- Vitalik Buterin created ethereum after developers weakened his “beloved” World of Warcraft character.
- “On that day I realized what horrors centralized services can bring,” Buterin wrote on his bio page.
- He eventually launched ethereum at just 21 years old in 2015.
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Vitalik Buterin created ethereum, the technology behind the cryptocurrency ether, after World of Warcraft developers weakened his prized character.
According to his about.me page, he played World of Warcraft from 2007 to 2010 but decided to quit after game maker Blizzard nerfed his “beloved warlock’s Siphon Life spell.”
“I cried myself to sleep,” he wrote, “and on that day I realized what horrors centralized services can bring.”
His bio circulated on social media over the weekend after a Google developer noticed it and tweeted out Buterin’s World of Warcraft back story, Vox Media’s Polygon first reported.
In 2011, after quitting the game, Buterin became interested in bitcoin and co-founded Bitcoin Magazine, he told Insider previously. Eventually, Buterin, who was born in Russia and grew up in Canada, dropped out of school at the University of Waterloo to focus on crypto full-time, according to his bio.
“I went around the world, explored many crypto projects, and finally realized that they were all too concerned about specific applications and not being sufficiently general – hence the birth of Ethereum, which has been taking up my life ever since,” he wrote on his bio, which also said his political affiliation as “intellectual hipster meta-contrarian.”
In 2017, he revealed to Wired his idea behind ethereum, the community-run technology powering the cryptocurrency ether (ETH). “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, sitting behind their desks saying, ‘Excellent. How can I screw a thousand people over this time.'”
Buterin was just 21 when ethereum launched in 2015 with the help of seven other founders, whom he likened to JRR Tolkien’s “Fellowship of the Ring.” As in the book, the so-called fellowship eventually split, with a couple cofounders developing their own cryptocurrencies, including Cardano and Polkadot.
There is now 117,802,685 ether in circulation, and each is worth $3,438.67, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
Now, Buterin is working on ETH 2.0, which is set to merge in late 2021 or early 2022. The newer version will transition to a proof-of-stake-system from a proof-of-work system, reducing carbon emissions related to the mining of ether by 99%, Buterin said previously.