Youngest Crypto Billionaire Created Ethereum After World of Warcraft Took His Favorite Spell

Vitalik Buterin

Steve Jennings/Getty Images

Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin became the world’s youngest billionaire this week as the price of his cryptocurrency soared past $3,000 per unit.

The price of Ethereum broke $3,300 on Monday, a 10 percent increase compared to Sunday, when it broke the $3,000 barrier for the first time since its 2015 creation. The total price of investments in Ethereum reached about $380 billion, the second-largest valuation of any cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, which sat at about $1.1 trillion on Monday afternoon. The figure exceeded the total market capitalization of Bank of America, at $350 billion, and more than doubled Wells Fargo’s market capitalization, which stood at a little less than $190 billion.

Ethereum’s value has risen more than fourfold since January 1, when it stood at just $730.

Buterin, a 27-year-old Russian-Canadian programmer, disclosed that he was inspired to travel down the road that led to Ethereum when software-developer Blizzard removed a component of his favorite spell on World of Warcraft, an online multiplayer game. “I cried myself to sleep, and on that day I realized what horrors centralized services can bring,” Buterin wrote. He said he “soon decided to quit.”

He said he found Bitcoin in 2011, when he would have been 17, after “searching for a new purpose in life.”

Ethereum serves as a foundation for hundreds of additional digital currencies. Buterin’s public wallet for Ethereum held a little more than $1.1 billion of the product at Monday’s prices. Many observers expect it to triple in price in the years ahead, though some grouse that it is presently overvalued.

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under: