- Vitalik Buterin has likened the eight ethereum cofounders to the “fellowship of the ring.”
- Yet, they have a history of feuds and in some cases are directly competing against each other.
- Insider takes a look at who the eight ethereum founders are and what they’re up to now.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Yet, the story of the group is one marked by feuds and competition, with two members splintering off to create ethereum rivals cardano and polkadot. Buterin recently said choosing seven other founders “nondiscriminately” to build the network was his biggest regret.
The 27-year-old is one of the most famous figures in crypto, having come up with the idea for ethereum – a cryptocurrency network on which decentralized applications can be built – in 2013. He was just 19 at the time and 21 when ethereum launched in 2015.
Before that, Buterin had become a fan of bitcoin and crypto technology after being introduced to it by his dad, and went on to cofound Bitcoin Magazine. Buterin still works on the network, driving research and providing new ideas.
Accounts vary about what happened: Hoskinson says he left, others say Butern fired him. Either way, the two are known to not particularly like each other and occasionally still take digs at the other’s methods.
After leaving ethereum, Hoskinson founded the cardano blockchain platform whose ada cryptocurrency has recently soared to become the third-biggest. Cardano is known as an “ETH killer” as it also lets users build their own projects and is a competitor with ethereum.
Wood left ethereum in 2016, and went on to found polkadot, another ETH killer crypto network focused on trying to link together different blockchains. Polkadot’s dot cryptocurrency has risen more than 500% in the last year as excitement has built around the project.
The polkadot founder has been known to take swipes at ethereum. For example, in 2020 he contrasted its “slow” transaction times with polkadot’s quicker speeds.
Lubin founded the for-profit ethereum development company ConsenSys, which has launched a number of different projects on the network. One example is the widely used “wallet” MetaMask. ConsenSys raised $US65 ($AU89) million from JPMorgan, UBS and others this year.
Di Iorio hit the headlines earlier this year when he said he was quitting the crypto world and selling his company, partly because of concerns about his personal safety. He said another key reason was to focus on philanthropy.
He was vice president of the Ethereum Foundation – the non-profit organization which supports the network – until 2015. He stepped back to found Akasha, a crypto project looking to harness the technology for social purposes.
He has since left to form a games company called Grid Games with his brother. Wilcke has said he felt his energy was better spent elsewhere, “away from the drama” of ethereum.
Yet, according to journalist Matthew Leising, who wrote a book about ethereum called “Out of the Ether,” other members thought Chetrit wasn’t pulling his weight. Leising wrote that this led to Buterin kicking him out of the project with Hoskinson.