Gavin James Wood
April 1980 (age 41)
|Education||Lancaster Royal Grammar School|
|Alma mater||University of York|
|Known for||Co-founder of Ethereum and former CTO of the Ethereum Foundation; co-founder of Polkadot; CWO and Chairman of Parity Technologies; author of the Polkadot White Paper and the Ethereum Yellow Paper|
Wood was born in Lancaster, England, United Kingdom. He attended the Lancaster Royal Grammar School and graduated from the University of York with a Master of Engineering (MEng) in Computer Systems and Software Engineering in 2002 and completed his PhD entitled "Content-based visualisation to aid common navigation of musical audio" in 2005.
Prior to developing Ethereum, Wood worked as a research scientist at Microsoft. He co-founded Ethereum, which he has described as "one computer for the entire planet," with Vitalik Buterin and others during 2013–2014. Wood proposed and helped develop Solidity, a programming language for writing smart contracts and released the Yellow Paper defining the Ethereum Virtual Machine, the runtime system for Smart contracts in Ethereum, in 2014. He also served as the Ethereum Foundation's first chief technology officer. Wood left Ethereum in 2016.
Wood founded Parity Technologies (formerly Ethcore), which developed a client for the Ethereum network and creates software for companies using blockchain technology, with Jutta Steiner, who also previously worked at the Ethereum Foundation. The company released the Parity Ethereum software client, written in Rust, in early 2016. He serves as Parity's CWO, as of 2018.
He founded the Web3 Foundation, a nonprofit organization focusing on decentralised internet infrastructure and technology, starting with the Polkadot network. In comparison to Ethereum's Proof of Work mechanism, Polkadot relies on Proof of Stake mechanism and allows developers to create their own blockchain that can talk to other ledgers, forming a system of parachains. Developers can decide what kind of transaction fees to charge and how fast to confirm blocks of transactions across the digital ledgers. In 2019, he founded Kusama, an early stage experimental development environment for Polkadot.