How did the eight founders of Ethereum fall apart?

Author: Huohuo

On June 7, 2014, witnessed by the eight co founders, the idea of Ethereum was born in a rental house called "spaceship" in the Swiss woods. Today, the maximum market value can exceed $150 billion. In fact, since the birth of Ethereum, the encryption industry has caused a storm, and even set off wave after wave of craze in the web3 world, such as from 1CO, NFT, to Defi, IDO and other concepts. Even the concept of Web3 comes from a co-founder of Ethereum.

The Ethereum, as the center of this storm, has also witnessed many internal storms in the consensus on decentralization established by a group of idealists.The original list of founders of Ethereum was very long, according to Anthony Di Iorio, one of its founders. In December 2013, there were five founders of Ethereum: Vitalik Buterin, Anthony Di Iorio, Charles Hoskinson, Mihai Alisie and Amir Chemistry. Then in 2014, the other three joined as co founders, Joseph Lubin, Gavin Wood and Jeffrey Wilcke.

Later, the eight people fell apart. At present, only God V is still working for Ethereum. The main reason for the rift between the eight people was a fierce dispute about whether Ethereum should become a for-profit company or remain non-profit.So although there were eight co founders of Ethereum at the beginning, in the process of Ethereum community's growth, such irreconcilable non consensus parts made Ethereum and God V sacrifice the split of community thought and the departure of team members every step forward.

Today, in addition to being familiar with God V, the names of several other people may not be known, which is what the vernacular blockchain wants to share today.

Those who have become competitors

1) Community competitor Charles Hoskinson

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Charles Hoskinson, one of the first five founders of Ethereum, was born in Hawaii and hoped to become a mathematician, but found that Bitcoin was more interesting than mathematics, so he began to devote himself to the blockchain industry.

Hoskinson was appointed CEO in December 2013, responsible for the formulation of the Swiss Foundation and its legal framework. In the early development of Ethereum,As CEO, he laid a solid foundation for the development of Ethereum, especially in the establishment and development of the foundation and the establishment of a legal framework.

However, his time on this project ended in a few months, partly because of his relationship with other founders. And Hoskinson hopes Ethereum will become a for-profit company, but God V hopes it will become a non-profit platform. There was also some gossip about the departure: he said he left voluntarily, but others said God V dismissed him. Either way, it is well known that two people do not particularly like each other, and occasionally make fun of each other's way of doing things.

The DAO event in 2016 led to Ethereum's bifurcation, which happened to be Charles's support for Ethereum Classics (ETC). Later, he left to create Cardano. (ADA is the Token of the project,Cardano is a new generation blockchain smart contract platform under development, committed to becoming a more convenient, faster and more intelligent new generation of underlying basic public chain, known as the first blockchain project "driven by scientific philosophy and research".

The difference between Cardano's development mode and Ethereum is that Cardano's research precedes practice and its development is relatively conservative, but it may be more easily accepted by traditional industries. Its ada cryptocurrency soared in 2021. Cardano also allows users to build their own projects,At present, there are many community participants, and now it is also a strong competitor of Ethereum.

2) Public chain competitor Gavin Wood

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One of Gavin Wood's most commendable abilities is his strong engineering ability, that is, the ability to turn ideas into code through reasonable architecture design and programming. In the heart of many blockchain developers, he is a great programmer and technical leader.

In 2013, Gavin, who had some interest in blockchain, met God V through an old friend. After listening to God V's idea about Ethereum, Gavin thought it was very interesting to make blockchain programmable, and decided to help God V write Ethereum code.In 2014, he went to Miami and founded Ethereum with V God and several other founders.Here, Gavin has developed the first operational Ethereum version, which is generally called Ethereum PoC 1 or Alpha version. Later, Gavin served as the first CTO (Chief Technical Officer) of Ethereum. In 2014, he wrote the "Ethereum Yellow Book", which defined the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and was the first formal technical specification of the blockchain state machine.

In the next two years, Gavin devoted himself to the development of Ethereum, including building a general platform architecture, completing most of the development of Ethereum C++clients, and designing the object-oriented programming language Solidity for writing Ethereum smart contracts.

