Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum first became interested in Bitcoin in 2011 when he was in high school. While he was browsing through Bitcoin forums he came across a man who paid 5 dollars for those who wrote articles for his Bitcoin blog. Vitalik wrote an article for him and a week later he received 5 Bitcoins which back then was $3.75. He continued writing hundreds of articles for the Bitcoin Magazine. He traveled around the world giving cryptocurrency and blockchain related speeches and visiting Bitcoin communities.
Vitalik came across a group of people who were trying to utilise the blockchain technology for a set of applications which would be used for financial contracts. He joined them and helped to create new features for the blockchain application. He also worked on several other blockchain applications and tried so hard to make them work because every little feature and functionality took enormous effort.
He then realised there was no point in creating new features because people will keep on creating new uses of blockchains and each time they will have to create new applications which can be time-consuming. The difficulty of creating blockchain-based applications gave Vitalik the idea of attaching a programming language to a blockchain and having a single programming language, so everyone can easily create their own applications on the blockchain. Ethereum now serves as an open source platform that allows anyone to build smart contracts and decentralised applications which run on a network of distributed computers.