On August 31st, Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, hosted an “Open conversation with Vitalik Buterin” in Skolkovo techonopark in Russia. Here is some of the most vivid statements made by a “crypto god", part II.
image credit: Elena Balbekova
You can also have a look at the part I, in which Vitalik spoke about his childhood, Bitcoin and the idea of the creation of his own project, Ethereum.
- President Vladimir Putin was the first president Vitalik Buterin has ever met.
- The community in Russia is growing rapidly and not only in quantity: the quality of the projects also goes forward. People are getting better and better understanding of the direction in which the use of blockchain projects will go.
- Vitalik also claims that nowadays there's a peak of cryptocurrency hype in Russia as Putin knows about blockchain [laughing].
- According to Buterin, now we are at a stage when blockchain technology is at the level of large state-owned corporations. However, there are no real applications of it, as now everyone is doing tests and research.
- Still, from the state-adoption point of view, Vitalik considers Bank of England (UK) and the Central bank of Russia the most dynamic ones, as well as Estonia and Singapore.
- Ethereum founder argues that within 5 years in some industries at least half of the processes will be blockchained.
- Concerning the blockchain code: there is never a case that the code is the law to the full.
- A lot of people already think about the interoperability between blockcains. There are even several projects. The main problem is to find a use case.
- Top 3 names in the blockchain industry: Vlad Zamfir, Christian Reitwiessner and Joseph Poon.
- ICOs are definitely a good thing as now the coin in the protocol can be monetized. Even Ethereum project exists only thanks to its crowdfund. However, it's a bad idea to launch ICO if your team is a fraud [laughing].
- It's essential that the project's tokens should have a real significance. Thus, if a project could work perfectly well with another tokens such as Ether, then there is no use in the token.
- The idea was quite interesting. The problem was that there was a mistake in the Dao code and the person used it to steal a large amount of Ether (about 10 million in Ether). Then there was an attack and the users suggested the idea of how to deal with the hack. Yes, the money was stolen, but it was put together in another smart contract, which means the team had 35 days to find a solution. The solution was found and it was a hard fork. They decided to change the protocol to remove money from one smart contract and move it to another one to return people their money.
- After the Dao, several conclusions were drawn:
- the community that supported Ethereum now knows that code is a law and a strong principle, but not infinitely strong, only in the extreme case.
- every single hack can not be solved with the hard fork.
- in order to avoid hacks, it is necessary to increase the level of security, i.e. write secure contracts, increase the security of the protocol. the Ethereum team has already increased the security level, though, as Buterin highlights, there is still much to strive for.
- Ethereum Foundaiton is a non-profit organization. Certainly, at first there were those who wanted to create a commercial project, and if they did, then each of the team would have probably been a billioner of shares now. Yet, the team is doing a public blockchain, a neutral platform, for the whole world.
- Salaries: from the initial crowdfunding there was 30k of Bitcoins used for the salaries, then there was 6 million of Ether (3 million used as a reward to the programmers), the remaining 3 million is still being used for this purpose (either directly, or in Fiat money).
Fake death and the future of Ethereum
- Buterin claims that the fake news was quite funny and he had a great laugh.
- Yet, Ethereum is a decentralized platform, but it is centralized on Vitalik one way or another. Buterin speculates that this will go away after a while. Indeed, the team is growing now and even if the founder disappears, people will be able to get to the proof of steak and sharding. Thus, Vitalik Buterin will be needed less and less.