Vitalik Butering is a Russian-Canadian developer who co-founded Ethereum. He is thought to be the second most influential blockchain creator after Satoshi Nakamoto due to his contribution to building crypto’s largest smart contract ecosystem.
Buterin moved with his family from Russia to Canada as a child. At a young age, he was recognized for his incredible academy skills and knowledge of subjects like mathematics and programming - to the point of being moved to a program for gifted children.
His intelligence played a key part in Buterin’s introverted behavior and bad social skills, two traits for which he is famous today. As a result, crypto’s favorite developer spent most of the time playing video games. Whether it is fate or a random string of events, Buterin’s interest in decentralization began after a ‘traumatic’ event in which video game company Blizzard decided to introduce unwelcomed changes to World of Warcraft. Buterin described the event in the following way:
“I happily played World of Warcraft during 2007-2010, but one day Blizzard removed the damage component from my beloved warlock's Siphon Life spell. I cried myself to sleep, and on that day, I realized what horrors centralized services could bring. I soon decided to quit.”
Vitalik Buterin discovered Bitcoin in 2011. Despite being initially skeptical as to Bitcoin’s value, he later went on to create the Bitcoin Magazine with Mihai Alisie, another crypto enthusiast who he met on a Bitcoin forum.
Realizing that all the crypto-related projects took too much of his time, Buterin decided to drop out of college and pursue a full-time career in the blockchain industry. In the same year, he traveled the world, participated in blockchain conferences, and spoke with other crypto fans. Ultimately, Vitalik concluded that blockchain networks need scriptability, so he went on to co-found Ethereum with Joseph Lubin, Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Lorio, Gavin Wood, and Charles Hoskinson.
Ethereum officially launched in January 2014 and, in the span of two years, went on to become the market’s second-biggest cryptocurrency by market cap. Buterin works feverously on the project’s development still to this day and currently takes part in launching Ethereum 2.0, the next iteration of smart contract technology.