Ethereum can challenge large credit card networks and even gaming servers in the upcoming years, according to Vitalik Buterin. The creator of the blockchain-based platform discussed the future of the technology during a conversation with AngelList founder Naval Ravikant at TechCrunch Disrupt 2017 event on Monday.
Still, in order to compete with such giants as Visa or MasterCard, the network needs to increase the speed of transactions. “Bitcoin is processing a bit less than three transactions per second. Ethereum is doing five a second. Uber gives 12 rides a second. It will take a couple of years for the Blockchain to replace Visa,” he said.
Buterin noted that security is one of the main hurdles to wider adoption of ethereum and once overcame the technology will transform a wide range of sectors.
Although Buterin believes the technology has a great potential to transform the financial and other industries, he is less optimistic about the impact of ethereum on cloud computing services like Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Such services are used by private companies like Netflix to host proprietary content on AWS servers and it could be difficult to convince them that the decentralized technology is secure enough to host their content. It is unlikely to occur anytime soon, Buterin noted. “In general, there’s always going to be this large set of applications where decentralized approaches don’t work that well,” he said.
According to Buterin, the technology can be used for gaming and other data-sensitive applications in the near future. “You could run StarCraft on the Blockchain. Those kinds of things are possible. High level of security and scalability allows all these various other things to be built on top. Ethereum is a secure base layer that doesn’t have too many features.”
Meantime, ethereum is reaching a new milestone as the much anticipated Metropolis upgrade is finally being tested on the network. The first part of the hard fork, called Byzantine, is expected to be launched in the next few weeks.
Metropolis will bring major updates that will significantly improve the whole ecosystem. According to Vitalik Buterin, a hard fork will provide a more secure, robust, and efficient infrastructure for decentralized applications (dapps) and developers.
By solving the scalability issue, the network will enable large blockchain apps to be tested across different industries. Some of the other changes include fixing block rewards that will be reduced from 5 ETH to 3 ETH, parallel transaction processing, and delaying the difficulty bomb.
While the network is preparing for the Metropolis upgrade, the price of ethereum recorded the highest growth among the top 10 virtual currencies on Monday. The cryptocurrency increased to $286, rising by more than 12%. At the time of writing, the digital currency is valued at $282, as CoinMarketCap shows. Overall, ethereum has been experiencing high volatility over the last few months. Last week, its price dropped to $195, after surging to more than $386 in the beginning of the month.