Gavin Wood is one of the co-founders and former Chief Technology Officer of Ethereum. Now the founder of the Polkadot project and president of the Web3 Foundation, Wood has made multiple significant contributions to the blockchain space, including developing the smart contract language upon which Ethereum is based, Solidity. Wood was also behind the launch of Ethereum’s yellow paper, which described
Having obtained a Master’s degree and doctorate in computer science, Wood worked as a consultant for Microsoft Research before gaining interest in blockchain technology and co-founding Ethereum.
While Wood did show some interest in Bitcoin in its early days, by his own admission, the interest was limited, foregoing the technological aspects for its role as money. Soon after, however, Wood was introduced to Vitalik Buterin via a mutual friend and Wood’s interest in the blockchain space has not wavered since.
Wood left the Ethereum team in 2016, announcing his departure in a blog post. Following this, he founded Parity Technologies with other individuals from the Ethereum development team. His involvement in the blockchain space encompasses several initiatives, including GridSingularity, a green energy company that uses blockchain technology; Blockchain Capital, a blockchain focused venture capital firm; Polychain Capital, a cryptocurrency hedge fund; and Melonport, a company that is building the Melon protocol, which is focused on asset management.
Wood is a staunch proponent of a decentralized web, often dubbed “Web 3.0”. In a lengthy and emphatic blog post, Wood made the case for this new kind of internet, echoing a sentiment that is growing namely that today’s internet is broken by design, and can be rectified with a technologies that now exist. The Web3 Foundation, of which Wood is the president, is building decentralized web software protocols and acting as a steward for the formation of Web 3.0.
Besides his work with technology, Wood also participates in several other side projects and hobbies, most notably teaching children in Italy art and fractals. Wood also has a PhD in music visualization via MoodBar. Additionally, he has helped make video games at Frontier Developments.