The concept of Web3 was proposed by Gavin Wood in 2014,That is to establish a disintermediated and free network environment to break the monopoly of the Internet today and return data, privacy, etc. to users. He hopes to use blockchain technology to eliminate the exploitation of users by major platforms, and use more truth to ensure that everything goes as expected, so that the whole society no longer needs to rely on artificial trust to operate.His summary of the core concept of Web3 is: "Less trust, more truth".
At the end of 2015, Gavin left Ethereum and founded EthCore. Gavin is an ambitious person who likes to challenge. After gradually gathering more than 60 developers from 15 countries, he proposed to write Ethereum Parity client in Rust language. EthCore has developed into Parity technology, and its performance is far superior to Geth and C++clients. He said that this is what we want to learn and pay attention to.

This is the blockchain protocol Polkadot, which is considered to be capable of growing into a new chain to replace Ethereum. Today, Poka has indeed become a strong competitor of Ethereum.

The reason why Gavin left Ethereum is unknown. Some speculate that Gavin and Vitalik may have differences on the development path of Ethereum.In some interviews later, Gavin did mention that he did not agree with Ethereum's way of governance through hard forking, and he believed that only ETH could be used to pay fees, which made Ethereum deviate from its original intention of becoming a "free competition DEX". It seems that in Gavin's mind, Ethereum cannot realize his vision of Web3.0.

Those who have become partners

1) Rich and powerful Joseph Lubin

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Joseph Lubin is the most experienced founder of Ethereum 8,In 1987, Lubin from the United Kingdom graduated from Princeton University with degrees in electrical engineering and computer science. After graduation, Lubin has engaged in diversified careers in software engineering, music production, business and finance. Later, Lubin became interested in cryptocurrencies and got in touch with his Canadian compatriot Di Iorio through the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada.

In 2014, he got to know God V, and after reading the white paper of God V, he was also quite recognized, so he gladly went to join the co founder team when invited,At that time, he was responsible for and proposed the architecture of writing Ethereum in C++programming language, so he was mainly responsible for the technical part. In addition, his family has strong financial resources. Together with Di Iorio, they provided great financial support for the initial development of Ethereum.

Later, when Ethereum chose to become a non-profit organization, Joseph left the Ethereum community because of his different development vision. Lubin founded the profitable Ethereum development company ConsenSys, which launched many different projects on the network. One example is the well-known Fox Wallet MetaMask.Because Joseph hopes to achieve commercial success, Consensys no longer focuses on open source development of Ethereum, but focuses more on building applications, and incubates a large number of blockchain start-ups. It is mainly based on the Ethereum platform, but it does not exclude those based on other platforms, such as Filecoin or Polkadot.

At present, Consensys has become an incubator for other blockchain start-ups. At the same time, many traditional companies have maintained partnerships, such as JPMorgan Chase, UBS, BP, Intel and Microsoft.

2) Mihai Alisie who believes in Bitcoin

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Alisie, from Romania, graduated from the University of Lucian Braga in Sibiu in 2010, majoring in cybernetics, economic informatics and statistics.

At the beginning, God V wrote articles on some forums and blogs in order to study Bitcoin. Bitcoin enthusiast Mihai Alisie just saw it, so they started to actively contact each other, and finally co founded Bitcoin Magazine at the end of 2011. At that time, God V was the chief writer and Alisie was the chief editor.

Later, V God created Ethereum, and Alisie responded positively. He helped establish Ethereum's base in Switzerland, merged the original start-ups, and led Switzerland to create the commercial infrastructure and legal framework essential to Ethereum's crowdfunding activities. For example, he opened a bank account for Ethereum, a fledgling encryption company (it is said that this was a difficult thing at that time), Dealing with lawyers and Swiss officials on the crucial legal framework of pre-sale activities.

Alisie said, "In the early days, this was a group of people with great ideas and ambitions, and it was not clear that they would succeed."

