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Vitalik Buterin Net Worth, Crypto and NFT Investments

In 2023, the net worth of Vitalik Buterin is estimated to be around $600 million. The Ethereum Co-Founder is not as wealthy as many perceived owing to his heavy donations to charitable causes. Also, the volatility of crypto assets hasn’t favored the situation much. Vitalik Buterin doesn’t fancy investment in stocks. The larger part of the net worth of Vitalik Buterin is dominated by his crypto holdings which were mostly airdropped to him.

Vitalik Buterin

In 2022, the net worth of Vitalik Buterin dipped heavily owing to the crisis that ravaged the crypto market. Around November 2021, the net worth of Vitalik Buterin gained a massive boost. Consequently, Forbes acknowledged that the boost made the Ethereum Co-Founder the youngest billionaire in the world with $1.46 billion. Then, the publication acknowledged that the surge in the value of ETH aided the development. During this period, ETH surpassed the $3,000 price benchmark. 

Vitalik Buterin’s Net Worth

YearNet Worth
2021$1.4 billion
2022$550 million
2023$600 million

Early Life

Born as Vitaly Dmitrievich Buterin on January 31, 1994, in Kolomna, Russia. His Father was a computer expert, a background that provided the launchpad for the success of Vitalik Buterin as a programmer. The time of Vitalik Buterin in Russia was short as his father moved to Canada to search for greener pastures. Meanwhile, Vitalik Buterin showed some flashes of brilliance at a very young age. 

After his family relocated to Canada, he was enrolled in an elementary school. In grade three, Vitalik Buterin was drafted into a special class for talented kids. There, he was taught mathematics, programming, and economics. Vitalik Buterin swiftly realized that his particular skills and talents made him look odd to his mates and teachers. He was naturally good with calculations and could add three-digit numbers in his head quickly.

Thereafter, he moved to a private high school which is known as The Abelard School in Toronto. Furthermore, Vitalik Buterin doesn’t fancy social gatherings and extracurricular events. He once recall how many people talked about him as a math genius. In high school, he was well-known for his enthusiasm for learning. He once stated that acquiring more knowledge was his primary goal in life.

After high school, Buterin proceeded to the University of Waterloo. At the University of Waterloo, he was taught advanced courses and was a research assistant for popular cryptographer Ian Goldberg. Ian Goldberg is famous for designing Off-the-Record Messaging. He was also the former chairman of the board of directors for the Tor Project. In 2012, Buterin won a bronze medal in the International Olympiad in Informatics in Italy.

After winning at the International Olympiad, Vitalik Buterin embarked on an international tour in 2013. He visited various developers who are also passionate about coding in other countries. This was after he picked an interest in writing about Bitcoin. His writing expertise required that he devote more time, luring him away from his academics. That year, he returned from his tour and published a whitepaper proposing Ethereum. 

In 2014, he won a grant of $100,000 from the Thiel Fellowship. The Thiel Fellowship is a scholarship scheme established by venture capitalist Peter Thiel. Vitalik Buterin on receiving the fund dropped out of University to focus more on writing about Bitcoin and developing what became Ethereum today. With the funds, he focused fully on the execution of the whitepaper he prepareo in the previous year. 

Bitcoin Magazine

Vitalik Buterin alongside Mihai Alisie co-founded Bitcoin Magazine while he was still at the University. Initially, Vitalik Buterin was open to looking for a new direction in life during that period. This pursuit exposed him to knowing Bitcoin in 2011. He got to know about BTC from his father, Dimitry Buterin. 

At first, Vitalik Buterin was curious about how Bitcoin managed to gain value without having any real-life support. Due to that, he devoted more time to learning what the innovation was all about. As time went on, Vitalik Buterin discovered more about Bitcoin and he then decided to arrest opportunities embedded in it. However, he lacked the physical and financial resources to advance his pursuit. 

Despite the financial restraint, Vitalik Buterin didn’t give up. Instead, he resorted to writing articles on Bitcoin. His writings focused on the technological and political aspects of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency at large. Eventually, blogs contacted him to work for them, offering him five (5) BTC per article. It was during this period he met Mihai Alisie who was based in Romania at that time. 

