This is part two of an extensive interview with Dmitry Buterin, looking at his relationship with Vitalik and his insights as a father. For Part 1, which detailed his own fascinating life story, click here.
Dmitry Buterin recalls the day in 2013 when his son Vitalik showed him the Ethereum white paper at their home in Toronto.
“He‘s like, ‘Hey Dad, I was working on this thing, are you interested to look at it?’” the Chechyna-born Toronto resident says in his idiosyncratic accent. Vitalik had dropped out of university a year before to travel the world and, within a month of arriving home, he‘d written the first draft.
Even though Dmitry famously introduced his son to Bitcoin two years earlier, he admits many of the details went right over his head. But, he understood the wider vision.
“One of his skills is he can take something very very complex and he can explain it really well,” he says.
“So, even though I was only superficially knowledgeable about Bitcoin and all the crypto stuff, when I read this document I was like, ‘wow, this makes a lot of sense to me.’ So, I was quite excited.”
Satoshi Nakamoto intentionally limited the complexity of transactions on the Bitcoin network and Vitalik‘s great realization was that if he designed an evolution of Bitcoin in a Turing complete programming language, it could potentially offer every conceivable digital service via the blockchain, from the stock market to building decentralized cooperatives. Dmtiry says the invention of Bitcoin had been a “huge leap” and that the next leap could only be built atop of it.
“For me, it really resonated as a very simple analogy, right?” he says, “Because I observed the growth of internet, it started with static HTML websites and it was all interesting, but very limited.”