Vitalik Buterin tends to be best-known for being the co-founder of Ethereum. For those who are unfamiliar with that name, Ethereum is the platform that makes the cryptocurrency Ether possible. This is notable because Ether is one of the better-known cryptocurrencies that can be found out there, though it still falls far short of Bitcoin, which remains the best-known cryptocurrency in the present time. Regardless, there are sources that estimate Buterin's net worth to be around $100 million, though considering the probable makeup of his wealth, interested individuals might not want to put too much faith in that number because of the probable volatility that is inherent to it.
How Did Vitalik Buterin Reach His Current Net Worth?
In short, Buterin was born in Moscow Oblast in Russia. He lived there until he was the age of six, which was when his parents moved to Canada in search of better employment prospects. In school, Buterin proceeded to develop an interest in the subjects of math, economics, and computer programming, though his opinion of public education has been more than a bit ambivalent.
By the age of 17, Buterin had been introduced to the concept of Bitcoin by his father, who is a computer scientist. In 2013, he spent some time interacting with other people in other countries who shared his interest in programming, which prompted him to publish a white paper proposing the creation of Ethereum upon returning to Canada. By 2014, Buterin had managed to secure the Thiel Fellowship, which was what provided him with the funding that he needed to leave the University of Waterloo in preference for working on Ethereum on a full-time basis.
For those who are curious, Ethereum has been described as being a couple of things rolled into one. First, Buterin has called it a "decentralized mining network. Second, Buterin has called it a "software development platform" in the same sentence. This combination makes sense when one considers that Ethereum was meant to support the creation of new cryptocurrencies as well as new programs that share a single blockchain. In Buterin's opinion, Ethereum exists for the purpose of making up for Bitcoin's limited functionality, which has a negative effect on the cryptocurrency's actual ability to perform its intended functions. Besides Ethereum and thus Ether, Buterin has been involved with various other software projects as well, which have been open-source in nature.
Besides Buterin's contribution to programming, it is interesting to note that he has spent some time as a writer on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency-related issues. In fact, he started out as someone writing articles about Bitcoin for a Bitcoin blog in exchange for five Bitcoins an article, which were worth no more than $3.50 at the time. However, said blog failed within a short period of time because of a lack of widespread interest, though it wasn't too long before Buterin winded up becoming the co-founder of the publication called Bitcoin Magazine. This is notable because Bitcoin Magazine has been called the first serious publication on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency-related issues, which is supported by the fact that it is still in print at the moment. Currently, Buterin has stopped writing for Bitcoin Magazine, but he is still involved with this particular part of the field to some extent, seeing as how he is a member of the editorial board for a peer-reviewed scholarly journal called Ledger.
Summed up, it is clear that most of Buterin's wealth comes from Ethereum and thus Ether. Unfortunately, gauging his exact wealth tends to be rather challenging to say the least because a substantial chunk of it is held in a cryptocurrency. For those who are unfamiliar with the issue, cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile, which is why people whose wealth is tied up in cryptocurrencies can see enormous swings in value. In fact, this can be seen in how the relatively recent estimates of $100 million to $200 million for Buterin's net worth are actually based on calculations run after the value of Ether tumbled from about $1,000 to less than $400. Due to this, while it is clear that there is a huge amount of interest in cryptocurrencies, estimating the wealth of people who have invested heavily in them is more than a bit complicated to say the least.
Written by Garrett Parker
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