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Who created Ethereum?

19-year-old Toronto native Vitalik Buterin, a programmer working on Bitcoin projects, first developed Ethereum. He intended it to be a robust platform which enabled developers to create blockchain applications. Ethereum’s creation was inspired by some of the shortcomings Buterin faced when trying to do the same with Bitcoin blockchain. Convinced blockchain technology’s potential far surpassed financial transactions, he rapidly set out to develop blockchain capable of supporting more common computations.

Vitalik Buterin first learned about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in 2011. A wunderkind, that very year he co-founded Bitcoin Magazine for which he wrote many articles predicting the digital currency’s future. He then worked on Mastercoin and other digital coins based on the Bitcoin codebase. This experience led him to suspect Bitcoin’s blockchain was too limited in scope and ultimately to the creation of Ethereum.

Released in 2013, the Ethereum whitepaper documents a new open-source protocol for creating decentralized applications.   

In 2014, Ethereum was finally officially launched on the Bitcointalk forum.

Ethereum Virtual Machine Yellow Paper Released

In addition to Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founders include Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio and Charles Hoskinson. Developers Dr. Gavin Wood and Joseph Lubin were announced to join Ethereum as well. Wood released the Ethereum yellow paper, which details the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), the runtime environment that executes all of the network’s smart contracts. Lubin would later go on to found ConsenSys, a venture studio specializing in decentralized applications.

The Ethereum Foundation sold 60 million tokens during an ether crowdsale in July 2014. 12 million ether (ETH) tokens were created so that the Ethereum Foundation can expand its development and marketing projects. The Frontier was the first release of the Ethereum network in 2015. The Frontier offered a minimalist mechanism for developers to interact with and build apps on the network.  

The Ethereum network and community have grown significantly over the past year.

The Ethereum Enterprise Alliance is an initiative working to connect the world’s largest companies to the Ethereum network.

It recently announced 86 new partners such as Microsoft, Intel and BP. Similarly, a variety of new blockchain projects which leverage the Ethereum blockchain have gained both notable attention and capital.

Ethereum became better known in early 2017 thanks to the price of ETH increasing by 1000 percent over the course of a couple months. This in turn led to an increase in value of alternative blockchain tokens, nicknamed “altcoins.” New investors flooded the market as Ethereum gained publicity through popular media outlets like CNBC, Reuters and Quartz. Investors and developers now wait for the release of Metropolis, the next update to the Ethereum network which promises to abstract many functions and facilitate user-friendly application designs.


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