Vitalik Buterin is a 23-year-old programming prodigy and the founder of the world’s second largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum, based on its market capitalization. His research team is currently working on a project that will change the way that miners act, the Poof-of-Stake protocol.
Vitalik Buterin during his visit to Korea for an Ethereum conference answered the JoongAng Ilbo’s questions in Korea JoongAng Daily.
- Buterin started to programming at the age of 10, programming his games.
- The first question of the interview went around the stimulating characteristic of Bitcoin that attracted Buterin’s attention at the age of 17.Buterin replied that he first heard about Bitcoin from his father and then came the Internet research. After dealing with a few digital coins, he captured the idea of an open financial system with regular people with regular computers capable of making money and maintaining that system.
- Buterin was initially an avid supporter of Bitcoin. His decision to create an entirely new blockchain system was disruptive. But what made Buterin take this decision? According to Buterin, improvement changes in Bitcoin required developers’ However, back in 2013, they were hostile to nonfinancial uses of the bitcoin blockchain even using protocol changes towards preventing that kind of applications. As a result, he decided to develop an independent platform.
- Back in 2014, Buterin won the World Technology Award, beating out competitors like Mark Zuckerberg. What believes Vitalic about it? Buterin recognized the impact, and the popularity of Facebook platform and the recognition has already received. He states that blockchain consists of the new phase of technological progress and innovation of this decade. He went on saying that many people are seeing the dangers of very power organizations having control over their lives with so little transparency. People are interested in decentralization and new organizational schemes in society.
- Bitcoin has a mystic founder, Satoshi Nakamoto. This concealment is because no impact on bitcoin community is desirable. On the contrary, Vitalik is involved in the Ethereum ecosystem. What roled does Buterin play? As the Ethereum community is getting bigger and bigger, the Vitalik’s impact on it is minimizing, according to him. His involvement is decreasing, but he is still leading the research effort.
- Ethereum mining in Korea is expanding rapidly. Even GPUs are sold out in local electronics stores. Which is the future of all these miners? Vitalik said that the protocol change from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake would lead to the abandonment of many miners. Nevertheless, when this happened, GPUs prices would become very cheap. These kinds of impacts are precisely one of the protocol
- As cryptocurrencies are rising rapidly worldwide and the risk of speculation is visible, Buterin was asked about the possibility of a bubble. His reply was discouraging, saying that there are definitely bubbles, which are hard to be predicted.
- Vitalik taking about the generality of Ethereum’s platform referred that finance, identity, supply chain tracking, healthcare are some of the applicable After all, Ethereum is a general-purpose platform.
- The problem of Ethereum’s scalability is the next discussed issue. Vitalik believes that in two to five years the problem will be solved. Various scaling solutions, such as sharding, plasma are already on the table.
- Recent ICOs’ banning in China and a more general trend of regulatory measures towards ICOs was discussed further. The interviewer asked Buterin whether ICOs are a necessary part of the process in the development of a blockchain ecosystem. Vitalik accepted the power of ICOs in that system providing that these are a way to monetize protocol events. He continually said that ICOs have flaws due to the centralized character of them even they participate in a decentralized platform. He predicted that getting further funds with ICOs will get harder, regardless the regulation. Regarding the China’s ban in ICOs, he stated that complete banning of ICOs would hamper technological development. Imposing particular rules is also problematic, as they can easily work around or be counterproductive encouraging further obfuscation. Deliberate ambiguity may be the optimal short-term strategy.
- Will the possibility of issuing governmental or central bank digital coins enfeeble the decentralization of public blockchain? He is presented convinced that the most central bank-issued currencies will have a minimum impact on blockchain technology, as it is necessary for a public blockchain space to have decentralized alternatives.
- Regarding the timing of regulation establishment, Buterin said that the imposing of policies too early in such a developing market is not wise.
- Last ant tricky question was if the cryptocurrencies are possible to replace fiat. The volatility of cryptocurrencies prices is at the time an obstacle towards this.