500-Year Old Swiss University Makes Vitalik Buterin an Honorary Doctor

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The co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Switzerland’s oldest institution of higher learning, the University of Basel.

According to the university’s Faculty of Business and Economics, which awarded Buterin the honorary doctorate, the award is ‘in recognition of his contribution to promoting decentralization and equal rights of participation in the digital revolution, as well as for his achievements in relation to cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, and institutional design.’

In a tweeted announcement, the Swiss educational institution which was founded in 1460 was full of praise for the blockchain visionary:

“He is an exceptionally creative and innovative thinker who has been instrumental in shaping the digital revolution from an early age.”

‘Overachieving Wonderkid’

This is not the first time that Buterin is being recognized for his contributions and efforts to the tech sector. In November 2014, the Ethereum co-founder received the World Technology Award in the ‘IT Software’ category after beating the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg.

In getting the award Buterin joined an enviable list of tech luminaries who had previously received the same since the beginning of the century such as the founder of Tesla, SpaceX and PayPal, Elon Musk as well as giant tech firms such as Amazon, IBM and Apple. Notably, Buterin was honored with the award just a couple of months after he had published the Ethereum white paper.

Earlier that same year, Buterin had received the US$100,000 Thiel Fellowship, which was in its fourth year at the time. Among the 20 individuals who received the fellowship that year, Buterin was the only one in the blockchain technology and cryptocurrency field. Shortly after receiving the fellowship, Buterin dropped out of Canada’s University of Waterloo where he had been studying.

For the Love of Crypto…

In his own words, this was necessitated by the fact that he was getting deeply immersed in crypto projects:

“In 2012, I entered the University of Waterloo; in 2013 I realized that crypto projects were taking up 30h/week of my time, so I dropped out. I went around the world, explored many crypto projects, and finally realized that they were all too concerned about specific applications and not being sufficiently general – hence the birth of Ethereum, which has been taking up my life ever since.”

Two years earlier, Buterin had received a bronze medal in the 24th International Olympiad in Informatics, an annual competition started by UNESCO to promote interest in information technology and computer science.

Buterin’s talents have not only attracted awards but also offers of employment. Earlier this year, Buterin revealed that Google had attempted to hire him for an undisclosed blockchain project.

The Ethereum co-founder, however, turned down the online search giant’s offer opting instead to focus on his brainchild.

Featured image from Flickr/Duncan Rawlinson.

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