Vitalik Buterin: at the age 10 — games, at 27 — billion dollars

04.05.2022 |

For article about Vitalik Buterin

Contrary to popular legend, Vitalik Buterin has only Russian roots and place of birth. However, when he was only six, his parents moved to Canada, where he received his basic education. What allowed a young, ambitious guy to become the youngest cryptocurrency billionaire?

Father gave him a start in life

Vitalik’s father Dmitry Buterin is a computer scientist, which allowed him to move to Canada in the early 2000s. His father’s technical education played a significant role in the development of the future of the youngest billionaire. Around the age of ten, Vitalik became interested in developing video games, and his father strongly supported his endeavors. Dmitry also introduced his son to the ideas of cryptocurrencies and a distributed registry.


There is a legend that Vitalik decided to create his own cryptocurrency after one incident. In his youth, he was actively interested in online games, in particular World of Warcraft, where he developed a magician character. In the next update, Blizzard Entertainment decided to reduce the effectiveness of a number of spells, which had a significant effect on the gameplay. It was then, as the legend says, Vitalik realized that centralized services are not able to meet the needs of the community, and the decision of small groups can negatively affect various aspects of human life.

Getting Started in the Blockchain sphere

Vitalik Buterin became interested in cryptocurrencies back in 2011. It was then that he and a number of other enthusiasts founded the magazine “Bitcoin Magazine”, and the following year the publication began to be published in print. In addition, he took part in a number of open source cryptocurrency projects that were somehow related to bitcoin. All this activity left no time for studying at the university, and Vitalik decided to quit further academic studies.

When Vitalik Buterin was only 19 years old, in 2013, he introduced the first version of his cryptocurrency — Ethereum. Just eight years later, at the age of 27, he becomes the youngest cryptocurrency billionaire. Although for some time he lost his status, when, after the well-known events, the quotes of cryptocurrencies sank significantly, the title of billionaire returned to Vitalik quite quickly.

After the release of Ethereum and its recognition by the community, Buterin was showered with “titles”:

  • top-10 rating of “40 most influential young people under 40” according to Fortune magazine,
  • entered the “30 Under 30” list of Forbes magazine in the “Finance” category,
  • professional of the year according to the Vedomosti newspaper.

Buterin’s Current Role in Ethereum

Although Vitalik Buterin remains the face of the second largest cryptocurrency by capitalization, voicing the current ideas of the project and speaking on behalf of the Ethereum community, his role in the project has significantly decreased. As he himself says, and this can be seen from the repository, completely different people are working on the code base of the cryptocurrency. But at the same time management decisions, in particular launch Ethereum 2.0, are accepted by him, although with the participation of a small group of other managers.

In 2018, there was a rumor that Buterin intended to leave the Ethereum project, however, this information was refuted. Vitalik has also been criticized more than once on many aspects of the organization of his ecosystem. For example, the issue of the genesis block, where coins for a large amount were distributed between unknown addresses, has not yet been resolved. However, this does not prevent the project from remaining a “killer” of bitcoin, occupying the second line in capitalization and occupying 20% of turnover on all online cryptocurrency exchanges.