Ethereum was introduced by the Russian-Canadian geek Vitalik Buterin back in 2013. In the beginning, Vitalik Buterin was a Bitcoin enthusiast, but he quickly realized that Bitcoin had a big limitation in its software. Vitalik envisioned a blockchain where it has native capabilities to build smart contracts. He wrote a whitepaper for Ethereum and published it for everybody to see.
The idea quickly attracted some other crypto veterans and supporters. There were seven individuals who decided to partner with Vitalik Buterin. They are Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio, Amir Chetrit, Charles Hoskinson, Gavin Wood, Jeffrey Wilcke, and Joseph Lubin. From these eight co-founders, some became more popular than the others. Who are the most popular Ethereum figures and where are they today? Let’s find out together.
One of the biggest Ethereum rivals is definitely Cardano. It’s founded by Ethereum co-founder, Charles Hoskinson, and it has a unique approach to its development. Unlike Ethereum, Cardano is actually peer-reviewed, and it has native staking capabilities. Cardano uses a unique consensus mechanism that’s called Ouroborus, similar to Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS).
As for smart contract capabilities, Cardano uses a platform that’s called Plutus. It utilizes Haskell as its functional language to ensure the secure development of the protocol. While Cardano still hasn’t proven itself in terms of the amount of DApps in its ecosystem, it’s interesting to see what’s going to happen by the end of this year (or early next year) when developers finally start to build their DApps on top of Cardano blockchain.
Obviously, the most central figure of Ethereum is Vitalik Buterin himself. After all, the original idea came from his brilliant mind. Vitalik is a computer science expert and the face of Ethereum itself. He’s the only one (out of eight co-founders) who remains in the Ethereum Foundation to help Ethereum core development. At the moment, Vitalik is leading the development of Ethereum 2.0 phase 0.
Vitalik Buterin has publicly stated his opinions on different topics, including political correctness, libertarianism, and even ICOs and DeFi protocols. Whenever any mainstream media wants to talk about the popularity of crypto or Ethereum, they usually choose to interview Vitalik. That speaks volumes regarding how popular the man is.
Some people said that Jeffrey Wilcke had an even bigger contribution to the Ethereum code than Vitalik himself. Jeffrey Wilcke was the man who wrote an implementation of Ethereum in Go language, which later evolved to Geth (or Go Ethereum). During the first few years of Ethereum mainnet, Wilcke quickly rose to the top of popularity, due to how committed he was to Ethereum.
However, he decided to quit Ethereum, and he chose to start fresh with a game development studio that he started with his brother. The game development company is called Grid Games.
Being one of the most famous Ethereum co-founders, Joseph Lubin basically was one of the two main investors of Ethereum project in its early days (the other co-founder who funded the development was Di Iorio). Joseph Lubin was more of a businessman and he quickly saw the opportunity to create a for-profit company from the very beginning. That for-profit company is called Consensys.
For those of you who have been using Metamask wallet, it’s one of Consensys’ creations. Lubin is considered influential to Ethereum’s growth as he has been talking to many corporate partners and he has been trying to lure them to use Ethereum.
Charles Hoskinson was influential in Ethereum’s early days. In fact, he was the CEO of Ethereum back in December 2013. He was the one who set up the Swiss Foundation and he was involved in most of Ethereum’s legal aspects at the time. Hoskinson’s relationship with other core team members quickly went sour after ongoing debates regarding Ethereum’s status as a non-profit foundation.
Hoskinson eventually left Ethereum and decided to create his own project, Cardano. At the moment, Cardano has become one of the most hyped altcoins in the crypto space. Hoskinson himself believes that Cardano would be able to become more popular than Ethereum sooner or later.
Gavin Wood is a very talented British programmer. After he was introduced to the Ethereum project, he decided to write an Ethereum implementation in the form of C++. Wood was the first co-founder that successfully operated and ran an Ethereum testnet. He was also the one who proposed Solidity as Ethereum’s native smart contract language.
Wood has always been an ambitious man. He told the other co-founders that he wanted to be the CTO of Ethereum and he successfully became one. However, it didn’t take long before Wood decided to leave the project. Nowadays, Wood has his own project that’s called Polkadot. Just like Cardano, Polkadot also has been hyped a lot among the crypto community in 2020.