Cryptocurrencies and blockchains are one of the most interesting technological developments of the last decade, allowing us for the first time to build applications that are fully decentralized, so no one controls them, and that can hold a long-term memory of what happened in the system in what order with what consequences. Originally invented to allow peer-to-peer payments to take place without relying on payment processing monopolies and central banks as intermediaries, today they are starting to be used for a much wider array of applications, and a whole science, combining elements of cryptography, distributed systems and game theory, is forming around how to design blockchain-based applications in different contexts. Biography: Vitalik Buterin is the creator of Ethereum. He first discovered blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies through Bitcoin in 2011, and was immediately excited by the technology and its potential. He cofounded Bitcoin Magazine in September 2011, and after two and a half years looking at what the existing blockchain technology and applications had to offer, wrote the Ethereum white paper in November 2013. He now leads Ethereum’s research team, working on future versions of the Ethereum protocol.