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Who is Vitalik Buterin?
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But who is the man behind the legend? Let's take a look.
Vitalik was born in Russia on January 31 1994 and he has dual nationality of Russian-Canadian citizenship. Vitalik has always had a flare for math and programming, being recognized as a gifted child when he was young.
Vitalik became interested in Bitcoin in 2011, when it was just two years old. A little after that, he started to realize the true potential of the technology before him.
Fun fact: At this time Vitalik wanted to acquire some Bitcoin, but he had no money to buy them and no way to mine them. So he took a job writing blog posts earning 5 Bitcoins for every post. Vitalik then went on to co-found Bitcoin Magazine towards the end of 2011.
How Ethereum was born
In 2013 Vitalik started traveling, meeting and learning from developers as he did so. With a head full of inspiration, he published the initial Ethereum whitepaper proposal.
The concept for Ethereum continued to grow, and by January 2014 the Ethereum project was publicly announced, with Vitalik and a five others leading the charge.
The team decided to host a crowdsale for the native token on Ethereum, Ether.
At this time Vitalik was studying at the University of Waterloo. However, Vitalik received the USD100,000 Thiel Fellowship Grant. One of the terms of the grant is the recipient must skip or drop out of university to build their idea. The Thiel Foundation’s motto is "Some ideas can’t wait".
They were certainly correct this time.
Vitalik dropped out of university, accepted the grant and got to work.
The Ether crowdsale was a huge success, raising USD18 million worth of Bitcoin. Shortly after the crowdsale, the price of Bitcoin dropped, losing the team a lot of money. But they had enough to launch the Ethereum Foundation, a non-profit created to oversee the development of Ethereum.
After a series of testing and bug bounty phases, in the summer of 2015 Ethereum went live.
The first version was known as Frontier, and although it was very basic, it paved the way for digital app development.
The rest is history. Read our other blog post to find more about Ethereum.
Vitalik continues to actively work on Ethereum and there are a number of improvements on the way that focus on security, scalability and cost effectiveness.
Sharding is one major update for Ethereum that is in the works, focussing on improving scalability.