Gavin Wood – The Man Behind Polkadot And Kusama

Since then, the developers and users alike started seeking alternatives, and Polkadot became one of the go-to blockchains for many of them.

However, today, we are not interested in Polkadot itself, but rather the man behind it — its creator, Dr. Gavin James Wood.

Who is Gavin Wood?

Gavin Wood is an English computer scientist and programmer who developed an interest in computer visualization of music. He worked as a research scientist at Microsoft for a while, and by 2013, he already had 15 years of experience in open-source coding.

While he originally ignored the hype around crypto, he became interested in the idea of using blockchain for more than just recording transactions, which is why he was quick to join Ethereum’s development team when he came across Vitalik Buterin and Jonny Bitcoin.

Jonny Bitcoin had high hopes for Wood, expecting that his coding experience would be invaluable in transforming the idea of Ethereum, as described in its white paper, into reality. As we know now, the plan worked, and only around six months later, Buterin and Wood wrote the PoC-1 of Ethereum in time to present it on the North American Bitcoin Conference in January 2014.

Another six months later, Ethereum was officially created. At the time, Wood was working on Ethereum’s native smart contract language, Solidity, which is still being used today. He was also writing down the first formal specification in the history of blockchain, known as the Yellow Paper.

Following the launch of Ethereum, he then spent two years as a chief technology officer, and at that point, he and Ethereum alumna, Dr. Jutta Steiner, founded Parity Technologies. Their goal was to create a core blockchain infrastructure for Web 3.0 networks, including Ethereum itself. The reason for this is that Wood had a vision that relied on blockchain infrastructure to decentralize the web. As a result, he was directly participating in a new wave of tech evolution.

The development of Polkadot

Initially, Parity was called EthCore, and its focus was on developing core infrastructure for Ethereum’s ecosystem. It was meant to address a number of existing issues, such as performance, privacy, and usability. After a successful pre-seed funding, the project started the development of Parity Ethereum, which was a free, open-source software that allowed users to run nodes on Ethereum’s public network, and mine its coins.

However, along the way, he started considering the sharding hurdles that would trouble the blockchain down the road. As he kept trying to find a solution, he eventually came up with a whole new blockchain design — a multi-chain framework that eventually became the Polkadot protocol.

He first introduced it in 2017, but it took three more years of development until the official launch in August 2020.

The importance of Wood’s contributions

It is fair to say that Gavin Wood is one of the most important people in the crypto industry, as without his contribution, Ethereum likely would not be the way it is today. Without that, development platforms might not be the same either, which means that smart contracts, dApps, DeFi, NFT, token models, the metaverse, and every other blockchain product might not be the same.

Wood is still actively working on Polkadot, which uses its technology to solve the problems of blockchain scalability and similar issues, and the advanced technology of his project is slowly but surely allowing Polkadot to attract more and more of those who grew tired of Ethereum’s issues, which Polkadot does not share.

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