After co-founding Bitcoin Magazine in 2011, the firm began publishing a print edition the following year. Buterin took the role of head writer as a side project while attending university. During this period, he toured the globe meeting various crypto developers, interviewing them, and writing about their projects. This dedication compelled him to quit University and focus on Bitcoin Magazine and developing Ethereum. 

More so, while gathering materials to write on the projects, Vitalik Buterin would take his time to learn more about them. At one point, Vitalik Buterin decided that all of the projects were too keen on a particular use case, and were not broad or flexible enough. Also, Vitalik Buterin accessed the protocols those projects were using. Consequently, he noticed that it was possible to generalize what the protocols were doing. Vitalik Buterin recommended that they replaced all their functionality with a Turing-complete programming language.

In computer programming parlance, a Turing-complete programming language allows a computer to solve any problem once it has the appropriate algorithm and needed amounts of time and memory. During this period, Vitalik Buterin attempted to secure employment at Ripple by reaching out to Jed McCaleb. The employment failed to materialize after Ripple failed to provide support for his Visa. Failure to secure employment with existing projects compelled him to make the move of settling for the full development of Ethereum. 

It is worth mentioning that after the full development of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin held a position at the editorial board of Ledger in 2016. Ledger is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal that produces research articles on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

Ethereum: Early Stage

The concept of Ethereum first surfaced via a white paper written by Vitalik Buterin In 2013. Describing the concept of the network, Vitalik Buterin defined Ethereum as a medium for building decentralized applications. He argued against the model of Bitcoin and other early crypto projects that focused on Money alone. He submitted that the blockchain could be deployed for the development of other applications aside from money. Therefore, he posited that there was a need for a more robust language for application development. 

In January 2014, during the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami, Vitalik Buterin announced Ethereum. There, Vitalik Buterin, Gavin Wood, Charles Hoskinson, and Anthony Di Iorio rented a house in Miami. They decided to use the apartment as a base for the proper development of Ethereum. Six months later, the team met again in Zug, Switzerland. During the meeting, Vitalik Buterin told other partners that the project should not be profit-oriented. This led to a disagreement that triggered the departure of Charles Hoskinson. Hoskinson went on to establish IOHK and eventually developed Cardano.

Ethereum has a long list of founders. Anthony Di Iorio once revealed that in late 2013, the project was founded by Vitalik Buterin, Charles Hoskinson, Mihai Alisie, Amir Chetrit, and himself. Later, the likes of Joseph Lubin, Gavin Wood, and Jeffrey Wilcke joined the team in early 2014. The name Ethereum was suggested by Vitalik Buterin.

The official development of the underlying software of Ethereum began in early 2014. A company in Switzerland identified as Ethereum Switzerland GmbH aided the development. The team agreed that there was a need to specify the idea of putting executable smart contracts in the blockchain before it could be implemented in software. This part of the development was carried out by Gavin Wood who served as the Chief Technology Officer of the firm. The idea was incorporated into the Ethereum Yellow Paper which specified the Ethereum Virtual Machine. 

To initiate the development of the project, the team also decided to set up the Ethereum Foundation. Thereafter, the foundation organized an online public crowd sale between July to August 2014. During the crowdfunding sale, participants acquired the Ethereum value token (Ether) with Bitcoin. The project gained relevance owing to its technical innovations. However, questions about the security and scalability also surfaced at the early development stage of the project. 

Launching of the Projects and Major Events

Within the course of 18 months between 2014 and 2015, the team developed various codenamed prototypes of Ethereum as part of their proof-of-concept series. The “Olympic” was the last prototype and public beta pre-release. The Olympic network code name gave users a bug bounty of 25,000 ETH to stress-test the Ethereum network. The “Frontier” code name saw the official launching of Ethereum on 30 July 2015. Then, Ethereum created its genesis block which contained 8,893 transactions allocating numerous amounts of ETH to different addresses.

In 2016, the Ethereum Decentralized Autonomous Organization was established. The DAO raised $150 million in a crowd sale to fund the project. The DAO suffered a setback in June 2016 as hackers stole $50 million from it. The event compelled members of the DAO to perform a hard fork. The hard fork took place in a bid to reappropriate the stolen funds. Due to that, the network split into two blockchains.

