A short history of Vitalik Buterin, Ripple, and XRP

02 May, 2019
by Will Heasman
A short history of Vitalik Buterin, Ripple, and XRP

Ethereum and XRP continue to tussle for market supremacy, the contemporary rivals spent most of last year fighting over 2nd place in the total market capitalization ranks. However, despite their differences, these two cryptocurrencies share a commonality: Vitalik Buterin.

Buterin’s history with Ripple and its token XRP is a surprisingly long and varied one, starting off approximately 6 years ago, long before the Ethereum white paper was even a glint in Vitalik’s eye.

Work experience.

In 2013 a young and keen 19-year-old Buterin applied to work as an intern for Ripple. No, you didn’t misread that…

According to Vitalik, this was around mid-2013; by that time the prodigy had spent several years mining Bitcoin, created Bitcoin Magazine from scratch, and was bouncing from country to country learning all he could about cryptocurrency.

One of the stops on this pilgrimage towards crypto enlightenment led Vitalik into the US, and right up to the doorstep of Ripple Labs (then called Opencoin).

However, unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on which side of the fence you occupy) due to US visa restrictions, Buterin was was denied a place at the nascent firm. It's fair to say Ripple might have missed out on that one…

As an interesting side note, everyone’s favorite hype man, Buterin antagonist - AND former Ripple employee - Justin Sun, relayed that IF Vitalik had been accepted into the company, the pair could have been working together (and would have likely been besties):

what a small world… Imagine how differently things could have gone, a Ripple-Tron-Ethereum hybrid. Doesn’t bear thinking about.

XRP is better than Bitcoin…

That’s right, Mr. Buterin actually uttered these words (or something along those lines, anyway) clearly the lust for Ripple didn’t ever quite fade.

Back in February, in response to a Tweet by software engineer, Pierre Rochard, Buterin suggested that XRP was a better store of value than Bitcoin.

Before any of our readers from the XRP army get too excited, Buterin’s comments were ladened with an inordinate amount of sarcasm.

Rochard cited a BTC/BTC chart praising BTC for its capabilities as a store of value:

To which Buterin replied, (tongue firmly in cheek) “I think you want to use XRP, the chart for XRP/XRP would look the same so it's also sound money, but they have Institutional adoption™ and Partnerships™ so they're better.”

Damn, Vitalik you’re cold… Clearly, he’s still slightly heartbroken from the Ripple rejection. As they say, you never truly get over your first love.

So Buterin went from the potential non-giver of XRP to the giver of sass in just a few years; how times change.

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