Vitalik Buterin is a Russian-Canadian programmer and writer primarily 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 Maia Buterina, a business analyst. He lived in the area until the age of six when his parents immigrated 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. He also had the ability to add three digit numbers in his head at twice the speed of his peers.
Buterin learned about Bitcoin from his father at 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.