The most notable and the lead of Ethereum’s founders is Vitalik Buterin, a Russian-Canadian programmer who originally proposed the project in 2013.
However, there were many co-founders who contributed to the creation of the protocol. Other notable co-founders include Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio, Amir Taaki, Joe Lubin, Gavin Wood and Charles Hoskinson.
Ethereum was intended to be a platform that allows developers to build blockchain-based applications, or DApps, by using the protocol’s smart contract functionalities. Buterin was originally inspired by some of the shortcomings he faced when trying to build applications on the Bitcoin blockchain. He believed that the potential of blockchain technology was not limited to financial applications and set out to create a blockchain that could support more common computations.
Buterin was first introduced to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in 2011. That same year, he co-founded Bitcoin Magazine and wrote many articles explaining his views on the digital currency’s future. He later worked on Mastercoin and some altcoins based on the Bitcoin codebase. This work led him to believe the Bitcoin blockchain was limited in scope.
The Ethereum white paper was released in 2013, and it documented a new open-source protocol for creating DApps.
The Ethereum Foundation held a crowdsale in July 2014, during which it sold $18 million worth of ether. The first release of the Ethereum network was called “the Frontier,” and it emerged a year after the crowdsale and provided a bare-bones mechanism for developers to build and interact with DApps on the network.
Ethereum gained mainstream media attention in early 2017, which led to the price of ether climbing from under $10 in January 2017 to over $1,300 in January 2018.