In May 2021, Vitalik Buterin, rightfully earned the title of the World’s youngest cryptocurrency billionaire. The Russian-Canadian founder of Ethereum got his seat at the billionaires table after a bull run skyrocketed Ethereum’s price. The currency rose to almost 350% of its original value at the start of the year, and so did the digits in Buterin’s wallet.
This 27-year-old has his fortune in Ether, Ethereum blockchain’s native token. This vocal wealth tax proponent therefore has 334.000 Ether, which was at the time trading for just over $3,415 per coin. So, should this be converted to conventional currencies, say the dollar, Buterin is worth almost $1.14 billion.
Vitalik Buterin’s Early Life : Youngest Cryptocurrency Billionaire
Vitalik Buterin is Russian by birth, born in Moscow, but he grew up in Canada. His mother was a financial analyst and his father a computer scientist. In school this self-made billionaire took an interest in programming, economics. He later set his eye on Bitcoin.
In 2013, Buterin published a white paper for a project called Ethereum. He drew inspiration for the name from a Wikipedia page for science fiction elements. In this paper, he proposed a decentralized platform that would repurpose the blockchain technology behind Bitcoin. He suggested incorporating “smart contracts”, which are pieces of code that represent immutable agreements between a buyer and seller. Smart contracts are capable of self-executing without a centralized authority.
After getting roughly $18 million in funding, Buterin and a handful of other developers started the first version of Etherium in July 2015. The currency gained a bit of traction in the first year. Unfortunately, it crashed soon after when a major hack caused the disappearance of $50million in Ether.
However, the cryptocurrency flair in 2017 drastically multiplied Ethereum’s price. The coin shot from $8 to a high of $840 within a year. The token has since grown very popular with a market cap that nearly hit $395 billion in 2021.
He Won A Thiel Fellowship
Vitalik Buterin had briefly enrolled at the University of Waterloo before publishing Ethereum’s white paper. While studying there, he made friends with acclaimed cryptographer Ian Goldberg, credited, and together, they co-founded Bitcoin Magazine. But in the spring semester of 2013, he won a “Thiel Fellowship”. A Thiel Fellowship is a two-year program that awards 24 college students with $100,000 each year, if they agree to drop out of college and start a business of their own.
He Has Been The Subject Of A Death Hoax
When the cryptocurrency boom in 2017 made Ethereum into Bitcoin’s arch rival, there was a rife rumor the token’s founder had died. There was no evidence of his death but the rumors said he died in a car crash. In a bid to thwart the rumor and prove he was alive, Buterin tweeted a picture of himself holding a handwritten note. On the note, he had scribbled the most recent Ethereum block on the chain together with its hash. A hash is almost impossible to guess and this served well as a proof of life. A pretty smart move, but you can bet that’s just standard for the world’s youngest cryptocurrency billionaire?