Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin Receives Honorary Doctorate From The University of Basel

Founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin’s works has finally been recongnised, as he receives an honorary Ph.D from the University of Basel.

After dropping from University four years ago to pursue a career in cryptocurrency, no one would have predicted he would get to this level.


He would be graduating from university right about now, had he stayed back to finish his undergraduate degree, but that did not come to be. In 2014, however, discouraged with school life, Buterin accepted a Thiel Fellowship for his preliminary work on Ethereum and dropped out in his freshman year at the University of Waterloo to work on the smart contract platform.

Today, the University of Basel’s Faculty of Business and Economics has awarded him an honorary doctorate. The distinction was given at the Dies Academicus celebration, an annual event that commemorates the opening of the university.

Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Basel, Prof. Dr. Aleksander Berentsen while speaking, called Buterin’s blockchain innovations “game-changing,” while noting that he has “blazed a trail for science and industry to follow and work together.”

“I’m honored to have received an honorary doctorate from the University of Basel the oldest university in Switzerland. Switzerland is well known for its innovative blockchain research,” Buterin stated.

Buterin first introduced his concept for the groundbreaking Ethereum in a white paper titled “A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform” in 2013, wherein he proposed the development of a new platform with a more flexible scripting language than Bitcoin for building applications on the blockchain.

Coincidentally, this month marks the fifth anniversary since the paper was published, also with the award ceremony.

Before his work on Ethereum, Buterin also co-founded Bitcoin Magazine alongside Mihai Alisie, serving as the site’s lead writer. He also held an editorial board position at Ledger, a scholarly cryptocurrency and blockchain journal.

Buterin has continued to contribute to the application of blockchain technoloies through essays on topics such as consensus protocols, Plasma and Casper.

Born to Russian parents on January 31, 1994, in the ancient city of Kolomna in Moscow, Buterin emigrated to Canada, where he explored and developed his love for math, programming and economics.

Having learned about Bitcoin from his father at age 17,  and after travelling the world in 2013 in a bid to interact with other developers, especially those working on Mastercoin, he published a whitepaper that proposed Ethereum the following year.

From July 22 to August 30, 2014, Ethereum raised $15.5 million in an initial coin offering and went on to launch on July 30, 2015 and the rest is history.

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