Welcome to the Club: Buterin in Bloomberg’s 50 Most Influential 2017

The 23-year-old programmer who co-founded Ethereum stands side by side with Amazon's Jeff Bezos.

The once niche world of cryptocurrency continues to make inroads into the mainstream as Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, is featured on Bloomberg’s 2017 list of the world’s 50 most influential people.

First published in 2011, the yearly ranking from Bloomberg Markets rates individuals with “the ability to move markets or shape ideas and policies”. This year’s list includes the US ambassador to the United Nations, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, just to give you an idea of the company in which Buterin now finds himself.

Bloomberg notes that Ethereum has “helped blockchain startups raise more than $3 billion this year.” Only last week we reported that the open-source blockchain is responsible for more than 50% of worldwide blockchain transactions, dwarfing even the giant Bitcoin which accounts for (only?) 31.2%.

The price of one ether, the token used in the Ethereum network, recently passed $500. This has been somewhat overshadowed by constant breaking news of Bitcoin’s exploding value, but it is an achievement nevertheless.

Russian-Canadian programmer Vitalik Buterin got into the world of cryptocurrency early. He co-founded Bitcoin Magazine in 2011, and first proposed Ethereum in a whitepaper in 2013. The Ethereum ICO in 2014 raised over $18 million.

In contrast to Bitcoin, which is primarily supposed to be used as a digital currency, Ethereum has a grander aim – to be a world computer. Anyone can use the platform provided they own ether, and coin offerings on the platform this year have been raising enormous amounts of money. It is the platform of choice for initial coin offerings, according to techcrunch.com.

Interestingly, Buterin said in September of this year that he believes the ICO hype to have reached the bubble stage, which is a risk to Ethereum itself, the latter being the platform upon which many of the projects are built.

This doesn’t take away from the wild popularity of his creation though.

Last week we reported on Buterin unveiling Ethereum 2.0 at a conference in Taipei. His plan is for the network to achieve “VISA-level scalability” within the next 3-5 years. And it seems that even without this upgrade, Buterin’s creation has had more than enough of an impact to justify his inclusion in this year’s list.

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