Bitcoin with its decentralized architecture and anonymous character attracted Buterin. He became one of the co-founders of the Bitcoin Magazine, which is currently considered to be one of the most popular magazines about the cryptocurrency industry, Bitcoin and the blockchain technology.
Read more about The story of Vitalik Buterin.
In spring 2013 Buterin visited crypto-related conference in San Jose, California as a part of the Bitcoin Magazine crew. Vitalik got inspired by the community, full of interesting and innovative ideas. He decided that his goal is to become an active part of the Bitcoin community and to take part in developing the idea of cryptocurrencies. Buterin left the University in the end of 2013 and spent Bitcoins that he has saved travelling around the world and meeting cryptocurrency enthusiasts from different countries. At that time he met some really talented people full of innovative ideas who to make Bitcoin more effective and revolutionary. Buterin was amazed by the quality and diversity of Bitcoin-related projects that he saw. He had a chance to pay with BTC in Switzerland, buy Bitcoin in Bitcoin ATMs, sell Bitcoin during crypto-related meet-ups.
“I want to be able to walk into a convenience store, get a card, pay $5 and get $5, minus some small fee of like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, etc and start using it. Allowing people to use small amounts of cryptocurrency is valuable within crypto, and also particularly for use cases of blockchains that go beyond cryptocurrency. Even non-financial blockchain use cases still require transaction fees. If we can get this friction down with one trip to the convenience store, it would be simple to start using cryptocurrency”
The Bitcoin community occurred to be diverse and full of energy. It united people from all around the world, who did not need a third party of a state approval in order to transfer money. It was simply amazing! However, there was still a lot of gaps in the Bitcoin architecture. Buterin realized that he is able to create a crypto of the next generation, which will open endless opportunities to people from all around the world.
Buterin never stopped attending Bitcoin-related events and conferences. In Autumn 2013 he also met the representatives of “CovertCoins” and “MasterCoin” projects. Those projects attracted his attention, because they were researching the potential of the blockchain technology. Blockchain seemed to be an amazing platform for realizing interesting ideas. Vitalik checked both projects by himself and came to the conclusion that it is possible to use a new programming language called Turing in order to globally generalize the functionality of the protocols.
In theory, Turing-complete is a special language that gives a device an opportunity to cope with any specific issue provided that you have developed a relevant algorithm and have enough memory on your computer. Buterin planned to work on this idea in cooperation with “CovertCoins” and “MasterCoin”. However the founders of the projects did not support him and found Vitalik’s idea way to ambitious. Thus, Buterin started working on it by himself.
In the end of 2013 Buterin has written Ethereum White Paper, in which he described the major characteristics of the project that he is working on. He sent a draft version to his close friends only. Eventually, more than thirty people have emailed Vitalik in order to discuss the whole idea and plans. At the first stage Buterin was mainly focusing on the Ethereum native currency, Ether. The concept was reshaped over time, as a result of numerous meetings, debates and discussions. In the beginning of 2014 the Ethereum team has decided that it is time to develop a special file storage with a decentralized architecture. This is how the concept of Ethereum was born.
Buterin has presented his project in January 2014. At that time, Buterin has already gathered a team: Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio, Charles Hoskinson, Joe Lubin and Gavin Wood.
The first Ethereum’s conference was a crypto-related event in Miami. In late 2014 the core team of the project decided to run a token sale.
Buterin was granted $100,000 as a part of Thiel Fellowship in order to implement his revolutionary idea into life. Ethereum token sale was very successful: the project raised around 31,000 BTC ($18 mln). The team was very excited about using the raised funds for development of the platform.