Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin Named to Time Magazine’s ‘Most Influential’ List

Vitalik’s writeup was penned by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

AccessTimeIconSep 15, 2021 at 4:56 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:34 p.m. UTC
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Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin is now one of Time’s “Most Influential.”

The storied magazine gave a nod to the crypto wunderkind in its 2021 edition, which dropped Wednesday.

The honorific comes as Ethereum continues to grow as a major force in the world of finance and beyond. The network’s upgrade to proof-of-stake also looms.

The inclusion in Time amounts to a continuation of a low-key publicity tour for Buterin. The technologist is involved in a new documentary about Ethereum. He’s even voicing a taxidermied cat in a star-studded animation project backed by Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher.

“What makes Vitalik so special, though, is that he is a builder’s builder,” Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian wrote for Time. “No one person could’ve possibly come up with all of the uses for Ethereum, but it did take one person’s idea to get it started.”

A spokesperson for Time said the list is selected by Time’s editors.

“I got an email that asked if I’d like to write up a piece for TIME about Vitalik and I said ‘hell yes I do’ and wrote what was published,” Ohanian, also the founder of venture firm Seven Seven Six, told CoinDesk via email, adding:

“It’s amazing to think how much of my career has been made possible thanks to his work: investments in the ETH presale, CryptoPunks, Bored Apes, Loot, and startups like Coinbase, Axie Infinity, Sorare, Quicknode, Skyweaver, and Rainbow... I’ve never been more excited about the potential of the internet thanks to him.”

Time’s 2021 list also included Dogecoin-lover Elon Musk (he also made the cut in 2018). El Salvador President Nayib Bukele is also on the 2021 list, but only as a comment on his authoritarian tendencies.

UPDATE (Sept. 15, 18:40 UTC): Adds comments from Alexis Ohanian.


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Zack Seward

Zack Seward is CoinDesk’s contributing editor-at-large.

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