In the early days of Ethereum, he also assisted in formulating the strategic plan of Ethereum and the work of the vice chairman of Ethereum Foundation.Until the end of 2015, after discussing whether Ethereum needed to make a profit, he began to retire and gradually devote himself to Akasha, the social framework of Ethereum, because it did not meet the expected development. Akasha uses Ethereum and IPFS to build applications. Alisie's social framework also hopes to achieve greater development with Ethereum 2.0 and Filecoin.

Those who left the Bi circle

1) Anthony Di Iorio, circled out

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Anthony Di Iorio, like God V, also comes from Toronto. He has a wide range of business and has been involved in marketing and venture capital. He is also the executive director of Canada Bitcoin Alliance, and once organized the first Bitcoin Summit in Toronto. In November 2012, he met God V at a Bitcoin party.

He shares one common feature with Joseph Lubin, the founder mentioned above, that is, he is also a rich second generation with strong family background, mainly because he has a rich father. At the end of 2013, he participated in funding and co founded Ethereum. No detailed information about the specific project. However, he said that the reason for participating in Ethereum was simple, in order to make more money.

The reason why he retired to the second tier is similar to that of Joseph. He does not support Ethereum to operate in a non-profit way. After Ethereum established a non-profit operation mode, Di Iorio gradually retired and left soon afterwards.After leaving, Di Iorio briefly served as the chief digital officer of the Toronto securities trading platform. But the advantage of being rich is freedom. He can freely choose what he wants to do. He thinks that it is better to make a big deal if he has assets in his hands. So he left and created Decentral in 2016 to develop the Jaxx digital wallet. The wallet was first launched in May 2018. In the same year, Di Iorio was selected as the richest person in cryptocurrency in Forbes magazine's top 20, with an estimated net asset of 750 million to 1 billion dollars at that time.

However, in the summer of 2021, Anthony Di Iorio announced that, based on personal security considerations, he would withdraw from the Bi circle and intend to sell his blockchain company Decentral Inc at a price of "hundreds of millions of dollars".Anthony Di Iorio did not disclose the number of cryptocurrencies he held, and said that he would break off relations with other start-ups he participated in, and would no longer fund any blockchain projects. He would later plan to devote himself to charity and other fields.

2) Amir Chetrit, an investor

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This is a professional from Israel majoring in computer science. However, the first bucket of gold in his career came from real estate development. He left school in 2008 and then set foot in real estate. At that time, he began to doubt the traditional financial system because of the financial crisis.Later, he began to dabble in Bitcoin, feeling it was a good opportunity to earn more money.

Amir Chetrit met God V at the Bitcoin event held in Amsterdam in September 2013.

When he met God V, he was working with Israeli startup Colored Coins, which aimed to manage the real assets as the top Token of Bitcoin network. God V also participated in the project before proposing Ethereum.In December 2013, Chetrit was invited by God V to join the creation of Ethereum.

After all, he is a real estate and investment person. He may not be enthusiastic about technology and Ethereum's vision, and he did not introduce much about his specific responsibilities.At the co founders' meeting in June 2014, Chetrit was criticized by Ethereum developers and other co founders for lack of investment in Ethereum, and chose to resign. Later, he devoted himself to other industries.

3) Jeffrey Wilcke, who went home to be a nanny

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Another computer programmer, Jeffrey Wilcke, was very interested in Ethereum when he was working in the first 1CO Mastercoin in the Netherlands, so he decided to quietly write an implementation page in Google's Go language. At the beginning of 2014, he joined Gavin Wood in the list of founders.

The journey of building Wilcke software pages is also called Go Ethereum, or "Geth" for short.He can be regarded as an important programmer in the early development of Ethereum. When Gavin Wood implemented Ethereum with C++, Jeffrey also implemented Ethereum with golang. This is the first development of blockchain.

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However, after going through Ethereum's hard bifurcation, a series of hacking events and the birth of his son, Wilcke handed over Geth's supervision to Peter Szilagyi, his right-hand man.At present, he runs a game development studio Grid Games with his brother Joey,There was news that he sold some ETHs to fund Grid Games to recruit developers.