The project continued to gain more acceptance in the crypto industry. During this period, the net worth of Vitalik Buterin surged. Consequently, by January 2018, ETH became the second-largest crypto in terms of market capitalization, behind Bitcoin. However, in 2019, the project attracted unwanted attention after one of its employees Virgil Griffith was arrested by the U.S. government for his presentation at a blockchain conference in North Korea.

Forging ahead, in March 2021, popular payment merchant, Visa began settling stablecoin transactions using Ethereum. Also, in April 2021, JP Morgan Chase, UBS, and MasterCard invested $65 million into ConsenSys. ConsenSys is a software development company that builds Ethereum-related infrastructure. Later that year, the network experienced two network upgrades codenamed Berlin and London. The Berlin network upgrade took place on April 14, 2021. Thereafter, Berlin was subsequently implemented on August 5, 2021. The network endured a brief fork on August 27, 2021, after users ran various incompatible software versions.

More so, plans to switch from Proof-of-Work to a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism surfaced in the Ethereum 2.0.  The transition came into the limelight to reduce the energy consumption of the network. The Ethereum 2.0 otherwise known as the Merge came with more than three (3) upgrades. The Merge was implemented on September 15, 2022, after the merge of the Goerli testnet was completed on August 11, 2022. These upgrades were succeeded by the Sepolia testnet and Goerli testnet on February 28, 2023, and March 15, 2023, respectively. 

Reputation in the Media

Vitalik Buterin is not as controversial as a few other influential celebrities. This is due to how he maintained a low-profile lifestyle. Buterin is well known for offering advice and weighing on issues regarding the crypto space. One of the few controversial moments of Vitalik Buterin came up in 2020. Then, he gave a comment about how Twitter fact-checked some statements by Donald Trump during the Presidential Debate.

Vitalik Buterin reacted to the issue by stating he’s pessimistic about the ability of centralized social nedia platforms to avoid interfering in the political issues of countries. In his submission, Vitalik Buterin submitted that there is a need for an alternative to the present domination of centralized social media platforms. The submission reflected Vitalik Buterin’s support for the global adoption of Web3. 

Also, in December 2022, Vitalik Buterin criticized Elon Musk for banning some accounts that often track the movement of the Twitter boss’s private jet. The Ethereum co-founder weighed on the issue stating that the microblogging platform is on the path to authoritarianism. He referred to the move as an attempt by Musk to deploy a strategy Vitalik Buterin termed “central planning as ovefitting.” Vitalik Buterin said Elon Musk is introducing policies that are “seeming to retrofit around Elon’s views on very specific situations.” 

Vitalik Buterin also stirred up reactions in the media space after he reacted to the downturn in the price of SOL following the collapse of FTX. The Ethereum Co-Founder assured holders about the prosperous future of the token. He urged them to retain faith in the project assuring them that the Solana team consisted of good people. Consequently, the token made a remarkable recovery shortly after the comment.

On March 10, 2023, Vitalik Buterin aimed a dig at Shitcoins. Then, he dumped over $700,000 worth of tokens that were airdropped to him. He sold tokens MOP, CULT, SHIK, and BITE stating that the token will drain the majority of the funds invested in them. This move attracted huge controversies which caused some of the tokens to plummet. 

Vitalik Buterin, around July 2023, reflected on the launch of Worldcoin. The project focuses on providing everyone with a “World ID” which will serve as a digital passport to prove that they are humans and robots. In his opinion, Buterin submitted that while the project looks “valuable” there are big risks attached to it.

Firstly, he has reservations about its design which mandates users to scan their iris in order to obtain a World ID. According to the Ethereum co-founder, the process exposes users’ privacy as it could extract individuals’ private data like sex, ethnicity, and some medical conditions.

Buterin believes mischievous individuals and corporations could hijack the project, and consequently have unauthorized access to users’ data or create fake human profiles for bots. He added that he won’t be surprised to see governments ban the registration process in their territory.

