Vitalik Buterin’s first tryst with the Bitcoin community dates back to 2011. He began participating in ‘Bitcointalk,’ a forum created by Satoshi Nakamoto. It was then that he co-founded and started writing articles for Bitcoin magazine. He began traveling to speak with BTC developers around the world in a bid to construct a new, potentially superior iteration of the Bitcoin blockchain.
In late 2013, Buterin described the idea of yet another digital currency in a white paper and sent it to a few of his friends. The vision was to develop a blockchain with a built-in programming language and platform for decentralized applications, an “android of the cryptocurrency world” of sorts.
Subsequently, Ethereum was officially announced on Bitcointalk on January 23rd, 2014. It has been exactly nine years since then. The blockchain’s story, from the whitepaper to the DAO attack, to the hard fork, scalability issues, and more recent Merge, has been anything but ordinary.
“Welcome to the New Beginning”
Buterin revealed that the primary core devs along with him were Gavin Wood, Charles Hoskinson, and Jeffrey Wilcke, while Anthony Di Iorio, Mihai Alisie, Joseph Lubin, and Stephan Tual were named as primary non-development members. Buterin’s commentary, titled “Welcome to the New Beginning, noted,
“Ethereum is a modular, stateful, Turing-complete contract scripting system married to a blockchain and developed with a philosophy of simplicity, universal accessibility, and generalization. Our goal is to provide a platform for decentralized applications – an android of the cryptocurrency world, where all efforts can share a common set of APIs, trustless interactions, and no compromises.”
While explaining his brainchild, Buterin then called for the community to join the new ecosystem as volunteers, developers, investors, and evangelists. The focus was to enable a “fundamentally different paradigm for the internet and the relationships it provides.”
Challenging the Idea of ‘Bitcoin Dominance Maximalism’
The same year, Buterin challenged the Bitcoin Dominance Maximalism, a school of thought that is still very much relevant in the crypto ecosystem. His treatise essentially separated people who simply want to improve Bitcoin from those who can be called “Bitcoin domination maximalists,” often categorized as aggressive, hostile, and toxic.
This was the first time he questioned the ideology. Since then, Ethereum itself has become the most consistent and high-profile target of criticism by the proud “Bitcoin Maximalist.” Despite the differences in culture and workings, Ethereum has still managed to retain its position as the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, almost a decade after its existence, even as most prominent altcoins faded away.