Profile of Vitalik Buterin: A Solitary Island and a Signal Tower

Vitalik Buterin's Profile: An Island and a Tower

Author: Duoduo, AIO News

“Signal tower built, linking the world on an island.”

On July 30, 2015, the sun shone through Vitalik Buterin’s office window, casting a glow on his excited and anxious face. He tightly gripped his mouse and clicked the final button, announcing the birth of Ethereum on the internet stage. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts around the world cheered and the joy of dreams becoming reality filled the air.

Ethereum entered the blockchain field and became a global digital revolution sensation.

Before Ethereum was established, a young man only 19 years old persisted in the core concept of an embedded Turing complete programming language and devoted himself to creating an innovative blockchain platform. After years of hard work and struggle, Ethereum successfully achieved this vision, bringing an open, flexible, and infinitely possible digital asset platform to the world.

As a public blockchain platform, Ethereum’s success is inseparable from the efforts of an important figure, the founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin. This issue of the “AIO News Character” column will bring you a close-up look at Vitalik Buterin’s story.

This Issue’s Character: Vitalik Buterin

The Island

Vitalik Buterin was born in 1994 in a family of IT programmers in Russia. When he was 4 years old, Vitalik received his first computer, which became the starting point for Vitalik to showcase his genius. At the young age of 4, he embarked on the road of programming.

However, even a genius child cannot have a perfect family. When Vitalik was 5 years old, his parents divorced. After the divorce, his father took him to immigrate to Toronto, Canada. This decision to move to the other side of the earth plunged the young Vitalik into a completely unfamiliar environment. Because of the language barrier, he had to go to daycare centers with different languages. For him, who was only 6 years old, this was a huge and painful adjustment process.

Fortunately, despite facing two major life-changing events, Vitalik’s talent did not disappear. In the third grade, Vitalik showed extraordinary mathematical talent, with a mental arithmetic speed twice that of his peers. At the age of seven, Vitalik began using computers for entertainment, creating a world made up of little rabbits and naming it “Rabbit Encyclopedia”. In this world, which was dominated by Vitalik, there were numbers, charts, and calculations. By the age of 12, Vitalik was able to write simple games using the C++ programming language to entertain himself.

Although Vitalik demonstrated exceptional talent in mathematics and programming, his father was very worried: “Vitalik is very smart. But the road to growth is not smooth. His mind has always been running very fast, making communication with others difficult. He didn’t start talking until he was nine or ten years old. I was very worried at that time. But later I realized that since this is the case, I can only give him more love.”

In Vitalik’s growing up, his wisdom and creativity made him an island, lonely but independent.

Vitalik stayed away from the world of his peers, but constantly explored himself, seeking his own path and dreams. He grew up in solitude, like an island standing in the endless sea, but with infinite power hidden deep in his heart.

The First Signal

Like other geniuses, Vitalik has a unique way of understanding the world, which deeply affects his way of communicating and interacting with others. Although his technical skills in mathematics and computing are impeccable, Vitalik’s social skills are almost non-existent.

Before entering high school, Vitalik’s figure had been wandering lonely on the campus, like a person trapped on an island, unable to integrate into the social world of his peers.

The loneliness of real life overwhelmed Vitalik, and he was always looking for a way to forget his loneliness. So he became addicted to Blizzard’s game “World of Warcraft”, and the skills and characters in the game became his source of happiness. However, three years later, his favorite game character’s skills were removed by Blizzard, and after many unsuccessful struggles, he felt hopeless about the game and the character he had spent three years on, and decided to give up. And began to look for a way to break the centralized network centralization.

Fortunately, Vitalik, who was hit hard in the gaming world, began to learn how to socialize and connect with others through the Internet world.

“And that’s when he entered the whole crypto and bitcoin field,” Vitalik’s father recalled.

Cryptocurrency became Vitalik’s redemption, gradually freeing him from his predicament. He became more outgoing and learned to communicate with peers, enjoying the pleasure of social interaction. When discussing cryptocurrency with netizens, Vitalik’s face always glowed with excitement and vitality.

If the computer was the only comfort in Vitalik’s lonely childhood, then cryptocurrency was the magical key that opened the door to socializing and the first signal that he connected with the outside world in his own way.

Through exploring the cryptocurrency field, Vitalik discovered the huge potential hidden in this field. In order to uncover the mystery of cryptocurrency, the long-sealed “Vitalik Island” sent out a strong signal to the outside world, eager to communicate and learn with more like-minded people. Through questioning, he constantly absorbed new knowledge, making this unknown field gradually clear in front of him.

Cryptocurrency became the bridge for Vitalik to communicate with the outside world, allowing him to meet many like-minded friends in this community. They learn from each other, share experiences, and explore this new field together. These valuable experiences eventually gave birth to Vitalik’s pioneering idea of creating a new blockchain platform, Ethereum.

Second Signal

Although cryptocurrency broke Vitalik’s own limitations, he did not limit his vision to the Bitcoin field.

Instead, he proposed a new concept from a more macro perspective. This young genius had a unique perspective, and he firmly believed that only by creating a new technology could the potential of Bitcoin be truly unleashed. This new technology will be able to provide higher efficiency and flexibility to meet the needs of current Bitcoin hardware and software.

Based on this, Vitalik wrote a white paper at the age of 19, which introduced his new project Ethereum in detail. In the white paper, Vitalik proposed a new architecture, new technology, and new applications, all of which would become important components of Ethereum.

