Vitalik Buterin wants Ethereum to be a force for change, not profit

Vitalik Buterin wants Ethereum to be a force for change, not profit
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  • Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, is concerned that his blockchain platform is fostering inequality with the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
  • Buterin wants Ethereum to become the launchpad of sociopolitical experimentation.
  • Given the decentralised nature of Ethereum, Buterin doesn’t have a lot of pull on which projects become popular, and which get left behind.
Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, is not pleased with the way new-age crypto adopters are investing their money – especially when it comes to the bragging rights like come attached with non-fungible token (NFT) collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC).

For him, Ethereum was supposed to be a force of change – a way to erase inequalities and make finance more accessible to those who get left out of the traditional monetary system. Instead, partly due to high fees of transacting on the network, more expensive crypto assets like NFTs have taken centre stage, Buterin told Time Magazine.

Ethereum is still the most used platform for smart contracts in the world, even as emerging competitors – Cardano, Solana, Avalanche, and other ‘Ethereum Killers’ – are eating away at its market share.

Ethereum needs to be about more than profit

Buterin’s vision is for Ethereum to become the launchpad of sociopolitical experimentation that solves real-world problems – everything from fairer voting systems to urban planning to universal basic income.

According to him, the underlying aim is to upset the monopoly that big technology companies like Facebook-parent Meta, Twitter, and others have on users worldwide. Buterin believes that, if used correctly, Ethereum can even be a counterweight to balance against authoritarian governments.

If we don’t exercise our voice, the only things that get built are the things that are immediately profitable. And those are often far from what’s actually best for the world.

Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, told Time Magazine


The catch of being a decentralised platform

Ethereum is a decentralised platform. This means that there is no one entity with overarching control that has the decision-making power to decide which decentralised applications (dApps) should be built, and which should not.

Hence, despite Buterin’s best intentions, he may not have a lot of control over the direction of Ethereum. The best he can do is drive awareness through blog posts, interviews, and conferences.

One of the decisions I made in 2022 is to try to be more risk-taking and less neutral. I would rather Ethereum offend some people than turn into something that stands for nothing.

Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, told Time Magazine

While the technical issues of Ethereum get sorted out, Buterein plans to continue to advocate for sociopolitical issues that blockchain can solve.

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