Ethereum white paper predicted DeFi but missed NFTs: Vitalik Buterin

Ethereum white paper predicted DeFi but missed NFTs: Vitalik Buterin

January 2, 2022

Rounding up the last decade, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin revisited his predictions made over the years, showcasing a knack for being right about abstract ideas than on-production software development issues. 

Buterin started the Twitter thread by addressing his article dated Jul. 23, 2013 in which he highlighted Bitcoin’s (BTC) key benefits — internationality and censorship resistance. Buterin foresaw Bitcoin’s potential in protecting the citizens’ buying power in countries such as Iran, Argentina, China and Africa.

However, Buterin also noticed a rise in stablecoin adoption as he saw Argentinian businesses operating in Tether (USDT). He backed up his decade-old ideas around the negative impacts of Bitcoin regulation.

The entrepreneur still believes that “the internet of money should not cost more than 5 cents per transaction” and highlighted Ethereum’s continued efforts to improve the blockchain’s scalability capabilities.

“I liked altcoins before altcoins were cool,” added Buterin citing an article where he based this claim via three arguments: different chains optimize for different goals, costs of having many chains are low and need of an alternative in case the core development team is wrong. 

On the flipside, Buterin backtracked on his support for Bitcoin Cash (BCH), stating that communities formed around a rebellion, even if they have a good cause, often have a hard time long term, adding that “they value bravery over competence and are united around resistance rather than a coherent way forward.”

“A lot correct (basically predicted “DeFi”), though incentivized file storage + compute hasn’t taken off that much (yet?), and of course I completely missed NFTs.”

Concluding the findings, Buterin supported the instincts that helped him correct mistakes early on, stating: “On tech, I was more often right on abstract ideas than on production software dev issues. Had to learn to understand the latter over time.”

Related: Vitalik Buterin outlines ‘endgame’ roadmap for ETH 2.0

In early December, Buterin shared his vision for a “plausible roadmap” for ETH 2.0, suggesting “a second tier of staking, with low resource requirements” for distributed block validation.

Additionally, he proposed the introduction of fraud-proof or ZK-SNARKS that can serve as a cheaper alternative for users to check block validity. According to Buterin:

“[With these updates] We get a chain where block production is still centralized, but block validation is trustless and highly decentralized, and specialized anti-censorship magic prevents the block producers from censoring.”

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