Vitalik Buterin, the famed inventor of the Ethereum blockchain, is a legendary Canadian blockchain developer worth hundreds of millions. As of 2024, Vitalik Buterin’s net worth exceeds $964 million.

The young programmer became involved with the crypto space early, initially co-founding Bitcoin Magazine back in 2011. Fast forward to today, and he’s one of the biggest and most important names in the industry, holding a significant crypto portfolio that contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to his net worth.

Let’s see how he built his wealth.

Vitalik Buterin’s Net Worth Breakdown:

Seeing as how Vitalik Buterin’s net worth is mostly defined by his crypto holdings and their current value, it should come as no surprise that his fortune fluctuates often.

At one point, Vitalik Buterin’s net worth technically reached a few billion dollars thanks to his Shiba Inu holdings, but he has since burned or donated his entire stack so we estimate his current net worth to be over $964 million. Here is a detailed breakdown of what makes up his incredible wealth in 2024:

Asset or Income Source Contribution to Net Worth
ETH holdings $864 million
Other crypto and NFT holdings $100+ million
Starkware stake Undisclosed
Total Net Worth $964 million

Vitalik Buterin Net Worth: Early Life and Education

Vitaly Dmitrievich Buterin or, as we know him, Vitalik Buterin, was born on January 31, 1994, in Kolomna, Russia, to father Dmitry, a computer scientist, and mother Natalia Ameline, a financial consultant. The small family lived in Russia until Vitaly was six years old, when they migrated to Canada.

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In Canada, Buterin was selected in his elementary school to join a class for gifted children, with his favorite subjects being mathematics, economics, and programming. He later studied at The Abelard School, a Toronto-based private high school.

Following his high school graduation, Buterin decided to pursue higher education and enrolled at the University of Waterloo, where he took advanced courses and held a role as a research assistant for Ian Goldberg, the cryptographer behind Off-the-Record Messaging.

Buterin’s success and talent at the university made it evident that he was destined for great things. In 2012, he won the bronze medal in the International Olympiad in Informatics, which took place in Italy. He also traveled a lot, meeting developers who shared his passion for coding. Upon his return to Toronto in 2014, he published a white paper containing his idea for the Ethereum blockchain.

That same year, Vitalik Buterin decided to drop out of university, encouraged by the grant he received from the Thiel Fellowship. The Thiel Fellowship awarded $100,000 to 20 promising inventors under 20. When he received this grant, Buterin dropped out of the University of Waterloo after a single completed year of computer science, focusing on Ethereum full-time. Buterin shared:

It actually was scary. I was quite worried that if I stopped learning and following the same path, I would fall behind and not know certain essential things.

He is not without a degree now, though. In November 2018, Buterin was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Basel’s Faculty of Business and Economics.

Vitalik Buterin Net Worth: Becoming a Crypto Visionary

The idea for creating Ethereum came to Buterin while in school and it took him a few years to turn it into a reality. Let’s see how he reached billionaire status at one point, and what pummeled his net worth to less than a billion today.

Bitcoin Weekly and Bitcoin Magazine

Back in 2011 while he was still in school, Vitalik Buterin started writing for Bitcoin Weekly, a publication that discussed the cryptocurrency. The owner of the site offered 5 bitcoins, worth around $3.50 at the time, to anyone who would write an article for his publication. Buterin was one of the site’s frequent authors and he continued contributing until it shut down due to insufficient revenue.

In September of that same year, Mihai Alisie reached out to Buterin, sharing his new project called Bitcoin Magazine, this time inviting the author to join him as the co-founder of the publication and become its lead writer.

Vitalik Buterin accepted the offer. In 2012, the magazine started publishing a print edition, becoming the first serious crypto publication at the time. At around the same time, co-founder Buterin reached out to Jed McCaleb for a job at Ripple, and even though he was accepted, the job didn’t materialize because Buterin didn’t have a visa to work in the United States.

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Fast forward to 2016, and Buterin held yet another position in a magazine, this time a peer-reviewed scholarly journal titled Ledger, once again sharing news and posts on blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.

Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin is the founder of Ethereum, the utilitarian decentralized network and software development platform that allows anyone with the necessary skills to create programs and cryptocurrencies that share a single blockchain. As previously mentioned, he described his idea in an Ethereum whitepaper while still in school, arguing that Bitcoin needs a scripting language.

However, since his initial proposal didn’t take off, he proposed a new platform that offered a more general, simpler scripting language. That’s how the Ethereum network was born.