Vitalik Buterin’s Philanthropic Efforts and Awards

Over the years, Vitalik Buterin has established a reputation for himself as a consistent philanthropist. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged the world, he donated $1.2 billion to India’s relief initiative. In a bid to achieve this, Buterin reportedly offloaded the dog-themed meme coins that were gifted into his Etherscan wallet by their creators. They include Shiba Inu, Dogelon Mars and Akita Inu.

He also contributed 13,292 ETH to GiveWell, a non-profit-oriented charity foundation. Later, he donated 1,000 ETH and 430 billion Dogelon Mars tokens to Methuselah Foundation. It is worth mentioning that the foundation was established to design programmes capable of enhancing the longevity of people. Buterin has also given 1,050 ETH to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, a project that is committed to ensuring that AI has a good effect on the society. Certainly, these are just few of the numerous contributions of Vitalik Buterin to projects and initiatives of public good.

Meanwhile, Vitalik has numerous awards to his name for his contributions to scientific innovations, including blockchain development. In 2014, he won the award of the World Technology Network (WTN) prize for IT development. In the same year, he was also conferred with the Thei Fellowship Award for bringing his technical idea into life. A few years ago, Buterin was also awarded an honorary degree by the University of Basel.

Is Vitalik Buterin Pro Crypto?

Vitalik Buterin can be regarded as one of the critical and earliest proponents of cryptocurrency. His encounter with the industry started as far back as 2011. Then, his father, Dimitry Buterin engaged and tutored him on the rudiments of Bitcoin, being the only crypto asset as at that time. At first, Vitalik Buterin was not impressed with the nature of crypto owing to the fact that it lacks physical backing. However, his perception began to change as Dimitry continued to engage and make him understand the prospects enveloped in the digital asset despite lacking physical backing. Buterin was convinced and thus decided to pick up an interest in the sphere.

Before founding Ethereum, Buterin’s first contribution to the development of crypto and blockchain was through writing. He leveraged his writing prowess to write and share his views about the potential of blockchain as the underlying technology of crypto. At that time, he worked with a blog, earning about 5 BTC per article published. His articles focused on the economic, technological and political implications of digital assets. Through those articles, Buterin aimed to spread the gospel of crypto to his readers and as well pinpoint notable areas in the innovation that needed advancement. His works were able to attract notable Bitcoin enthusiasts at that time, including Mihai Alisie.

The duo collaborated to form Bitcoin Magazine, thereby providing Buterin with a bigger platform to share his insights about crypto. Amid rising interest in crypto and its underlying technology, Bitcoin, Vuterin decided to quit his university education to devote more time to research and writing. Bitcoin Magazine gave exclusive coverage to trends unfolding in the crypto industry. Through the platform, he gained relevance as a respected writer in the industry.

Driven by the passion to advance the industry, Buterin travelled across the globe to explore numerous projects. In 2012, he graced his first Bitcoin conference in California. The following year, Buterin also travelled to meet Bitcoin developers. At that time, the Ethereum co-founder was already nurturing the passion of taking his contribution to the crypto space beyond writing. He presented the idea of expanding the use cases of the blockchain technology. Then, the tech only served specific purposes and was too narrowly focused. In one of his explanations about the idea, Buterin linked Bitcoin to a calculator and a future blockchain to a smartphone, thereby ensuring their versatility.

He acknowledged Bitcoin as a great form of digital money but believed “its scripting language is too weak for any kind of serious advanced applications to be built on top.”

In a bid to experiment his idea, Buterin co-founded Ethereum, a development which earned him a place among the influential figures within the industry. With the development of Ethereum, the industry began to grow more popular. This is because of the versatility of the network. The success of Ethereum actually contributed to the growing adoption of crypto, thereby fostering the development of the industry. Today, its native crypto, Ether is the second-largest crypto by market cap behind Bitcoin.

The ultimate aim of Vitalik Buterin is to encourage the widespread adoption of crypto. He is confident in the capacity of decentralized assets to totally relegate centralized assets in the future. Over time, he advised investors to key into the trend, describing it as a better bet. In 2022, he responded to a Twitter post by an American cartoonist, Zach Weinersmith attempting to downplay crypto relevance. WeinerSmith had said the only argument crypto proponents push forward “that makes sense within the believer’s own framework is that they don’t want a centralized authority for money. In that framework though, why not just go with gold?”

