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The ideas behind Ethereum in the words of its founder, describing a radical vision for more than a digital currency-reinventing organizations, economics, and democracy itself in the age of the internet.
After Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin dropped out of college and launched Bitcoin Magazine, he wrote the Ethereum white paper, which proposed an open source system that would take what Bitcoin did for money and do it for everything else: contracts, social networks, and sharing economies. Now, less than a decade later, his idea is valued at about half a trillion dollars, and it is the foundation for the weird new world of NFT artworks, virtual real estate, and decentralized autonomous organizations.
Understanding and engaging with Buterin's ideas will be of growing importance as the consequences of his invention continue to unfold and inspire debate worldwide. These writings, collected from his essays before and during the rise of Ethereum, reveal Buterin to be a vivid and imaginative writer, and this edition includes context from media studies scholar Nathan Schneider. While many around him were focused on seeing the value of their tokens rise, Buterin was working through the problems and possibilities of crafting an Internet-native world.
*The new book from one of *TIME's 2021 most influential people
Author was in Forbes 30 Under 30 Hall of Fame
"A crucial contribution to development of a new technology that will impact all of our lives.” –Laura Shin, host of the Unchained podcast and author of *The Cryptopians: Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze
“Vitalik Buterin is one of the most influential creators of our generation....Like most of his work, it is sure to become a must-read.”–Camila Russo, author of The *Infinite Machine, founder of The Defiant*
**The ideas behind Ethereum in the words of its founder, describing a radical vision for more than a digital currency—reinventing organizations, economics, and democracy itself in the age of the internet.
When he was only nineteen years old, in late 2013, Vitalik Buterin published a visionary paper outlining the ideas behind what would become Ethereum. He proposed to take what Bitcoin did for currency—replace government and corporate power with power shared among users—and apply it to everyday apps, organizations, and society as a whole. Now, less than a decade later, Ethereum is the second-most-valuable cryptocurrency and serves as the foundation for the weird new world of NFT artworks, virtual real estate in the metaverse, and decentralized autonomous organizations.
The essays in Proof of Stake have guided Ethereum’s community of radicals and builders. Here for the first time they are collected from across the internet for new readers. They reveal Buterin as a lively, creative thinker, relentlessly curious and adventuresome in exploring the consequences of his invention. His writing stands in contrast to the hype that so often accompanies crypto in the public imagination. He presents it instead as a fascinating set of social, economic, and political possibilities, opening a window into a conversation that far more of us could be having.
Media scholar Nathan Schneider provides introductions and notes.