Who Is Vitalik Buterin? Biography & Net Worth

If you are familiar with the world of cryptocurrency, you might have heard the name Vitalik Buterin. He is known as the co-founder and inventor of the Ethereum blockchain. But how did he climb to the top of the cryptocurrency world? Along with that, what is his current net worth? If you want to learn more about this influential individual, keep reading!

Looking to learn more about the basics of Crypto? Check out our Crypto terms every investor should know.

Early Life

Vitalik Buterin was born in Kolomna, Russia, on January 31, 1994. He is the son of Dmitry and Natalia Buterin. His father was a well-respected computer scientist who helped Vitalik learn about the intricacies of the field. Vitalik lived in Russia until he was six years old. After that, his family immigrated to Canada to give him more opportunities than those found in Russia. Today, he holds both citizenships in the Russian Federation and Canada. Even at an early age, Vitalik had a gift for computer programming and math. He was recognized as a “gifted” student throughout his school career. 

Related: Investing in Altcoin: Looking Beyond Bitcoin


Once the Buterin family arrived in Canada, Vitalik was enrolled in Abelard School, a private school in Toronto. At 17, Buterin learned about the basics of Bitcoin from his father. While Vitalik was interested in Bitcoin, he had no way to acquire these coins. He did not have the means to mine coins or the money to purchase them. Instead, Vitalik took a job writing blog posts about the subject. In exchange for his articles, he earned five Bitcoin for every post. Using that experience, Vitalik Buterin would become the co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine at the end of 2011.

In 2012, Bitcoin Magazine started to publish a print edition, considered the first serious publication dedicated to the world of cryptocurrency. While working at Bitcoin Magazine, Buterin reached out to Jed McCaleb to ask for a job at Ripple. He was offered an opportunity to work at the company. Unfortunately, the proposed employment opportunity fell apart as Ripple could not secure a U.S. visa for Buterin. Additionally, Vitalik held a position on Ledger’s editorial board in 2016. This peer-reviewed scholarly journal would publish full-length original research articles on the subjects of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. 

After high school, Buterin decided to attend the University of Waterloo. During that time, he took advanced courses in cryptography, earning himself a position as a research assistant for Ian Goldberg, the former board of directors chairman for the Tor Project and co-creator of Off-the-Record Messaging. 

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In 2012, Vitalik won the bronze medal in the International Olympiad in Informatics. With this success, he used that award to collaborate with many other developers across the globe. After he finished these collaborations, Vitalik would return to Toronto. While staying in his adopted hometown, he would write a white paper for the Ethereum blockchain
By 2014, Vitalik was still looking for more opportunities. Billionaire Peter Thiel had created his own “Thiel Fellowship.” The organization offered Vitalik a $100,000 grant, which caused him to drop out of the University of Waterloo and start on his Ethereum full-time. As a result of his work, the University of Basel awarded an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Business and Economics in 2018.

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How Did Vitalik Buterin Build His Net Worth?

With the publication of his Ethereum white paper in November 2013, Buterin announced that he would launch Ethereum at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami on January 26, 2014. With that, Vitalik debuted Ethereum with help from another big player in the crypto world, Charles Hoskinson. At the event, Buterin promised that his Ethereum would bring a whole new industry to the crypto world, guaranteeing innovation beyond what anyone would dream possible. 

Buterin has made the bulk of his wealth from his Ethereum project. He has also invested in other digital assets, including Shiba Inu. In a 2018 tweet, Buterin shared the address of his crypto wallet that showed a balance of 2,018 on the ETH blockchain. 

In 2021, Buterin experienced many ups and downs regarding his net worth. At the start of the year, ETH was trading at $730.99, which meant that Vitalik had a fortune of $29 billion. However, it would not be until November 8, 2021, that ETH would reach an all-time high of $4,818.08, giving him a wallet value of $1.71 billion.

Vitalik does not exclusively hold ETH. He also has significant qualities of other meme tokens, such as 50 billion AKITA, 500 billion Dogecoin, and 505 billion SHIB. Buterin’s crypto holdings are estimated at $23 billion with those holdings. 

Related: Buying Dogecoin: What You Need to Know 

What Is Vitalik Buterin’s Net Worth?

While those figures are staggering, there is a lot of fluctuation in the cryptocurrency markets. Today, Buterin’s net worth is estimated at around $1.5 billion.

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Awards and Career Highlights

Along with those other accolades, Buterin won the 2014 World Technology Award. He was even named to Fortune’s 40 under 40 lists in 2016, and Forbes included him in the 30 under 30 for 2018.

Vitalik has contributed his successes to his ability to focus on work and block out all distractions. With these in-depth work sessions, he is able to explore the intricacies of coding. Over the years, Vitalik has remained grateful to all of the people who helped him found Ethereum. Today, Buterin focuses on ways that Ethereum can change the world

With that, you now know the story behind one of the biggest names in crypto. Vitalik Buterin continues his work with Ethereum and remains a massive player in the crypto markets. 
Do you want to sell or buy Ethereum? At Unbanked, we make it easy to discover, buy, and sell your cryptocurrencies.

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