The Early Days of Co-Founding Ethereum and Why He’s Leaving the Crypto Industry

Anthony Di Iorio is a well-known figure in the cryptocurrency space. He got into Bitcoin back in its early days, went on to become one of the co-founders of Ethereum, and also founded and spearheaded the popular crypto infrastructure provider – Decentral.

In this interview, we go in-depth on all of the above, and we also discuss the recent reports which revealed that he will be leaving the cryptocurrency industry.

Being one of Ethereum’s co-founders definitely comes with a certain ring to it. However, we were interested in finding out more about Anthony’s background – what was life like before crypto.

It turns out that Di Iorio has always been into computers. In fact, he humorously remarked that back in his family, when he was younger, he was “the computer guy.” This passion turned to business, as in the early 90s, Di Iorio started his first company – one focused on web design.

Following in the entrepreneurial steps of his father, who had a considerable home business developed already, Di Iorio also decided to build up on his business development skills and went to college studying it.

A problem-solver by heart, he focused on identifying issues and coming up with solutions for them. In 2008, his family sold the business, opening up new avenues for him.

$8000 Worth of Bitcoin in 2012

In the years after the housing crisis, Di Iorio really started to delve into the depths of economics. He said that his brother got him all fired up on the history of money.

In 2012 he stumbled upon Bitcoin. He mentioned that the idea of sound money is something that he had already spent a lot of time researching, and “the idea of freedom was something that was really important” to him.

“I saw it as a tool to empower people to be in control of their lives. In 2012 I just delved deep in Bitcoin, spent weeks without sleeping and really digging into it.”

This is also where his problem-solving persona kicked in. Looking for a community to discuss Bitcoin with, Di Iorio realized that there wasn’t one around, so he started the Bitcoin meetups in Toronto. And as faith would have it, Vitalik Buterin – the man who conceptualized Ethereum – would be at the first meeting.

In any case, we were also curious about the price of Bitcoin when Anthony got in.

It was in 2012 – it was around $10. So I put $8,000 at the time then.

He had also started a bitcoin-related website that he later sold for bitcoin – and this is how Di Iorio amassed considerable capital, given that the price of Bitcoin increased substantially in the years that followed.

Co-Founding Ethereum With Vitalik and Charles Hoskinson

Everybody who’s in crypto knows what Ethereum is. But back in the time, it was only a concept and an idea before the likes of Anthony Di Iorio, Vitalik Buterin, Charles Hoskinson, Mihai Alisie, later joined by Joseph Lubin, Jeffrey Wilcke, Gavin Wood, and Amir Chetrit.

Being huge figures in the industry to date, all those people working on a single project must have been something. This is what we were interested in finding out. Di Iorio spoke of it:

It wasn’t the typical business, I would say. I learned a long time ago that I didn’t want partners, in business – I work alone best – being the vision, and then hiring people to carry out things as needed.

That was such an interesting opportunity and I didn’t have that choice then. It was such a fast-moving, fast-paced growth in 2013 and 2014 when we were setting everything up.

He said that in less than eight months, they managed to do the crowd sale and start on the development work. Di Iorio admitted that the process was tough, challenging, but also rewarding.

We also asked him if he thinks Ethereum will eventually outperform BTC as the predominant cryptocurrency and he said that he believes it will.

In any case, after leaving Ethereum, he founded his own company – Decentral, which also went on to become an industry standard name.

Is Anthony Di Iorio Leaving the Industry?

One of the things that we also discussed was the recent reports of Di Iorio leaving the industry. He confirmed that the conclusion is correct – he is, indeed, leaving the cryptocurrency industry, but somewhat a lot of the reports had the reasoning wrong, failing to outline some important details.

First things first, he made it crystal clear that he’s not leaving crypto because he’s lost faith in it – nothing of the kind.

He did confirm that security has a small part to do with it, saying that crypto has a risk profile that he’s not really comfortable with, but also made it very clear that this is a very small fraction of his reasoning.

The main reason for him to leave the industry is to solve on bigger issues that are outside of crypto. As we said in the beginning and quite a few times before, Di Iorio is a problem solver by heart – and he just seems to think that there are bigger issues outside of crypto that he can focus on.

In any case, make sure to listen to the entire interview as we discussed all of the above in greater detail, and many more!


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