Who is Vitalik Buterin?
Vitalik Buterin is a Russian-Canadian Bitcoin writer and digital currency programmer born in Moscow, Russia, in 1994. His family moved to Canada in 2000 in search of better opportunities in life. The University of Waterloo drop-out became famous for his role in pioneering the publishing of Bitcoin Magazine in 2011.
He learned about Bitcoin from his father in 2012, the same year Bitcoin Magazine decided to thrust itself in the printing media. The magazine’s first printed edition is renowned as the first significant publication on the evolving cryptocurrency subject.
In 2012, he earned himself the International Olympiad bronze medal in Informatics. He developed a passion for programming in 2013, which was fanned by his global interaction with fellow software coders.
In the same year, he made proper use of his writing instincts to publish a white paper on an idea he had: Ethereum, a cryptocurrency platform with new features that he missed in Bitcoin.
He had a short stint at the University of Waterloo, but dropped out in 2014 after receiving $100,000 sponsorship from the Thiel fellowship. He decided to focus on his idea to develop the Ethereum platform. At this moment, the platform comes after Bitcoin in terms of its market capitalization size. It is indeed the undertaking that has made Vitalik what he is today!
Vitalik and the Bitcoin Magazine
Vitalik Buterin and Mihai Alisie co-founded the Bitcoin Magazine in 2011. It is famous for being the first magazine to deal exclusively with Bitcoin. The magazine was a prized wealth of information at that time since it was among the earliest sources of original information on digital currencies, especially Bitcoin. Vitalik was the magazine’s chief writer.
Vitalik contributed tirelessly to the magazine as a part-time writer until the magazine made its first print publication in 2012. He worked for around 15 hours per week. Although the magazine was available online through their website, it was conveniently available in Barnes & Noble bookshops all over the United States.
Mihai and Vitalik teamed up with Coin Publishing Ltd and published 22 issues before Tennessee’s BTC media expressed the desire to purchase Bitcoin Magazine.
Vitalik wrote for the magazine until mid-2014, even when BTC Media had purchased it. It was a time when the hunger for cryptocurrency information was growing exponentially around the world.
He built his capacity on bitcoin-related topics for Bitcoin Magazine and Bitcoin Weekly, a parallel Bitcoin publication. In 2015, Vitalik also found a slot in the editorial board of Ledger Journal. This scholarly journal published original research content in the field of cryptocurrency and its complementary blockchain technology. It was a peer-reviewed journal.
The Ethereum Project
When Buterin came up with his Ethereum white paper in 2013, he proposed a coding language for application development in Bitcoin. His proposal was turned down. He developed a new rival platform with a general coding language, innovated from Bitcoin but with enhanced crypto banking capabilities.
With David Gavin, Vitalik engaged on the Ethereum project and co-founded Ethereum, a decentralized crypto platform, on 30th July 2015. The project was a milestone that Vitalik lauds as one that gave him a great chance to interact with fellow cryptographers, economists, and mathematicians. They helped him in software coding for a program that now provides open access to digital currency for bankers worldwide regardless of your location.
It was a community-based platform that used the ETH (cryptocurrency Ether) as its digital money unit. Ethereum has currently grown in popularity to earn the name “the programmable blockchain of the world”. The user only needs an Ethereum wallet and an internet connection.
In September 2017, Vitalik joined forces with the CEO of Yota Devices, Vladislav Martynov, from his native country, Russia, to create Ethereum Russia to enhance blockchain technology implementation. The move came after Vladimir Putin, the Russian president endorsed Ethereum, earlier that year. Vitalik met Putin in the International Economic Forum of St. Petersburg (SPIEF) on 2nd June 2017. Vitalik was conducting a feasibility study on the economic and political appropriateness for Ethereum in Russia.
Vitalik Buterin Death Hoax
On 25th June 2017, Ethereum received its first blow when the 4chan website posted fake news of the death of Vitalik in a car crash. Due to the insanely high traffic for the website, the news spread like a bush fire.
The Ethereum price rose 50 times within six months in 2017. In a tragic twist of events, Ethereum investors frantically withdrew their ETH. Ethereum allegedly suffered an unprecedented sudden decline of $4 billion of its total market value.
Although Ethereum’s software was decentralized, Vitalik was, in reality, its public symbol. He was the creator of Ethereum, and news of his death was bound to disrupt the market.
Vitalik had to scribble out a sample data for the latest block from the software’s blockchain and took a selfie with the piece of paper in his hands. He posted a tweet with the image to allay fears of his death later.
Another day, another blockchain use case. pic.twitter.com/OyHzdhEeGR
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) June 26, 2017
4chan later deleted the article. However, this was not before a downward fluctuation of approximately 10% in the price of Ethereum. The slump went down to about $270 in a single day. However, the price stabilized and even assume a rising curve later that year.
Awards, Recognitions, and Philanthropy
Other than the Thiel fellowship scholarship of 2014, Vitalik has bagged several awards and recognition due to his business and computer science insight. The most prestigious is the honorary doctorate from the University of Basel’s Faculty of Business and Economics in November 2018. The honor came after he won the World Technology award (IT Software) in 2014.
Moreover, he donated millions of dollar worth of Ether to research institutions. One of the most notable is the $2 million donation to SENS Research Foundation in 2018 for biotechnology research on human life extension.