Ethereum has a surprisingly long list of founders. The youngest of the decentralized, open-source blockchain's seven founders, Vitalik Buterin, 27, has become the world's youngest crypto billionaire, according to a report by Forbes.
Ether, the cryptocurrency linked to the Ethereum, rose past the $3,000 mark for the first time early on Monday, May 3 — a 325 percent rise since the beginning of the year.
Buterin, who publicly disclosed his ether address to be his main ether wallet in October 2018, currently holds 333,520 ETH, which is worth $1.09 billion at the ether price of $3,278 early on Monday.
Ether's market cap is currently at $376 billion, making it the second-largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, which is at $1.08 trillion.
Cryptocurrencies surging in 2021
Ether's value has skyrocketed since the start of the year, much like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, including the meme-inspired Dogecoin.
These have been bolstered by increased awareness and uptake for cryptocurrencies, caused in part by EV automaker Tesla's $1.5 billion investment into Bitcoin, as well as the retail investor trend kickstarted by WallStreetBets.
Shortly after it announced its $1.5 billion Bitcoin investment, Tesla started allowing car purchases to be made in Bitcoin. A host of other companies have followed suit, including eBay, who announced last week they may accept cryptocurrencies for future payments.
Cryptocurrencies are lauded for their ability to allow for decentralized transactions to be made via the blockchain, without the need for any financial intermediaries.
They have stirred controversy, as well, due to the fact that the increasingly complex computations needed to enable transactions in the blockchain means global cryptocurrency transactions have an enormous carbon footprint.
Buterin was born in Kolomna, Russia in 1994, and later moved to Toronto, Canada, where he has lived most of his life. He was 20 when he co-founded Ethereum in 2014. Prior to that, he co-founded and wrote for Bitcoin Magazine with another Ethereum co-founder, Mihai Alisie.