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Vitalik Buterin, 22

Creator, Ethereum
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Julie Glassberg for Fortune

Buterin’s favorite toy as a child? Microsoft Excel. This programmer, born outside Moscow and raised in Toronto, has spent the last few years reimagining a world in which all business logic—would-be corporate contracts, agreements, and bylaws—is encoded into, well, code. Buterin is the creator of Ethereum, a blockchain-based decentralized network that could serve as the basis for the next generation of peer-to-peer apps, like Uber (a ride-hailing app) without Uber (the company). He is the cofounder and chief scientist of the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss non-proft organization that helps maintain Ethereum’s core technology, including a bespoke billion-dollar cryptocurrency, Ether, which remains, in spite of a recent hacking crisis, the second highest valued digital money next Bitcoin.

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