Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin believes the protocol might play an important role in the future of state-backed digital currencies. Presumably, his comments come after rising fears of global inflation and the Federal Reserve’s incessant money printing.
Political instability and Ethereum’s role
On May 7, Buterin spoke to Defiant founder Camila Russo in a podcast as part of the Ethereal digital summit . Others, including Changpeng Zhao , Michael Novogratz , Joseph Lubin , and a host of cryptocurrency thought leaders and entrepreneurs also spoke in different segments with other interviewers.
Buterin notes the ongoing pandemic and global emergencies dwarf prior financial crises, keeping in mind the levels of political disharmony and distrust between international superpowers, such as the U.S.-China trade war .
The 26-year-old thinks blockchain technology helps play a “neutral global player” role for current political and financial systems, creating a duly-maintained, interactive network of technology, currency, and assets that nation-states can’t topple.
Russo asked if ETH as a global currency was Buterin’s vision of what a unified world might include, with the latter agreeing, calling ETH the “glue” of such an economy. The features of a decentralized and stateless network like Ethereum, he points out, can thrive in such times.
The shy, introverted Buterin cited rising concerns about one’s privacy, widespread censorship, and [financial] institutions in general as factors that will lead the masses towards digital assets and decentralized technology.
Buterin believes the current crisis is partly financial and shares little with 2008’s financial tragedy. This time, he indicates, other “non-financial problems” — such as healthcare, unfair monetary aid, and partial policies — create a litmus test for what cryptocurrencies and smart contracts may have to offer.
“For the first decade or so, it was really focused on the financial aspects — censorship resistance of money. But here in 2020, we’re definitely seeing a lot of the same themes, but it’s somewhat less financial than before.”
Confident about 2.0
Buterin noted different shards running various applications will communicate with each other asynchronously, adding “many dApps and primitives transact this way and don’t require instant syncing.”
When asked about the biggest risk in expanding the protocol, Buterin said technical challenges are a more significant concern than “community or political” setbacks.
Signing off, Buterin was confident about the transition from ETH 1.0 to 2.0, comparing the progress as similar to where Ethereum was a few months before its launch in 2015.
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