Vitalik Buterin is a Canadian-Russian programmer and writer. He was part of Bitcoin community since 2011. In fact, he was writing and co-founding articles for Bitcoin magazine.
Vitalik mostly known with Ethereum. He is the boy-genius behind the project. Today, Ethereum is the second-most valued cryptocurrency by CoinMarketCap ranking. Vitalik is only 23 years old and focused on his vision for Ethereum.
Buterin first heard about Bitcoin from his father. At first, he believed that cryptocurrency will fail due to lack of intrinsic value. But, once, he studied more about Bitcoin, he attracted to this new currency. In fact, the feature of Bitcoin such as decentralization and uncontrollable nature, attracted his interest.
Then, he started to search more and involved in various Bitcoin-related discussions and forums. As a result, he started to understand the unlimited potentials of the technology behind Bitcoin.
However, he was interested in owning some amount of Bitcoin, he didn’t have enough cash to buy or even didn’t have enough computing power to mine some Bitcoin. So, he found a job as a blogger. He was writing articles about Bitcoin and in return get 5 Bitcoins per article.
While he was working and getting more experience in this sector, he understood the different aspects of cryptocurrency. In fact, he realized the technological, economical and political aspects.
Finally, his articles attracted the attention of a Romanian Bitcoin enthusiast called Mihai Alisie. He is the person who later co-founding Bitcoin magazine. Vitalik also joined Mihai and started to work as head writer for the magazine. Meanwhile, he was working part-time as a research assistant for a cryptographer called Ian Goldberg.
After a while, he decided to travel the world and meet more people who are active in cryptocurrency world. In fact, those people were trying to expand the Bitcoin capabilities in order to create a better version of Bitcoin. He saw a lot of Bitcoin-related projects. For the first time, he realized that Bitcoin is expanding its popularity. From Bitcoin ATMs to the shops, which accept Bitcoin as a payment option.
It was in the year 2013, that Vitalik published his idea in a whitepaper. Then, he sent out the whitepaper to his close friends, and then they sent it out to more people. Finally, around 30 people received the whitepaper to discuss it. Vitalik expected that those people criticize his idea and pointing out mistakes. However, it never happened.
Finally, the project announced to the public in 2014. They introduced Vitalik Buterin, Anthony Di Iorio, Mihai Alisie, Joe Lubin, Charles Hoskinson and Gavin Wood as a core team behind Ethereum project. Vitalik also presented the idea at a Bitcoin conference in Miami.
After that, the team behind Ethereum decided to have a crowdsale in order to raise fund for the development of the project. They sold Ether, the native token of the Ethereum network during the crowdsale.
In this crowdsale, the Ether tokens sold out for Bitcoin. They could raise over 31,000 BTC from the cryptocurrency community. This amount was equivalent to $18 million at the time. Once, they raised the fund, suddenly the price of Bitcoin dropped dramatically. As a result, the team lost million dollars of raised funds. Anyway, the team established the Ethereum foundation using the money. In fact, they established a non-profit organization in Switzerland in order to develop Ethereum’s open source software.
Vitalik Buterin in China
Although Chinese government didn’t have a clear position about Bitcoin, and they were not friendly with this new currency, it’s adopted by many small and large businesses around this country. In fact, China population adopted Ethereum platform and the blockchain technology due to its capabilities and potentials. The Vitalik personality plays a significant role in the development of this platform. One of the reasons could be that he managed to learn Chinese by simply using a mobile app just in few months.
Many institutions in China are researching on Ethereum. For instance, the Peking University, which is the top rank university in China is creating an Ethereum Laboratory. In fact, they are trying to improve the protocols in order to use the platform in energy market and supply chain.
In addition, many Chinese start-ups and companies focused their resources and manpower in order to research and implement various aspects of the Ethereum platform.
Furthermore, Vitalik itself is a General Partner at Fenbushi Venture. Fenbushi is the first and biggest China-based capital firm, which invested in blockchain-enabled companies.
Buterin in Russia
Vitalik traveled to Russia in August 2017 to have a speech about Ethereum and cryptocurrency. Over 5000 people attended to the conference to listen to Vitalik’s speech in Skolkovo. He mentioned in his speech, when it comes to testing and researching blockchain technology, Russia is among top-three countries alongside with Singapore and England. It’s notable that Moscow has the most number of nodes on the entire Ethereum network.
During his visit firm Russia, Vitalik, met Vladimir Putin as well. Many media outlets claimed that this meeting was one of Buterin’s conditions for traveling to Russia. Vitalik described the potentials, capabilities and opportunities of Ethereum technology in Russia. The Vladimir Putting supported his idea as well. As reported previously, Russia and specifically the president is interested in the idea of digital economy. As a result, many research and investigations are running about blockchain technology in this country. In fact, they are trying to use blockchain in order to track products, personal identification and digital owner’s rights protection.
Furthermore, it was on October 2017 that Sberbank, the largest Russia’s bank, announced that it joined Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. Before, QIWI was the only company in the alliance.
Vitalik also made a deal with the CEO of Yota Services, Vladislav Martynov. In fact, Yota Services is a Russian-based mobile communications and connectivity devices company. The deal was about to create a new entity, which provide architecture review, education and events for a Russian state-owned development bank called Vneshtorgbank.