Ethereum co-founder warns of crypto's 'dystopian potential' if done wrong
(Kitco News) The recent developments in the crypto space have even Ethereum's co-founder worried about the future.
"Crypto itself has a lot of dystopian potential if implemented wrong," Vitalik Buterin, who co-created Ethereum in 2013, said in a recent interview with Time Magazine.
One of the trends Buterin refers to is the popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), including the Bored Ape Yacht Club — a collection of 10,000 unique Bored Ape NFTs that live on the Ethereum blockchain and are a coveted status symbol for millionaires, celebrities, athletes, and venture capitalists.
And in the case of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, they also give early access to a new digital currency like ApeCoin.
"The peril is you have these $3 million monkeys and it becomes a different kind of gambling," Buterin said. "There definitely are lots of people that are just buying yachts and Lambos."
The trends that worry Buterin include rising transaction fees, greed and speculation. Instead, Buterin's goal is for Ethereum to be used more in projections like urban planning, voting systems, and universal basic income.
"If we don't exercise our voice, the only things that get built are the things that are immediately profitable," he said. "And those are often far from what's actually the best for the world."
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But even as Ethereum's co-founder, Buterin does not have the power to directly guide the world's second-largest cryptocurrency. That's because it was precisely built to be a decentralized platform.
"I've been yelling a lot, and sometimes that yelling does feel like howling into the wind," he said. "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."