Responding to the tweet, Buterin admitted that gold is truly decentralized but “incredibly inconvenient” and hard to use especially when dealing with untrusted parties. He also talked about how gold lacks support for reliable storage options like multisig. The Ethereum founder described crypto as the best bet for investors seeking to protect their wealth and enjoy financial freedom. It is worth mentioning that his comment to the tweet comes barely eight years after he likened Bitcoin to the same Gold. In a blog writeup in 2014, Buterin had said; “Bitcoin itself may well serve as a unique Schelling point for a universal fallback asset, similar to the current and historical functioning of gold.”

In a recent chat with Coinbase, the Ethereum co-founder spoke about the key themes for the future of the crypto industry. He lauded the growing international inclusiveness and diversity in the industry. According to him, “international inclusiveness and international diversity. It’s something that’s been very important for me personally. And I think it’s something that the crypto space, especially historically, has really done a very good job of. If you believe in crypto, because you want crypto to bring about some particular thing, then go build the thing. We need to have a bit more of that lovely, juicy, definite optimism in our crypto world.”

In 2022, Buterin leveraged the war between Ukraine and Russia to emphasize the growing use cases of cryptocurrency. The Ethereum co-founder explained how Ukraine had employed crypto as a tool for resistance. According to him; “atleast $100 million in cryptocurrency were raised to help the Ukraine. The Ukrainian government has been asking for financial support in cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, and Polkadot, Dogecoin, TRON, Solana, and even in NFTs. One silver lining of the situation in the last three weeks is that it has reminded a lot of people in the crypto space that ultimately the goal of crypto is not to play games with million-dollar pictures of monkeys, it’s to do things that accomplish meaningful effects in the real world.”

Crypto and NFT Holdings of Vitalik Buterin

As an influential actor in the industry, Vitalik Buterin has been able to grow his net worth by personally investing in crypto. Recall that we traced the genesis of his interest in crypto to 2011 when his father engaged him about it. Although, at that time, Buterin could not afford to buy BTC, he was able to hold some after working with a blog site. He earned 5 BTC per article at that time. Then, the token traded for around $29. Some sources claim Buterin held on to most of the BTC payments he acquired as a writer with the blog.

If this is correct, then he should be regarded as one of the earliest investors in the token and must have gained massively from the investment. This is because the token had grown massively from its trading value at that time to thousands of dollars. If Buterin still holds the crypto, then he should make it on the list of the wealthiest Bitcoin investors around.

Our findings into Vitalik Buterin’s personal crypto portfolio show that he holds over 600 digital assets. Some of these assets include ETH, Jetcoin, Pomi coin, 0xBTC and many more. According to sources, the value of his crypto portfolio as of 2022 was $305,197,377. As expected, Ethereum takes the larger portion of Buterin’s crypto funds. Findings reveal that Vitalik Buterin held 325,000 Ethereum around July 2021, thereby contributing to his net worth at that time. Then, the holding was valued at over $737 million.

However, amid the 2022 crypto winter, the Ethereum founder was left with 250, 001 ETH worth $305 million as of December. In 2023, Buterin decided to further diversify his personal crypto portfolio by swapping 210 ETH worth $325,000, for USDC stablecoin. It is not in doubt that the performance of ETH has over time, poses a significant impact on the net worth of Vitalik Buterin. At a time when the token was at its peak, the value of his ETH holding was estimated to be around $1.5 billion.

According to Etherscan, ETH constitutes 99.9 percent of his entire crypto holdings. He ranks 26th in the list of largest holders of the token. By virtue of this, we can call him an Ethereum whale. As of December 2022, he held 210,050 0xBTC worth $32,000, constituting 0.01 percent of his holdings. Others include 100 Jetcoin equivalent to $974, 2,000,000,000 POMI worth $820 and more. It is worthy of note that Buterin did not buy most of the crypto assets in his portfolio, particularly the ones with low price performance. Since his crypto wallet address is publicly known, random holders of different assets usually send them to his wallet. We can therefore affirm that a large portion of the net worth of Vitalik Buterin is in ETH.

