Deconomy Forum’s Most Exciting Debate: Vitalik Buterin Faces Off Nouriel Roubini

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by Julia Sakovich · 3 min read
Deconomy Forum’s Most Exciting Debate: Vitalik Buterin Faces Off Nouriel Roubini
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In the framework of the Deconomy Conference, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and crypto skeptic Nouriel Roubini shared their views on cryptocurrencies.

This week the Deconomy Conference took place in South Korean Seoul. The event gathered a number of officials and crypto enthusiasts (but not only) which was one of the reasons why the conference turned out to be such a spectacular event.

Buterin vs. Roubini

The characters of the main confrontation became Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and crypto skeptic Nouriel Roubini who discussed the real value of digital assets in front of more than a  thousand people.

The opponents met in the framework of a panel discussion that was titled “Fundamental Value of Cryptocurrency and its sustainability”. The debate, which covered a rather wide range of issues including but not limited to centralization, scalability, and censorship resistance, has managed to get a status of one of the most exciting panel discussion of the year.

The co-founder of Ethereum expressed his view on the utility of cryptos and the financial opportunities that they open in front of people who do not have access to traditional financial services. He also emphasized that cryptocurrencies can stay censorship resistant.

At the same time, Roubini called the anti-censorship and privacy of cryptos just a myth as governments can easily overcome a censorship barrier via KYC norms. Moreover, in his opinion, due to the existence of tax evasion, human trafficking and terrorist financing, governments are not interested in allowing anonymous finance.

Another point to discuss was the issue of scalability and decentralization. Roubini voiced his opinion that proof-of-work networks are not scalable enough as the speed of transactions even not is too low. As for the degree of centralization/decentralization, he stated:

“There is massive centralization among the miners, it’s becoming oligarchical. You have massive centralization of exchanges…You have centralization of wealth…There’s also centralization among the developers.”

But Buterin easily found what to say, he expressed his concerns about the centralization of traditional payment platforms. He also added that cryptocurrencies still haven’t reached their endpoint of development and that technologies are still moving forward which means that it the future we will see even a more advanced version of them.

Crypto Policies in South Korea

Buterin also spoke at a blockchain meeting at the South Korean parliament, the National Assembly. And it was quite expectable that he would speak in favor of both cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology.

The government of Seoul has always viewed blockchain technology as a growth engine for the economy. But the existing crypto rules still remain too strict.

Buterin believes that it is practically impossible to separate these two notions. “Public blockchains rely heavily on cryptocurrencies. As such, cryptocurrencies are absolutely necessary,” explained he.

While the authorities were discussing an opportunity to re-evaluate their crypto policies, the Ethereum co-founder also noted the changes in the global ICO sphere, highlighting the improvements that can be observed today.

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Julia Sakovich
Editor-in-Chief Julia Sakovich

Having obtained a diploma in Intercultural Communication, Julia continued her studies taking a Master’s degree in Economics and Management. Becoming captured by innovative technologies, Julia turned passionate about exploring emerging techs believing in their ability to transform all spheres of our life.

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