Even though he had published the Ethereum whitepaper years earlier, it grew in popularity at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014. On January 26, 2014, Buterin announced Ethereum at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami, where he made a 30-minute speech talking about a global computer operating on a decentralized permissionless network. You can watch the speech here:

In 2014, Vitalik Buterin officially announced the launch of the famous Ethereum blockchain, the network designed to create and support decentralized applications. Buterin came up with the general idea himself but he would need a ton of help realizing his dream so he went searching for candidates. The platform was officially launched the following year, as a partnership between Buterin, Gavin Wood, Charles Hoskinson (the founder of Cardano), Anthony Di Lorio, and Joseph Lubin, made the group the official cofounders of Ethereum.

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The software’s formal development started through a Swiss company, Ethereum Switzerland GmbH, in early 2014 with Gavin Wood as the chief technology officer. Subsequently, the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss non-profit foundation was created and the funding of the program’s development took place in an online public crowd sale that allowed participants to buy the Ether value token with Bitcoin.

At one point, Buterin shared that his idea to create decentralized finance came from World of Warcraft, in a bio on about.me that has since been edited. Reportedly, his character in the game was nerfed by patch 3.1.0., which gave him the idea of a decentralized platform.

I happily played World of Warcraft from 2007 to 2010, but one day Blizzard removed the damage component from my beloved warlock’s Siphon Life spell. I cried myself to sleep, and on that day I realized what horrors centralized services can bring. I soon decided to quit.

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By 2018, Ether was the second-largest cryptocurrency in the crypto community, right behind Bitcoin.

Today, Ethereum is still second to Bitcoin in market capitalization. Its market cap in April 2024 is $398.11 trillion. The decentralized platform, also known as Ether, is open-source software.

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Awards and Accolades

As a prominent crypto figure, Vitalik Buterin has won awards and received honorable mentions in various publications including:

  • 2016: Won the World Technology Award in the IT Software category, beating Mark Zuckerberg
  • 2014: Awarded the Thiel Fellowship
  • 2016: Included in the Fortune 40 under 40 list
  • 2018: Included in the Forbes 30 under 30 list
  • 2021: Listed in Time 100

Philanthropy

The co-founder of Ethereum has been very generous with his crypto funds. Here are some of his most notable donations to philanthropic causes:

  • 2017: Donation of $763,970 of Ether to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute
  • 2018: Donation of $2.4 million worth of Ether to the SENS Research Foundation for research on human life extension. He donated to the foundation once again in 2020 for the same purpose.
  • 2021: Donation of $1.14 billion worth of SHIBA coins to the India Crypto Covid relief fund, which equaled 5% of the coin in circulation.
  • 2021: Donation of $336 million worth of Dogelon Mars to the Methuselah Foundation to work on extending the human lifespan, causing a drop in the memecoin’s value of 70%.

In addition to these donations, Vitalik Buterin reportedly sent $1 million worth of Ether to support the Dogecoin project. He is a member of the board of directors at Dogecoin.

Authorship

In 2022, Vitalik Buterin published his first book titled Proof of Stake: The Making of Ethereum and the Philosophy of Blockchains, published by Seven Stories Press.

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Buterin has a very active presence online, often posting on his social media channels and contributing to his blog. In his blog posts, he shares insights on the blockchain industry and makes predictions about crypto and AI.

He recently shared that he believes cryptocurrency will settle like gold in the medium term. He has also predicted that Ethereum will grow in value in the coming years.

Vitalik Buterin Net Worth: Crypto Holdings and Other Assets

If you start researching Buterin’s investments, you’ll find that, for the most part, he has publicly disclosed quite a bit of information about his crypto holdings. His personal assets like real estate or vehicles, however, remain undisclosed.

We found that Vitalik Buterin’s net worth is mostly sourced from his crypto holdings and their value. The Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has most of his fortune invested in Ethereum, but his known crypto holdings also include a variety of other coins and NFTs. Let’s see what he has in his portfolio.

Buterin’s Crypto Wallet Holdings

Seeing how he is the creator of the Ether, how much Ethereum does Vitalik Buterin have in his crypto wallets?

The co-founder of Ethereum reportedly bought his first batch of Ethereum back in 2014 when it cost around $0.40 per coin. In comparison, ETH tokens cost $3,134 per coin at the time of writing.

Before the business was publicly launched, Ethereum conducted a pre-sale, allowing people to buy Ether with Bitcoin. The ETH tokens came in a supply of over 72 million tokens, and 16.53% of this was allocated to the company’s co-founders, including Buterin.

By 2016, Buterin’s known crypto holdings in Ethereum grew to nearly 400,000 ETH. However, he reportedly reduced his crypto holdings in 2017, when he sold a portion of them for $270 million.

