“Imminent Divine Reclamation” – Vitalik Buterin Responds to Words of Doom

Founder of Ethereum responds to a claim that Bitcoin has lost its way.

Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, reposted this message in agreement:

“*All* crypto communities, ethereum included, should heed these words of warning. Need to differentiate between getting hundreds of billions of dollars of digital paper wealth sloshing around and actually achieving something meaningful for society.”

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But what is this meaningful something that he talks of?

Vitalik Buterin, at only 23 years old, he is one of the most influential people in the cryptocurrency world. Ethereum is the platform of choice for most new blockchain projects and ICOs, and has the second biggest market cap of all cryptocurrencies. He is regularly interviewed and invited to speak at conferences, and was recently named one of Bloomberg’s 50 most influential people (that list also included the US ambassador to the United Nations, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos).

Buterin founded Ethereum because he felt that those in Bitcoin community “weren’t approaching the problem in the right way.” The problem referred to is, how to expand the application of blockchain technology in order to use it in ways over and above a simple method of payment:

“Bitcoin and Ethereum are doing different things. Bitcoin is a digital currency, and the protocol is written to sustain this cryptocurrency. Clearly, Ethereum platform has ETH, it is also a digital currency, but it exists to sustain the protocol. The protocol was written for a vast amount of applications, both in the area of payments and going far beyond payments,” said Buterin in an interview with Coin Telegraph.

His network allows users to design and run decentralised applications without having to write an entirely new blockchain, making the process much more accessible. Another utility is decentralized autonomous organisations, which are organisations governed by computer code. One advantage of such organisations is that the decision making process is taken out of the hands of central authority.

To what purpose though? Buterin said in an interview with Roland Berger: “I believe in making it easier for “the bottom three billion” to participate in society – not just in their capacity as consumers but also in their capacity as producers.”

This is not to say that he doesn’t envisage large institutions using blockchain too. But he does caution them against the mistake of underplaying the fundamental change that the technology brings: “I’d say you should not see blockchains as just an add-on to existing systems, or as just a better kind of database. I believe that the most valuable blockchain applications will involve fundamental process reengineering.”

Buterin is clearly interested in more than simply building a payment network. When looking at his Twitter page, one sees Buterin is very interested in discussing social and political topics, such as individualism, collectivism, and the common good.

Recently, we talked about an essay written by Buterin on the subject of governance in a blockchain system. He draws a direct comparison between blockchain governance and political governance in the non-digital world. What was clear when reading his text is that he attaches the same weight to the intricacies of this subject as others do to the subject of actual government.

In short, Buterin sees blockchain technology as a tool of liberation. The user that posted the message at the top of this article clearly sees something similar, and feels that the ideals for which the cryptocurrency project was launched stands at odds with the situation we see today. As the masses scramble to buy any digital coin that they can simply because they have heard that the value is always going up, idealists may feel dismayed as revolutionary technology, created as a tool to fashion a new world, is turned into nothing but another commodity to be bought and sold.

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