In this white paper, he poured his vision into it, as if he had sent a signal on a desert island, hoping to be seen and recognized by the world.

As Vitalik had hoped, the Ethereum white paper attracted widespread attention as soon as it was released, and Vitalik’s ideas were widely praised in the Bitcoin community. Community members have affirmed the innovation, practicality, and feasibility of Vitalik’s white paper, and are full of expectations for the future development of Ethereum.

Vitalik’s idea is undoubtedly inspiring, because by creating a new programming language, we can free developers’ hands and feet, allow them to focus on their core projects, and quickly realize their creativity and ideas. At the same time, this new programming language should also have characteristics such as high quality, scalability, and maintainability, so that developers can rely on and depend on it more.

Thus, Vitalik Buterin conveyed the second signal to the outside world through the Ethereum white paper, which gave him the expectation of building a decentralized, equal, efficient, and trustworthy world.

The Third Signal

With the strong support of community members, Vitalik Buterin was determined to turn the vision of Ethereum’s white paper into reality.

In June 2015, the first version of Ethereum was released, named Frontier. This also marked Vitalik Buterin’s third signal to the world, putting his vision of “building a decentralized, equal, efficient, and trustworthy world” into action.

All Ether promised to early investors was delivered smoothly, and developers began to weave their dreams on Ethereum.

As Vitalik Buterin intended, Ethereum successfully provides users with a digital, intelligent, and transparent decentralized medium. In the smart contracts on Ethereum, users can write any contracts they want, with the highest universality and ductility. However, this also means that all vulnerabilities, including security vulnerabilities, are visible and may not be repaired quickly.

When Vitalik’s third signal was released, it immediately caused a huge response. Ethereum once became one of the most widely used blockchain platforms worldwide, igniting a new wave of distributed application and smart contract development.

Signal tower builds an island connecting the world

From a genius teenager who was out of sync with the world to a pioneer who pushed blockchain to the forefront, Vitalik Buterin became the V God in people’s hearts.

However, there is no smooth sailing in the world. Since its inception, Ethereum, the cryptocurrency with the second highest market value in the world, has faced various crises and doubts.

On a dark night in May 2016, The DAO, Ethereum’s decentralized organization, became the victim of a hacker attack. The attack exploited a code vulnerability in The DAO, causing 50 million US dollars worth of ether to be stolen. This event not only raised doubts about the security of smart contracts among investors, but also caused the value of ether to plummet from $20 to $10 overnight, causing a global market value loss of $500 million.

In the moment of crisis, Vitalik Buterin decided to sacrifice his pawn to protect his carriage. In order to help users recover their losses, the community launched a public vote and helped users retrieve all the lost ether. However, this approach caused dissatisfaction among the public and even led to a split within Ethereum. Vitalik Buterin led a group of people who insisted on updating the vulnerabilities and running a new chain. They called themselves Ethereum (ETH); while another group of people chose to continue maintaining the original Ethereum, which was called Ethereum Classic (ETC).

What doesn’t kill him makes him stronger.

In the magnificent waves of crisis, with fearless courage and wise decisions, Vitalik Buterin made Ethereum ride the wind and waves and saved the situation. In this battle, Vitalik made a completely opposite choice to Blizzard, putting all his efforts into protecting users’ rights and not giving up their interests. It is precisely because Vitalik has been consistently pursuing dreams, holding ideals, and committed to building a digital, intelligent, and transparent decentralized platform for users that Ethereum’s technology has become more mature and steadily developed in recent years, winning global acclaim. And the ether, which had fallen in market value, also surged like spring bamboo, rising 300 times in a year and a half to $1,500.

Vitalik Buterin, the island that once stood alone in the ocean, built the Ethereum signal tower like a miracle, towering into the sky, sending the signal’s light to every corner of the world.

The isolated island connects the world, and the signal tower lights up, allowing people to cross the vast ocean and communicate with each other, like the “time traveler” in Proust’s pen.

New Signal

Flowers and applause did not change Vitalik Buterin. He is still the same young man who is firmly committed to building a decentralized, absolutely equal, efficient and trustworthy world. So when he found that some people were using Ether to speculate and make a fortune, he sent out a signal again: he hoped that all Ethereum users would mature and Ether would not become the “tulip” of people’s speculation and wealth.

Meanwhile, Vitalik Buterin did not indulge in Ethereum’s success, but keenly perceived the shortcomings of Ethereum: high transaction fees and various obstacles to availability still exist. He said, “If we really want to fully realize this vision, there is still a lot of work to be done.” And he is confident about this: “Software development always takes longer than expected, so although there is a delay, it doesn’t matter. The earlier we complete these tasks, the better Ethereum can achieve a larger part of its original vision.”

Regarding the future development of Ethereum, Vitalik recently published an article mentioning three major technical transitions, namely L2 expansion transition, wallet security transition and privacy transition. For Vitalik, the most important thing is still to facilitate user understanding: “We need to ensure that users can easily access the latest views, understand what their current assets are, and see what messages have been posted for them.”

Young Vitalik was once alone on an island, but he was talented and used his unique growth experience to finally achieve great success in his beloved field. Today, he has become a leader in the blockchain field, and the Ethereum platform he developed has become one of the important applications of blockchain technology.

On this island, Vitalik built a signal tower, like a bridge connecting people around the world, providing a globally accessible decentralized network. People can transact and interact without the need for trust in third parties, making the network more secure and fair.

He is hidden in the vast sea, but he sends out a unique vibration to the world.

Both an island and a signal tower.