A year later, he once again increased his ETH holdings to over 400,000, and when the coin reached $1,400 a piece, his net worth was boosted by over $300 million thanks to the coin alone.

Buterin’s crypto holdings in Ethereum have since dropped as he has reportedly sold over half of his portfolio of Ether. During the coin’s bull run in 2018, the price jumped above $1,000 but only temporarily before it once again dropped below $150 by the end of the year. In 2021, Vitalik Buterin became a billionaire thanks to the massive price surge of the coin, as Ethereum’s value jumped above $2,500 at the beginning of the year, until it reached its all-time high in November 2021 – $4,600.

Since its peak, ETH has dropped significantly, slashing Vitalik Buterin’s net worth in the process. It eventually reached a yearly low of under $1,000 during the FTX collapse at the end of the year, and in 2023, it started recovering – albeit slowly.

While we cannot possibly know exactly how much Ethereum Vitalik Buterin holds, he has stated that he hasn’t sold any of the holdings in his cryptocurrency wallet since 2018, meaning that he holds around 279,00 ETH, which is now worth approximately $864 million.

Even though this is the most valuable and largest quantity of coin he has in his portfolio, that’s not the only significant crypto holding of the Ethereum founder.

Vitalik Buterin’s Other Crypto Holdings

According to Cryptodaily, Vitalik Buterin has 773 different types of coins and tokens in his crypto wallets. The majority of them, as you know, are in ETH tokens, but his crypto wallet also includes coins like WOJAK, JetCoin, KleeKai, SImbaToken, and more.

vitalik buterin crypto holdings
The reason for such a versatile list of currencies is that random crypto holders often send funds to Buterin’s publicly known crypto wallets. He reportedly holds over $950 million in various coins and NFTs.

When you take a peek at his wallet, you’ll find that his non-ETH holdings include:

  • 869,000 KNCL (the token of Kyber Network where he serves as an advisor) worth around $495,992 in April 2024
  • 256 Wrapped Ether tokens worth around $800,000 in April 2024

Shiba Inu Tokens

The anonymous creators of the SHIB coin gifted half of the coins in existence to the Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, trying to attract attention with the stunt (successfully). Today, people are left wondering: Does Vitalik Buterin keep some Shiba Inu (SHIB) in his crypto wallet?

Not only has Vitalik Buterin donated a large portion of his SHIB holdings worth nearly $1 billion, but he burned 90% of his remaining holdings worth $6.7 billion in 2024!

He reportedly sent 410 trillion tokens to a dead blockchain address, taking the coin out of circulation.

“I’ve decided to burn 90% of the remaining Shiba tokens in my wallet. The remaining 10% will be sent to a (not yet decided) charity with similar values to crypto relief (preventing large-scale loss of life) but with a more long-term orientation,” he said.

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As for the remaining tokens, he gave 50 trillion SHIB tokens worth $1.2 billion to the India COVID-19 relief fund set by Sandeep Nailwal.

Vitalik Buterin Net Worth: Other Ventures and Investments

The computer programmer and entrepreneur has served on numerous boards and held various professional positions over the years. In 2014, he became the chief architect at Ethereum. He also earns an undisclosed yearly salary from a company called Consensys, owned by one of Ethereum’s co-founders, Joseph Lubin.

In addition to this, Buterin has contributed as a developer to open-source software projects like Bitcoin Python libraries, DarkWallet by Cody Wison, and more.

Buterin also participated in the seed round of a zero-knowledge-proof technology developer called StarkWare, which reached an $8 billion valuation in 2022.

What Can We Learn from Vitalik Buterin’s Story?

Vitalik Buterin’s net worth, from the point where he co-founded Bitcoin Magazine to becoming a major figure in the cryptocurrency and blockchain community, showcases the potential and opportunities offered in the crypto industry (and other nascent industries). With his ETH holdings and other crypto investments, Vitalik Buterin’s wealth has soared to over $960 million (and likely over $1 billion), strengthening his position as one of the most influential individuals in the crypto space.

Buterin’s visionary creation of the Ethereum blockchain as early as his student days is truly impressive and inspiring. Coming from a middle-class family of immigrants who left Russia to find better work opportunities, he has used his passion and skills to leverage the opportunities in a growing sector – the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry.

His Ethereum blockchain has revolutionized how we utilize decentralized technologies, paving the way for innovations and applications across a variety of sectors.

Finally, Buterin’s philanthropic endeavors, including his high donations to important charitable causes, underscore his commitment to leveraging crypto to make a positive change.