Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of the Ethereum network, which is where most upcoming ICOs develop their platforms and base their tokens, recently took to social media to weigh in on the state of the cryptocurrency market, seemingly in response to the stratospheric rise in coin prices. The market cap for cryptocurrencies has exceeded USD 500 billion, up from less than USD 20 billion at the start of the year, which makes Buterin skeptical. He tweeted:
“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.” He went on to reference the USD 500 billion market cap and questioned whether the industry had earned it.
Buterin Threatens to Walk Away
Buterin warned that if the cryptocurrency community does’t grow up and accomplish more than just immature memes and puns, he would leave. He seemed to be set off by a wave of immature responses to a blog post on Ethereum sharding.
Meanwhile, the Ether price has soared 8,500% year-to-date, and Buterin’s network has facilitated most of the ICOs that have contributed to this year’s fundraising of between USD 3.7 billion and USD 4 billion. Nonetheless he’s one of the pioneers of blockchain technology and wants to build something “better, not more of the same.”
Buterin wants cryptocurrencies and blockchain to be used to empower people, which he says is good for society. For instance, he seems to want to see more of a focus on how cryptocurrencies can help troubled economies such as Venezuela and less attention on the bitcoin price. Incidentally, Venezuela’s oil-backed cryptocurrency is expected to be unveiled in the coming days.
Buterin went on to challenge the cryptocurrency community and upcoming ICOs about the accomplishments that the industry has achieved so far. He asked: “How many dapps have we created that have substantial usage? How much censorship-resistant commerce for the common people have we enabled? How many unbanked people have we banked,” he tweeted. Incidentally, one of the most common themes among upcoming ICOs is to provide financial services to the unbanked.
Buterin left his followers with a silver lining, saying he “still has a lot of hope that the community can steer in the right direction.”