Vitalik Buterin

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Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, is called "V God" by Chinese fans. Basically, those who can be called "gods" have legends.

First, the child prodigy image of God VHe is a genius boy. He was good at mathematics and programming when he was young. In his freshman year, he won the bronze medal in the 2012 International Informatics Olympics.

However, there is some contrast between his brilliant image and his character and appearance.God V is small and thin, like a "elf". He walks stiffly, but runs slowly. Once, I took part in an activity in the Ethereum community and left the venue. Fans didn't catch up with him. In addition, he is introverted and has no interest in dressing himself. He wears simple and comfortable clothes. He occasionally sobs when talking. Most of the time, he likes to immerse himself in his own world. Many legends have come from this: God V is an autistic prodigy. God V once wore two Hello Kitty socks with different patterns on the train. God V packed all his possessions in a suitcase. God V ate lemon without peeling. But according to relevant reports, the father of God V has denied it. However, people in the Ethereum community are keen to contribute to the mysterious image of God V. Is this the so-called Don't be infatuated with brother, brother is just a legend?

The reason that inspired him to explore Bitcoin and the emerging encryption industry was the game he played. He has been in contact with World of Warcraft since he was 13 years old (2007), and has become a loyal fan ever since. By 2010,Due to the system upgrade of Blizzard, the character attributes in the V God game were forced to make some adjustments. He couldn't accept it, so he abandoned the game of World of Warcraft. Then he realized the horror of centralized service.

At that time, V God began to regard government supervision and company centralized control as a kind of original sin. It goes without saying that Bitcoin is decentralized and not controlled by any individual or institution, which has aroused his strong interest. So when he heard about Bitcoin, his eyes lit up. Later, he looked for a job on various forums where he could pay with Bitcoin. By coincidence, there was an opportunity for him to write articles to earn Bitcoin.

The birth of the idea of Ethereum originated from God V's desire to improve Bitcoin.As a columnist at that time, after doing a lot of research, he found some limitations of Bitcoin and began to try to make suggestions in the community. However, at that time, he was still small talk, and the leaders of the Bitcoin community did not pay much attention to his ideas.

As God V is good at explaining things, he simply wrote a white paper based on the concept behind BTC, proposing to build a new platform where any decentralized and anti censorship applications can exist.As a result, a blockchain platform with a wider range of uses and can be compatible with more applications - "World Computer" was born.

Vitalik started to contact the computer when he was very young | Image source: BAZAAR

When the total market value of Ethereum exceeded 500 billion US dollars, God V said frankly that he did not expect Ethereum to become a giant and that things would become so complicated," When I founded Ethereum, I just wanted to finish it in a few months and then go back to college& quot;

However, V Shen has made great contributions to the development of Ethereum both in terms of personal brand image and professional technology. In recent years, he has gradually retreated to the second tier, focusing on Ethereum 2.0, and is the only co-founder still engaged in Ethereum related work.


Indeed, among the eight co founders of Ethereum, no matter Charles Hoskinson and Gavin Wood, who have become competitors, Anthony Di Iorio, Amir Chetrit and Jeffrey Wilcke, who have left the industry to seek other development, or Mihai Alisie and Joseph Lubin, who have founded companies to help build Ethereum applications and community layers, only God V remains.

God V once said that the biggest regret (non-technical) in the journey of Ethereum was the hasty choice of "8 co founders" and the separation of everyone.It is simple to gather all the gods together, but let their thoughts unite. The V God Theory is the most difficult lesson in the development of Ethereum.

"It's more difficult for people in small groups to coordinate closely than I thought. You can't make everyone sit in a circle, and then look at each other's innate goodness to get along in this way, let alone face a huge incentive conflict at the same time."

V God

Now Ethereum is called the "Whampoa Military Academy" of Web3. Although the early founders have started innovative businesses, the Ethereum ecosystem has been formed and the developer community has grown. At present, the founders of public chains and projects with the highest market value are also many members from the former Ethereum community, who are actively promoting and expanding the development of Web3.This is probably the difference from traditional industries, or the charm of blockchain, which shows us what decentralization is and can also flourish and show its vitality.