Still only 23 years of age, Vitalek Buterin has been granted guru status among the tech savvy for co-founding the blockchain network Ethereum, but the Russian-Canadian was always going to be a community leader, says his father Dmitry Buterin.
It’s true that being number two is never easy, even for Ethereum which has seen its currency skyrocket in value in recent months — only to be overshadowed by the frenzy surrounding crypto-rival Bitcoin, which keeps hitting new highs almost daily. And while everyone is talking about Bitcoin, many are still banking on Ethereum to get past its scaling struggles and come out on top. That includes Vitalek and his father Dmitry, both of whom were in attendance at last month’s Ethereum Devcon3 conference in Cancun, Mexico.
“It’s such a diverse community with so much stuff going on, the conference as twice as big as last year,” says Dmitry to the Cointelegraph. “I’m really proud of [Vitalek]. He’s obviously extremely smart, but the reason that he’s a leader of this community is that he’s a good person and people believe his intentions, that’s what I’m most proud of,” says Dmitry.
Of Vitalek’s potential, his dad says that it was “pretty clear from an early age.” “When he was three years old, and he loved playing with Excel, doing basic calculations and stuff like that,” says Dmitry. “But all kids have so much potential that if you just feed them the right material to maintain their curiosity in a way that’s also fun.”
What’s fun about Ethereum? Cryptokitties, for one.
That’s the online game launched just a week ago involving digital, spawning cats, all of whom are unique and can be bought and sold just like digital currency. As reported in Bloomberg news, Cryptokitty transactions are now making up 11 per cent of all activity on the Ethereum network, up from four per cent on December 2, and are threatening to interfere with other users of the blockchain technology.
“The pending transactions on the Ethereum blockchain have spiked in the last 24 hours, mostly from CryptoKitties traffic,” said Nolan Bauerle, director of research at CoinDesk.
And while blockchains for cats was an inevitability, considering the feline-centric nature of the internet, Ethereum’s sights are definitely aiming higher. Unlike Bitcoin, which solely supports a digital currency, Ethereum has been developed to apply blockchain’s distributed ledger technology across many different fields — if it could only figure out how to scale up.
For some time, Vitalek Buterin has said that getting bigger is one of the greatest challenges facing blockchain and Ethereum, since it requires bringing together concepts that are often at odds with each other, such as decentralization and security, both of which are front-and-centre attributes of the blockchain.
“Scalability is probably problem number one,” said Vitalek Buterin at Devcon 3. “There’s a graveyard of systems that claim to solve the scalability problem but don’t. It’s a very significant and hard challenge. These are just known facts.”
Currently, the price of one Ether token is trading at $461.82 US, up from just $8.01 on January 1 of this year.