Putin at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Later, answering When asked why he meets with politicians and officials from different countries, although they are structures opposite to decentralized systems, Buterin quoted the American black rights activist Frederick Douglass:

“I will team up with anyone to do the right thing, and with anyone to do the wrong thing.”

After the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine, Buterin abandoned his former neutrality, openly condemning the war started by Russia.

How much does Vitalik Buterin spend on charity?

Buterin is an active philanthropist and philanthropist. He donated $1 billion to the fight against coronavirus in India (at least some of the donations were returned to him) and $4 million to the University of New South Wales, which is developing a method for early recognition of signs of a pandemic.

The crypto-entrepreneur also gave $336 million to the Methuselah Foundation, a non-profit organization that deals with regenerative medicine, and donated about $5 million to support Ukraine after the start of the war.

In addition, Buterin supports the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the MIRI project, which works on the safety of artificial intelligence, the Charter Cities Institute, which develops new types of cities, and the SENS Foundation, which researches life extension technologies.

Buterin – the star of the crypto industry?

Now Vitalik Buterin is without a doubt one of the most important representatives of the crypto industry, who is regularly included among the most influential people on the planet. Buterin’s contribution was recognized by both Elon Musk and German Gref, and crypto enthusiasts in China even call him “God B”.

Two English-language non-fiction bestsellers have already written about Buterin and the creation of Ethereum: “The Cryptopians: Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze” by Laura Shin and “The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto-hackers Is Building the Next Internet with Ethereum” by Camille Russo.

The final confirmation of Buterin’s pop cultural status was the news that Hollywood was interested in him: Alien and Gladiator director Ridley Scott is producing a film adaptation of Russo’s book.

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Vitalik Buterin is an influential figure in the world of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. His contributions to the development of Ethereum have been invaluable and have helped shape the direction of the technology. His vision, passion, and dedication to the project have been an inspiration to many in the space and have helped create a platform that has the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with technology. His legacy is sure to live on for many years to come.


Who is Vitalik Buterin?

Vitalik Buterin is a programmer, researcher and co-founder of Ethereum. He was born on January 31, 1994 in Kolomna, Russia and raised in Toronto, Canada. He is known for his innovative work in blockchain technology. He is a prolific writer and speaker in the field of cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, and decentralized applications.

Vitalik is best known for his role in the development of Ethereum, an open source blockchain-based distributed computing platform. He wrote the original Ethereum white paper in 2013 and has since been a major contributor to the development of the platform. He also created the popular programming language Solidity, which is used to create smart contracts on Ethereum.

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