Vitalik Buterin previews a future built on Ethereum

Permissionless: Ethereum co-founder urges attendees in Austin to keep an eye on the frontier of what’s possible with crypto tech

article-image

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin | Screenshot from Buterin’s interview with Bankless’ David Hoffman at Permissionless II

share

Vitalik Buterin doesn’t want Ethereum to rest on its laurels, but to keep pressing forward with new ideas and approaches to old problems. 

Looking around at the app landscape today, Buterin sees chutes of the future sprouting, but even the newest of the new is “not imaginative enough,” he told the Permissionless audience in Austin, Texas, during an interview with David Hoffman.

DeFi “is cool,” NFTs are a new primitive but “an extension of something that has a history,” and using crypto for payments is good, but also familiar. These are “individual pieces that are designed to fit into an ecosystem that’s otherwise the same as before,” Buterin said.

What he’s excited about is decentralized social, repeatedly name-dropping Farcaster, a Twitter-like protocol built on the OP mainnet with a companion Warpcast mobile app that is currently in invite-only alpha release.

Along with Lens, developed by Aave-founder Stani Kulechov and running on Polygon’s proof-of-stake chain, Farcaster and similar social experiences are using crypto tools to compete with centralized platforms.

“Let’s see how far we can push things in that direction,” Buterin said. “But where I see the longer term future here is it really can plug into all of the other stuff that we’ve been doing as a space.”

Building Sybil-resistance for example, so that “the 894 likes are 894 people, and not 894 accounts that are all controlled by the Kremlin.”

Crypto-based solutions have the potential to be more decentralized, privacy-preserving and secure than the current Web2 landscape, according to Buterin, citing building blocks such as ENS, various proof-of-humanity ideas, and POAPs — or a next generation version using zero-knowledge technology that will be even better — and Gitcoin Passport, as examples.

“The big dream here is to like, really create an independent open tech stack,” Buterin said. Something to compete with the likes of Google and Twitter, without going down a closed, centralized system such as China’s tight integration of Wechat, Alipay and increasingly CBDC.

Buterin envisions a gradual on-ramping process for new Web3 users to create an Ethereum address, initially controlled by a familiar service like Gmail, but using account abstraction, giving people the ability to take ownership when they are ready to use more crypto-native approaches.

“Basically, give people the opportunity to slide down the decentralization ladder and then, at the end of it, really properly be in this totally independent stack that actually works together — all the different pieces inside it,” he said.


Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2024

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

AERODROME TEMPLATE.png

Research

Aerodrome is a "MetaDEX" that combines elements of various DEX primitives such as Uniswap V2 and V3, Curve, Convex, and Votium. Since its launch on Base, it has become the largest protocol by TVL with more than $495M in value locked, doubling Uniswap's Base deployment.

article-image

Also, former Valkyrie CEO lands new leadership role at Canadian investment firm Cypherpunk Holdings

article-image

This week’s biggest funding round saw Jump Trading, JPMorgan contribute to the round

article-image

Plus, a layer-1 for intellectual property is launching and Farcaster users peaked

article-image

Crypto still hasn’t shaken one of its most garish primordial tails — funny stories about fraud

article-image

Plus, publicly traded crypto companies had a pretty eventful news week

article-image

Committee members directed more questions to Christy Goldsmith Romero, who could soon be leading one of the more troubled federal agencies