(CNN) – Vitalik Buterin, a 27-year-old Russian-Canadian programmer, created Ethereum in 2013 at the age of 19. The cryptocurrency was introduced in 2015, and now Buterin holds around 333,500 ethers in its public wallet. Multiply that by Tuesday’s record high of $ 3,500 and you get more than $ 1.1 billion. Not bad.
In 2012, Buterin co-founded Bitcoin Magazine, a publication that deals with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In 2014 he was selected as part of the Thiel Fellowship, a two-year program run by billionaire Peter Thiel that “gives $ 100,000 to young people” who want to build new things instead of sitting in a classroom. “
He’s not particularly active on social media – surprising for a man with 1.4 million Twitter followers.
Ether prices more than quadrupled in 2021, increasing 375%. The cryptocurrency is currently the second largest digital currency by market value – a little less than half the market capitalization of Bitcoin. The total value of all Ethereum in circulation is now around $ 403 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. An ether was priced at $ 3,482 on Tuesday.
Although investors buy and sell thousands of different cryptocurrencies – including the Dogecoin powered by Elon Musk tweets – ether and bitcoin account for nearly two-thirds of the total global crypto market of $ 2.3 trillion.
Enthusiasm for crypto skyrocketed in April when the Coinbase trading platform went public, valued at $ 86 billion. Bitcoin hit a record high, followed by a wild 500% rally in Dogecoin, an asset created as a hoax in 2013. Cryptocurrency supporters have insisted for years that Ethereum, Bitcoin, and other digital coins could revolutionize the financial world. With the success of Coinbase’s Wall Street debut, these supporters finally have their moment.
Part of Ethereum’s surge can be attributed to the fact that it is the cryptocurrency of choice for buying many non-fungible tokens or NFTs – digital works of art and other collectibles that are turned into unique, verifiable assets that are easy to acquire Trading on the blockchain.
– CNN Business’s Paul R. La Monica contributed to this report.