Vitalik Buterin Awarded Honorary Doctorate from University of Basel for Contributions to Blockchain Industry

Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Switzerland’s University of Basel. The Russian-Canadian programmer and writer received the recognition for the university’s business and economics department.

University of Basel’s faculty members said that Buterin was awarded the doctoral degree because of his contributions to the blockchain industry. The institution formally recognized the Ethereum developer’s achievements at the Dies Academicus – an annual event that is held to commemorate the establishment of the university.

Professor Aleksander Berentsen, dean of the university’s business faculty, remarked: 

Vitalik’s blockchain innovations are game changing. He has blazed a trail for science and industry to follow and work together.

Sharing Interests: Game Theory, Economic Incentives, Governance 

The university’s business and economics faculty members also said it was an honor to host an “exceptionally creative and innovative thinker who has played a decisive role in shaping the digital revolution of our time.”

Notably, Basel university’s faculty also acknowledged (during the ceremony) that they share some of the same research interests as Buterin. They include economic incentives, game theory, and governance.

Expressing his appreciation for receiving the recognition from the prestigious university, Buterin remarked: 

I’m honored to have received an honorary doctorate from the University of Basel, the oldest university of Switzerland. [The country] is well known for its innovative blockchain research.

In August 2014, Buterin published a paper titled: “Ethereum: A Next Generation Smart Contract & Decentralized Application Platform,” which became a “groundbreaking [motivation] for the decentralization of software applications,” the university’s faculty stated.

Arguably The "More Important Part Of The Bitcoin Experiment"

An excerpt from the seminal paper reads: 

Satoshi Nakamoto's development of Bitcoin in 2009 has often been hailed as a radical development in money and currency, being the first example of a digital asset which simultaneously has no backing or intrinsic value and no centralized issuer or controller. However, another - arguably more important - part of the Bitcoin experiment is the underlying blockchain technology as a tool of distributed consensus, and attention is rapidly starting to shift to this other aspect of Bitcoin.

As CryptoGlobe reported in late September, Buterin had co-authored a research paper with Phd students Alberto Sonnino and Mustafa Al-Bassam (from University College London). The main topic of the paper was sharding and how it could be implemented on the Ethereum blockchain - while not compromising the security of its network.