THIS IS THE THIRD IN A SERIES EXPLORING SOME OF THE REVOLUTIONARIES IN THE BLOCKCHAIN SPACE AND THOSE DESERVING CONSIDERATION ON THE MYTHICAL BLOCKCHAIN MT. RUSHMORE. TODAY’S HONOREE, VITALIK BUTERIN, HAS DEDICATED MUCH OF HIS LIFE TO ADVANCING BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY.
To say that Buterin jumped into the blockchain game at an early age would be an understatement. The Russian-born son of a computer programmer, Buterin moved with his family to Canada at the ripe old age of 6. Less than a decade later, he was getting paid to write about his passion: Bitcoin.
Buterin’s first paid gig was paid in, well, bitcoin. He earned five bitcoin – valued at the time at about $3.50 – for each article he supplied for a lightly trafficked blog site. The site eventually folded, leaving Buterin without an outlet to tout the future of cryptocurrency.
Soon after the site pulled the plug, however, Buterin was offered a position at the newly launched Bitcoin Magazine. Upon accepting the position, he was granted co-founder status and at the age of 17 was one of the leading writers about bitcoin and blockchain in the world.
And he wasn’t limited to just magazines. Buterin was so respected an authority on all things bitcoin and blockchain that he heled a position on the editorial board of Ledger, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal that published original research articles on the subjects of internest in the space.
More Than a Writer
While his writing career was helping him gain clout in blockchain circles, he still dabbled in programming. As a programmer, he invented and co-founded Ethereum with Joseph Lubin. Ethereum was the world’s first combo decentralized mining network and software development platform.
The development was groundbreaking. Buterin says of the Ethereum Project:
“I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to work in such an interesting and interdisciplinary area of industry, where I have the chance to interact with cryptographers, mathematicians and economists prominent in their fields, to help build software and tools that already affect tens of thousands of people around the world, and to work on advanced problems in computer science, economics and philosophy every week.”
Getting Recognized and Giving Back
Today, Buterin continues to serve as one of the biggest influencers in all of blockchain. But his influence is not exclusive to bitcoin, Ethereum or cryptocurrency. He has been named on Fortune’s 40 under 40 list in 2016 and 2018, and was named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in 2018.
He has also been generous with his fortune in cryptocurrency, providing recorded gifts of more than $4 million to various projects and charities since 2017.