Who is Vitalik Buterin?

  • Born on January 31, 1994
  • Canadian-Russian nationality
  • Ethereum co-founder
  • Youngest billionaire in the world


Vitalik Buterin, often referred to simply as Vitalik in the crypto space, is a co-founder of Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world.

Childhood and education

Born in 1994 in Kolomna, Russia, Vitalik immigrated to Canada with his parents in 2000.

He attended The Abelard School, a private high school in Toronto, and the University of Waterloo, which he later left to build Ethereum, but not before he won a bronze medal in the International Olympiad in Informatics in 2012.

Right before dropping out of the university, Vitalik also received a $100,000 grant from a venture capitalist, Peter Thiel’s scholarship, the Thiel Fellowship.


Vitalik said he became resentful of centralized institutions when his character from the game ‘World of Warcraft” was forcefully weakened (and he loved playing this game very much).

“I cried myself to sleep, and on that day, I realized what horrors centralized services can bring.”

He learned about Bitcoin from his father in 2011, when he was 17.

“I thought [Bitcoin] was something really interesting. I started getting into the community more and more,” Buterin said in an interview with Business Insider in 2019. 

Image: Marc van der Chijs via Flickr

In 2013, after traveling with Bitcoin developers and researching multiple crypto projects, Vitalik wrote a whitepaper about Ethereum, and on July 30, 2015, Buterin, along with Joseph Lubin,  Charles Hoskinson, Gavin Wood, and Anthony Di Iorio, launched the Ethereum network.

“When I came up with Ethereum, my first thought was, ‘OK, this thing is too good to be true, and I’m going to have five professional cryptographers raining down on me and telling me how stupid I am for not seeing a bunch of very obvious flaws. Two weeks later, I was extremely surprised that none of that happened,” he said to Wire in 2016.

Ethereum today is the world’s second cryptocurrency by market capitalization. It amounts to $146 billion. According to multiple sources, the Ethereum co-founder owns 355,000 Ether, and in 2021, at the age of 27, Vitalik became the world’s youngest billionaire, although he is not one today due to the recent market downturn and his own tweet

Did you know?

  • Vitalik is believed to have an IQ of 257.
  • He once said his entire possessions can fit into one backpack.
  • He burned 90% of Shiba Inu coins donated to him (almost $6.7 billion at the time) and pledged to donate the remaining 10% to a charity.


Cover image: Romanpoet via Wikipedia Commons

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