In a new blog post, Vitalik Buterin noted the loss of the original web3 values, the ways that the community can get back on track, and the progress that Ethereum has made so far.
Vitalik Buterin has always been a big personality. As one of the founders of Ethereum, he has been a major figure within the crypto world for over a decade. He is also known for being outspoken about his views, which has sometimes led to him feuding with others. But his most recent blog post, published by Buterin on his personal blog, seems him calling out the current culture within the crypto industry and claiming that the initial vision of web3 has been lost.
Buterin Speaking on the Lost Vision of Web3
In the post titled “Make Ethereum Cypherpunk Again”, Buterin recalled several trips he took in the early 2010s to places in the world that had a concentration of crypto businesses. He had said that this sort of community where all parts work together was the initial goal of Web3.
But with time, he says this vision has not been preserved. According to him, some in the decentralization community see crypto as a distraction as opposed to a useful tool. And even among crypto users, he notes that the only non-financial application that is being used on a large scale is the Ethereum Naming Service (ENS). When crypto is used as a means of payment or transfers, Buterin points out that it is done, “either through internal transfers on centralized exchange accounts, or by trading USDT on Tron.”
And what is to blame for this? According to Buterin, transaction fees are the number one culprit. He says that when the cost of writing to the chain is $0.001 or $0.1, there is more potential use of it, even for non-financial reasons. But when transaction fees cross the $100 mark during bull runs, the major group that remains is degen gamblers. In moderation, he believes that they are not too much of a risk but that there are too many of them in the community.
Ethereum Now and Beyond
In the blog post, Buterin highlighted some of the positive developments that have taken place in the Ethereum community. He talked about the launch of rollups and second-generation privacy solutions like Railway and Nocturne. He also acknowledged zero-knowledge proofs, account abstraction, and light clients as benefiting the network in terms of scale, user privacy, and much more.
He pointed out that there is a growing understanding that unchecked centralization and over-financialization cannot be the essence of crypto and that other values must be embraced. Some of the values he highlighted were auditability, censorship resistance, decentralization, open global participation, and so on.
The blog ended on an optimistic note about the Ethereum network and could hint at even more developments being rolled out in 2024. From what we’ve seen, Buterin believes that a change needs to come to the crypto and blockchain scene and we could see the results of this very soon.