A Russian-Canadian programmer has officially been crowned the world’s youngest crypto billionaire. Vitalik Buterin, 27, reached billionaire status after digital currency Ethereum surged above a $3,000 price mark Monday.
The celebrity crypto guru co-founded Ethereum, the second-biggest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, in 2015. Ethereum has attracted a huge following in the world of decentralized finance, thanks to its faster transaction times when compared to that of Bitcoin.
He holds 333,000 Ether coins, which is now worth an astonishing $1.029 billion. In 2013, the writer and programmer dropped out of college and later became one of eight co-founders of Ethereum.
At the time of writing, his visionary project boasts a huge market cap of about $350 billion, which is bigger than The Bank of America, the country’s second-largest bank.
Buterin, who now lives in Singapore, was born in 1994 in a small Russian town called Kolomna, located around 60 miles away from Moscow.
At the age of 4, his family moved to Canada to search for better job opportunities.
They later gifted him his first computer. However, instead of playing video games like most kids, he developed a fascination with the spreadsheets on Microsoft Excel.
At school, the mathematical whizz kid was a bit too clever for his peers. In third grade, he was placed in a program for the gifted and talented according to Daily Mail.
According to former peers, he had the ability to add three-digit numbers in his head twice as fast as the average human being.
With his parents’ blessing, Vitalik dropped out of the University of Waterloo in 2013 and travelled the world to meet crypto enthusiasts in other countries.
His father, who ran a small software startup, introduced him to bitcoin in 2011. In an interview with Wired, Buterin said:
I saw everything to do with either government regulation or corporate control as just being plain evil. And I assumed that people in those institutions were kind of like Mr. Burns (in The Simpsons), sitting behind their desks saying, Excellent. How can I screw a thousand people over this time?
Buterin, who was 19-years-old at the time, came up with the design of Ethereum in a white paper later that year.
Like Bitcoin, Ethereum runs its own blockchain, an online ledger that tracks the transfer of information or value. Buterin envisioned a payment network that allows anonymous payments to be sent across the internet without the need for a bank.