Portraits of an Inventor

Crypto Art Sep 17, 2020

Art portraiture to honor exalted people is nothing new, so it should be no surprise that in the world of crypto art, various revered leaders are depicted in art on numerous blockchains.

Let's take a look into some art created around the icons associated with invention of the two most popular cryptocurrencies


In 2008, an unknown entity invented Bitcoin– that's the first thing.

The second thing you should ever learn about Bitcoin if you do not yet know it is that it was introduced in a paper entitled "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System".

Go ahead and read the paper if you have not yet done so. It is surprisingly approachable, with several technical figures, and some dense terminology, but very few complex math formulas one would associate with intense academic papers. Perhaps this approachability has helped adoption, as almost anyone in the community you meet will claim that they've read this paper multiple times. 🤣

Back to that first thing though– the unknown entity; it has a name:


U.Dresemann. "It was not me," 2019 (SuperRare)

A masterful glitch artwork by one of the most innovative messengers of that format, tells an interesting story through layers of Dorian Nakamoto's face and fun messaging around the denial that he is Satoshi.

To this date, no one has ever definitively confirmed that any person or persons is Satoshi Nakamoto despite several bungled attempts, outright fraudulent claims by bad actors, and other misidentifications.

The one that had most impact in putting a face to the name was without doubt, the infamous Dorian Nakamoto incident. If you are unfamiliar, hit the link; basically Newsweek misidentified a man by that name as the Satoshi Nakamoto.

Despite this person's insistence that they had no involvement and even a message from the real Satoshi stating the same thing, over time the Bitcoin community has made him the face of Satoshi and Bitcoin's number one celebrity. With that, here are several important renderings of Bitcoin's reluctant human mascot.

No matter how he is portrayed or whether he is "the one", Dorian Nakamoto's quirky and revered image has been immortalized in crypto art on many blockchains including the one of his invention.


In late 2013, Vitalik Buterin, a Russian-Canadian nerd first proposed Ethereum. It was later refined and released in 2015 by a group of 8 founders, including Buterin.

As it is with nearly all cryptocurrencies, Ethereum has a whitepaper where you can learn its technical details.

It is often regarded as the wildest cryptocurrency space with any kind of adoption– perhaps the only close competitor higher weirdness levels (but far lower in adoption or similar usability) is Dogecoin. Ethereum trudges on in second place, (lately with enormous transaction fees) and in the maximalist shadows of Bitcoin acolytes. In that way it is not as nearly as highly regarded, prestigious or indeed mysterious as good 'ol BTC (depending on who you talk to).

Ethereum features scripting and virtual machines which are running all kinds of distributed applications (dApps) and so-called smart contracts on its blockchain in search of the breakthrough "killer app" that can bring the cryptocurrency at least some semblance of mass adoption. Often, this comes at the price of largely ignoring which use cases are actually even suitable to blockchains as a data structure.


That said, the ecosystem around Ethereum is also currently more colorful, vibrant, crazy, and full of intense emotion, stories, and creative types than any other blockchain in existence. There are many fans of both Ethereum and Vitalik.

Baksht, Nelly. "V. #06/100," 2020 (ethEra) 

Unicorns and rainbows literally abound in the community. As you can see in "V." by crypto artist Nelly Baksht, where dear leader is quite literally trotting along on a unicorn while also escorting a second smaller plush unicorn for a nice early morning walk through a land where Ethereum logos emanate from every clop of the unicorn's hoof.

Sentiments and feelings are often best conveyed in currency related art by instruments of the currency– in this case the logos are almost like little crystals of hope that reverberate all over Ethereum land as Vitalik rides along. There are even logos on Vitalik's t-shirt and the larger unicorn's forehead in what would be the bridle area.

This work gloriously colorful, mysterious, and powerfully on-brand. It  most certainly has that "put an ETH on it!" vibe that is popular in crypto art.

Here is a small gallery of other popular crypto art related to Vitalik Buterin.

We hope you have enjoyed this little stroll through some artworks about two of the most popular cryptocurrency figureheads.

Be sure to check out the artists in more depth, too. If you like this, recommend it to a friend and donate to Alpacawhal.

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Luis Buenaventura





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