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    Dogecoin briefly surged to an all-time high of 69 cents Wednesday morning, capping a roller-coaster run for the meme-based cryptocurrency that has skyrocketed in value in recent months.

    The latest rally has come in the lead-up to Tesla CEO Elon Musk hosting NBC's "Saturday Night Live" this weekend. Musk has long praised the digital token to his 52 million Twitter followers, and some speculate that a mention of dogecoin on national television could spark even more demand.

    If you bought dogecoin at the beginning of the year you've enjoyed massive gains over the past four months. A $1,000 dogecoin purchase on Jan. 1, 2021 — at a price of less than a cent per coin — would be worth $121,052 at Wednesday's high of 69 cents, a gain of more than 12,000% according to CNBC calculations.

    That's significantly more than other cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether, which grew 95% and 369% over the same time period, respectively. A $1,000 bitcoin purchase would be worth $1,953.88 as of Wednesday, while ether would be worth $4,686.58.


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    Vitalik Buterin, 27, reached billionaire status after digital currency Ethereum surged above a $3,000 price mark Monday.  

    The celebrity crypto guru co-founded Ethereum - the second biggest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin - in 2015.

    Ethereum has attracted a huge following in the world of decentralized finance, thanks to its faster transaction times when compared to that of Bitcoin.

    He holds 333,000 Ether coins - which is now worth an astonishing $1.029 billion.  

    In 2013, the writer and programmer dropped out of college and later became one of eight co-founders of Ethereum.

    At the time of writing, his visionary project boasts a huge market cap of about $350 billion, which is bigger than The Bank of America, the country's second largest bank. 

    Buterin, who now lives in Singapore, was born in 1994 in a small Russian town called Kolomna, located around 60 miles away from Moscow.

    Aged 4, his family moved to Canada to search for better job opportunities. 

    They later gifted him his first computer. But instead of playing video games like most kids, he developed a fascination with the spreadsheets on Microsoft Excel. 

    At school the mathematical whizz kid was a bit too clever for his peers. In third grade he was placed in a program for the gifted and talented. 

    According to former peers, he had the ability to add three digit numbers in his head twice as fast as the average human being.  

    With his parents' blessing, Vitalik dropped out of the University of Waterloo in 2013 and travelled the world to meet crypto enthusiasts in other countries. 

     His father, who ran a small software startup, introduced him to bitcoin in 2011. 

    In an interview with Wired, Buterin said: 'I saw everything to do with either government regulation or corporate control as just being plain evil. 

    'And I assumed that people in those institutions were kind of like Mr. Burns (in The Simpsons), sitting behind their desks saying, 'Excellent. How can I screw a thousand people over this time?' 


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