At the end of 2013, Vitalik Buterin described his idea in a white paper, which he sent to several of his friends, who in turn sent it on. As a result, about 30 people approached Vitalik to discuss the concept. He waited for critical feedback and people pointing out critical errors in the concept, but this did not happen.

Even then, the concept of Ethereum was still associated with the currency. The idea changed and formed over time during meetings and discussions with people who fully share this idea. When they had a programming language, they just came up with new ways to use it every week. By the end of January 2014, the team realized that it was relatively easy to create a decentralized file storage, and concepts such as a registry of names could be brought to life with just a couple of lines of code. As these use cases accumulated, Vitalik’s idea gradually changed and gradually evolved into what Ethereum is today.

The project was publicly announced in January 2014 and the core team consisted of Vitalik Buterin, Mihai Alisi, Anthony Di Iorio, Charles Hoskinson, Joe Lubin and Gavin Wood. Buterin also introduced Ethereum on stage at the Miami Bitcoin Conference, and just a few months later, the team decided to crowdsell Ether, the network’s native token, to fund development. Around this time, Vitalik himself received a $100,000 Thiel Fellowship.

Through a crowdsale that sold Ether for bitcoin, the team raised over 31,000 BTC from the crypto community, worth about $18 million at the time. However, Bitcoin was trading at around $650 during the crowdsale, but shortly thereafter, its price plummeted and the team had to face a completely avoidable loss of millions of dollars. However, with the money raised, the Ethereum team created the Ethereum Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Switzerland tasked with overseeing the development of the Ethereum open source software.