Profiles of the blockchain industry: Vitalik Buterin
The Profiles of the blockchain industry series examines pioneers and leaders of the blockchain industry, with the hope of inspiring you to find your place in this nascent realm. It’s a world that is full of potential and is leaping forward through the innovations of key figures. What is your role in this new frontier? The possibilities are infinite.
A figure whose prominence rose in 2017 with the astronomical rise in value and attention of the unique cryptocurrency, Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin is one of the most influential figures in the blockchain industry today.
This technology offered an important innovation to the world of cryptocurrency in the form of smart contracts and a virtual environment that essentially creates an operating system, running on a decentralized network that enables the creation of decentralized applications — a brilliant idea that completely transformed the world of cryptocurrency, launching thousands of unique projects on its platform and serving to provide a new way for anyone to invest venture capital in new projects via an ICO, or Initial Coin Offering, with Ethereum’s native currency, Ether.
Vitalik Buterin, born in Russia and later immigrating to Canada, began his young career in cryptocurrency as a writer, creating articles most prominently as the lead writer for Bitcoin Magazine. He continued researching blockchain technology while on the editorial board at Ledger, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal focusing on cryptocurrency. At the young age of 21, he had successfully created and co-founded Ethereum, revealing the revolutionary technology to the world in 2014. He continues to advocate for blockchain technology and its underlying principles, such as decentralization and resistance to corruption.
The principle difference behind Ethereum’s design when compared to Bitcoin is that it enables developers to use scripts to create their own applications on its blockchain, with smart contracts performing assigned tasks such as forming agreements, storing data, or automated transferral of funds when certain pre-programmed conditions are met.
Of course, many competitors have risen over the past year or two, espousing to launch the next “Ethereum-killer”. What these competitors may be overlooking is the genius behind Ethereum is still hard at work addressing problems of scalability, security, and privacy for this already, by far, most popular decentralized application platform in the blockchain space.