Ethereum
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Vitalik Buterin created a 'fellowship of the ring' to build ethereum. But the founders have a history of feuds and are now competing for crypto dominance.

Vitalik Buterin Vitalik Buterin dreamed up ethereum in 2013. Getty Images/John Phillips

Vitalik Buterin has compared the eight founders of the ethereum blockchain to JRR Tolkien's close-knit "fellowship of the ring", according to the Financial Times.

Yet, the story of the group is one marked by feuds and competition, with two members splintering off to create ethereum rivals cardano and polkadot. Buterin recently said choosing seven other founders "nondiscriminately" to build the network was his biggest regret.

The 27-year-old is one of the most famous figures in crypto, having come up with the idea for ethereum – a cryptocurrency network on which decentralized applications can be built – in 2013. He was just 19 at the time and 21 when ethereum launched in 2015.

Before that, Buterin had become a fan of bitcoin and crypto technology after being introduced to it by his dad, and went on to cofound Bitcoin Magazine. Buterin still works on the network, driving research and providing new ideas.

Charles Hoskinson Ethereum cofounder and Cardano creator, Charles Hoskinson Charles Hoskinson/YouTube

Maths whizz Charles Hoskinson quickly became an influential member of the ethereum startup that emerged in 2013. Yet, his time on the project came to an end within months, in part because of his prickly relationship with other founders. Hoskinson wanted ethereum to be a for-profit company, but Buterin wanted it to be a nonprofit platform.

Accounts vary about what happened: Hoskinson says he left, others say Butern fired him. Either way, the two are known to not particularly like each other and occasionally still take digs at the other's methods.

After leaving ethereum, Hoskinson founded the cardano blockchain platform whose ada cryptocurrency has recently soared to become the third-biggest. Cardano is known as an "ETH killer" as it also lets users build their own projects and is a competitor with ethereum. Continue on markets.businessinsider.com

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