Gavin Wood is a notable British software engineer and entrepreneur who is best recognized for his contributions to the development of two landmark blockchain networks: Ethereum and Polkadot. He is also the founder and former chief technology officer of Parity Technologies, a software development firm specializing on blockchain technology
Wood was born in the United Kingdom in 1980. He showed a keen interest in computer programming from an early age and began writing code when he was just eight years old. He went on to study computer science at the University of York, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 2002 and a Ph.D. in 2006.
After completing his education, Wood worked as a research scientist at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, where he focused on the design and implementation of computer languages. In 2013, he found Bitcoin and became attracted by its revolutionary potential in the financial sector. He started working on his own blockchain technologies and eventually became involved in the development of Ethereum, which was launched in 2015.
As one of Ethereum's co-founders, Wood played a leading role in the creation of the network's underlying technology. He authored both the Ethereum Yellow Paper, which describes the technical specifications of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), and the Solidity programming language, which is used to write smart contracts on the Ethereum network.
In 2015, Wood founded Parity Technologies, a software development company that has since become one of the prominent blockchain companies in the world. Parity is best known for its work on Polkadot, a blockchain network that allows different blockchain platforms to communicate and share data with each other. Wood also served as the CTO of Parity until 2019.
In addition to his work on Ethereum and Polkadot, Wood has participated in a number of other blockchain projects, such as the Web3 Foundation, which promotes the development of decentralized web technologies, and the Interledger Protocol, which enables cross-chain communication between blockchain networks.
In 2014, he was named one of Forbes' 30 under 30 in finance, and in 2015 he received the prestigious Thiel Fellowship, which provides funding and support to entrepreneurs who are working on groundbreaking projects. He has also been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer and by Wired magazine as one of the most influential people in blockchain.