Additionally, findings show that he holds over 4000 NFT collections, including Metalabel. But the exact value of his personal NFT holdings is not in the public domain. However, Buterin, according to Time Magazine, once joked about BAYC becoming a new form of gambling. He said; The peril is you have these $3 million monkeys and it becomes a different kind of gambling.” This might suggests that he might actually be holding the collection too.

Apart from his personal portfolio, Buterin has also invested in several crypto initiatives, including the Ethereum Foundation. The foundation is responsible for advancing the development of Ethereum. Finding shows that it holds $1.3 billion crypto holdings, dominated by Ethereum. He is also an investor in Zcash Foundation. The foundation is responsible for the development of the Zcash (ZEC) privacy-focused cryptocurrency.

Crypto Projects Featuring Vitalik Buterin

We can link several crypto and NFT projects to Vitalik Buterin. One of the projects is Ethereum, a global blockchain network, housing hundreds of DeFi projects, including Uniswap, MakerDAO, Chainlink, Curve Finance and many more. Today, the network boasts of over 230 million active users and its native token, ETH is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

There is an NFT collection featuring the Ethereum co-founder. The collection was developed to celebrate the contributions of Buterin to web3 quadratic funding. Designed by Metalabel in collaboration with Gitcoin, the NFT features the stamp of approval of Buterin. Every NFT in the collection is enveloped with a virtual copy of the signed 2018 whitepaper “Liberal Radicalism: A Flexible Design for Philanthropic Matching Funds” by Buterin.

There are increasing chances that Wall Street Memes will join the list of crypto projects that have featured Vitalik Buterin in their content. In the past few months, the project featured the likes of Changpeng Zhao, Sam Bankman-Fried and more.

Today, Wall Street Memes is making a rave in the crypto space as a result of the success of its new project. In May 2023, it launched the presale of its token; $WSM. The token recorded an instant success attracting $150,000 worth of sales within a few minutes into the presale. The remarkable feat skyrocketed the token to becoming the next cryptocurrency to watch out for. However, the commitment of its community is a major catalyst behind this landmark stride. The Wall Street Memes community has swiftly established its presence on top social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Meanwhile, you can visit to join the league of $WSM investors. 

Vitalik Buterin’s Net Worth – Our Verdict

We assess the net worth of Vitalik Buterin, with detailed reference to his early life, investment portfolio, contributions to crypto development and charity initiatives. Over the years, Buterin built a substantial reputation for himself as a respected writer, researcher and developer of crypto-oriented projects. At the early stage of his career, he contributed to crypto education through his insightful write-ups and well-researched articles. Owing to his humble background, Buterin could not purchase Bitcoin at the early stage of his career. However, he was able to own BTC as it served as a means of payment for his articles.

Vitalik Buterin took the biggest step of his career by co-founding Ethereum which later formed the basis of his net worth. Ever since, the network has grown from strength to strength but not without some challenges. But, Vitalik is someone who is highly determined to ensure Ethereum succeed against all odds. We can say his aim is now coming to fruition. This is because the project has grown to become a global network, with over 230 million active users. The expanding use cases of the network have contributed to the overall performance of its native token, ETH which sits comfortably in second position in the ranking of cryptocurrencies with mouthwatering marketcap. Vitalik Buterin holds a significant portion of this token, thereby contributing to his current net worth.

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How did Vitalik Buterin get to learn about Bitcoin?

Vitalik Buterin learned about Bitcoin and its underlying technology through his father, Dimitry Buterin. He also made personal research into the crypto.

How much did Vitalik Buterin donate to India’s COVID-19 relief initiative?

Vitalik Buterin donated $1.2 billion to India’s COVID-19 relief funds.

Is there an NFT collection featuring Vitalik Buterin?

Yes. There is an NFT collection featuring Vitalik Buterin. The collection was developed to celebrate the contributions of Buterin to web3 quadratic funding. Designed by Metalabel in collaboration with Gitcoin, the NFT features the stamp of approval by the Ethereum co-founder.