Even if you aren't investing in cryptocurrency, you've probably at least heard about it. While there are many different cryptocurrencies making waves right now, one in particular called Ethereum was co-created by a young programmer who grew up in Toronto.
Vitalik Buterin is the 27-year-old mastermind behind the second-largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin, reports Forbes, earning himself over $1 billion. While his billionaire status is no secret, here are seven facts about Buterin that you may not have known.
1. Ethereum was created when Buterin was still a teenager
Buterin was only 19 years old when he developed Ethereum, which helps users access digital money "no matter your background or location", according to Ethereum's website. His early interest in cryptocurrency inspired him to travel the world, meeting bitcoin developers and later create his own cryptocurrency, now valued at $400 billion, according to CNBC.
2. He co-founded Bitcoin Magazine
Buterin co-founded the cryptocurrency magazine with Mihai Alisie in 2012, says Bitcoin Magazine's site. While the first edition apparently focused only on what was happening with bitcoin, the publication has since expanded to covering news and providing expert analysis about all blockchain communities.
3. Vitalik Buterin dropped out of university for USD$100,000
Buterin was attending the University of Waterloo for a computer science degree when the American-based Thiel Fellowship gave him a unique opportunity.
According to CTV News, the two-year-long fellowship selects 20 innovators under 20 and pays them USD$100,000 so they can pursue their promising ideas instead of going to post-secondary school. For Buterin, this meant he was able to pursue the creation of Ethereum. Buterin told CTV's Canada AM that dropping out of school "actually was scary," and that he was worried he would fall behind in not knowing certain things.
4. He is the world's youngest crypto billionaire
Earlier this month, Forbes reported that Buterin is now the youngest crypto billionaire in the world. At the time of publication, the value of a single Ether coin is CAD$3,105.02.
5. Buterin was born in Russia and raised in Toronto
Buterin was born in Kolomna, a city near Moscow, in 1994. When he was just six years old, he and his family moved to Toronto, reports the Toronto Sun.
6. Buterin's dad introduced him to the world of cryptocurrencies
Back in 2011 when Vitalik Buterin was about 17, his father Dmitry introduced him to bitcoin, says The Sun.
7. Buterin just made a massive donation to India
Just recently, Buterin donated over $1 billion to help India in its ongoing COVID-19 crisis, according to Vox. However, the donation was in the form of a digital currency called the Shiba Inu coin.