Vitaly Dmitriyevich "Vitalik" Buterin is a Russian-Canadian programmer and writer. He is best known as a co-founder of Ethereum and as a co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine.
Buterin was born in Kolomna, Moscow Oblast, Russia, to Dmitry Buterin, a computer scientist, and Natalia Ameline (née Chistyakova). He lived in the area until the age of six when his parents emigrated to Canada in search of better employment opportunities. While in grade three of elementary school in Canada, Buterin was placed into a class for gifted children and started to understand that he was drawn to math, programming, and economics.
Buterin attended the Abelard School, a private high school in Toronto, for four years, which he said, "proved to be among the most interesting and productive years of my life; the closer connection between students and teachers the level of depth at which the material was taught, made me want to learn, and to focus on learning as my primary goal". Buterin has written that although he was "never particularly inspired by the traditional education system", when subjects were presented with "dedication and focus on intellectual inquiry".
Buterin learned about Bitcoin, from his father, at age 17. In 2012, he obtained a bronze medal in the International Olympiad in Informatics. In 2013, he visited developers in other countries who shared his enthusiasm for code. He returned to Toronto later that year and published a white paper proposing Ethereum. He attended the University of Waterloo but dropped out in 2014, when he received the Thiel Fellowship in the amount of $100,000, and went to work on Ethereum full-time.
On June 25, 2017, Buterin was the subject of a death hoax originating from 4chan.
On 30 November 2018, Buterin received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of Basel on the occasion of the Dies Academicus.