TokenPocket | A Brief History of Ethereum — A Russian Youth’s Way to Legend
Bitcoin created by Satoshi Nakamoto brought us into the blockchain era and Vitalik Buterin took over the torch, leading us into the era of Blockchain 2.0, a vital revolution in the history of the distributed ledger. In today’s article, we will take a look at the way Vitalik Buterin has taken to make himself a legend.
Vitalik’s Growth Path
Vitalik was born into a Russian family in 1994 and deeply influenced by his programmer father. He was exposed to programming at a very young age, which created a solid foundation for the creation of Ethereum.
In 1998, the 4-year-old Vitalik received a computer as a gift from his father, and he started to look into the heavy and magical machine sitting in front of him when most kids at this age were only keen about toys. Especially that Vitalik’s interest lied not only in computer games but also in writing calculating programs in Microsoft Excel, which helped him greatly with his way to success. In the following year, the 5-year-old Vitalik had to face the reality of his parents’ divorce. His father brought him to Toronto for a new life. Vitalik lost his old folks and spent more time with the computer. His childhood interest and gift in programming laid a solid foundation for program designing. It’s said that he started developing games with C++ to kill time at the age of 12.
Thanks to father’s influence, Vitalik got to know bitcoin as a high school kid and started researching on the project. At first, his did not believe in Bitcoin. However, with more readings and research, he started to grow greater interest in this new thing with the nature of decentralization. In order to earn Bitcoins, he created contents for Bitcoin Weekly for 5 Bitcoins per article. Although it was not a high price at the time, Vitalik loved the job and continued it as a hobby even after the shut down of Bitcoin Weekly. He then was invited to found Bitcoin Magazine and worked as the chief editor. The next year, Vitalik won the bronze medal in Olympia Information Award at the age of 18.
Vitalik’s Choice to be a College Dropout
After high school, Vitalik was accepted by the University of Waterloo, a famous Canadian university that many people dream of. With his father’s guide and his extraordinary talents, Vitalik was expected to work in the tech giants like Apple or Google after graduation. However, he couldn’t settle on the campus since he was already hooked by blockchain and all he cared about was launching his own career and exchanging ideas with blockchain enthusiasts. In 2013, only 8 months after entering the university, Vitalik embarked on the path that many talented predecessors had chosen — — to drop out of school.
Vitalik then started his global study tour. He visited the developer communities in the States, Spain, Italy, Israel, and joined the transformation program of Bitcoin (Bitcoin 2.0). It was also during this period that Vitalik gradually discovered the limitations of Bitcoin’s design, and realized that he can not merely improve on the original protocol to make breakthroughs.
After the global study tour, Vitalik started to think about launching something of his own by creating a universal cryptocurrency, a platform where everyone can create any application and was named as Ethereum. Ethereum is a compound word. Ether is an imaginative material proposed by Aristotle and oleum means petrol in Greek.
On January 23, 2014, Vitalik published Ethereum: A Next-Generation Cryptocurrency and Decentralized Application Platform” in Bitcoin Magazine, where he first proposed the concept of Ethereum technology.
What is Ethereum? It is a brand new blockchain platform that allows anyone to build and use decentralized applications run by blockchain technology on the platform, whereas Bitcoin pre-sets a series of operations for users. The decentralized applications are not limited to digital currency transactions. This open-source project differs from the Bitcoin protocol in its flexible and adaptive design. It is worth mentioning that, thanks to his outstanding contribution to the work of Bitcoin 2.0, Vitalik defeated Facebook founder Zuckerberg and won the 2014 World Science and Technology Awards.
Vitalik showed the public his answer to Bitcoin 2.0. The birth of Ethereum also marked the beginning of Blockchain 2.0, and the young Russian guy gradually grows into a legend in the blockchain community.
A Brief History of Ethereum
Lastly, let’s a look back on the development of Ethereum:
- July 24, 2014, Ethereum launched its 42-day Ethereum pre-sale.
- November 2014, Ethereum held its first Developer Conference (DEVCON 0) in Berlin.
- July 30, 2015, Ethereum released its first version — Frontier.
- November 2015, DEVCON 1 was held in London, joined by more than 300 developers worldwide.
- March 14, 2016, Ethereum released version Homestead.
- Early 2016, Ethereum’s technology was recognized by the market and resulted in a price surge, attracting a great amount of non-developer users.
- July 2016, The DAO was attacked and 50 million USD worth of Ethereum was transferred.
- July 20, 2016, the Ethereum hard fork was complete. Ethereum forked a new chain on the basis of the original chain. The original chain was renamed as Ethereum Classic (ETC). Since then, the two chains of ETH and ETC have developed in parallel.
- In September 2016, nearly 1,000 participants joined DEVCON 2 in Shanghai and had a six-day discussion on the development of Ethereum tools, the security, and application of Ethereum, as well as the Ethereum ecosystem and future.
- May 31, 2017, Huobi China and OKCoin officially launched Ethereum.
- On October 16, 2017, Byzantine, the first version of Metropolis was successfully forked.
- November 2017, 4-day long DEVCON 3 was held in Cancun, Mexico. The scalability, security, and privacy of Ethereum became hot topics on the conference. Vitalik raised Casper, Sharding, and other proposals of protocol update on the conference, and formally discussed the application prospects of sharding technology.
- November 2018, Ethereum developers gathered in Prague, Czech Republic for DevCon4. There were 6 themes for the conference: Scalability, Security, Privacy, Developer Experience, UX (User Experience) , and Society & System.
- October 2019, DevCon5 was held in Osaka, Japan. ETH2.0 was the main topic.
- February 28, 2019, Constantinople, the second version of Metropolis completed the upgrade.
- December 8, 2019, Istanbul completed upgrading.
- In 2020, the ETH2.0 upgrade will see its first milestone. ETH2.0 phase 0, the beacon chain, is expected to go live.
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