The war in Ukraine reminded the cryptocurrency community that the purpose of digital assets is to bring real benefits to people. This was stated by the founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin in an interview with Time.
Buterin openly condemned the invasion of Ukraine. Even before the outbreak of hostilities, he stressed that aggression from Russia would harm not only the countries participating in the conflict, but also all of humanity.
According to Buterin, the technology behind cryptocurrencies itself “has a lot of dystopian potential” if not implemented correctly. He noted that rising transaction fees and public displays of wealth have become dominant in public perception of digital assets.
Buterin sees Ethereum as a platform for future “socio-political experiments.” He believes the web could act as a counterbalance to authoritarian governments and undermine the tech giants’ “suffocating control” over user data.
At the same time, the founder of the second largest cryptocurrency by capitalization remains a supporter of “soft power”. After The DAO was hacked, when the project lost more than $50 million due to a bug in the code, Buterin did not force supporters to hard fork, instead convincing them of the need for it.
Buterin also noted the growing inequality in the cryptocurrency industry. According to him, the current transaction fees have turned ordinary on-chain operations into the prerogative of the rich, and the form of governance of the DAO based on monetary voting is “a new version of plutocracy.”
According to the founder of Ethereum, the worst-case scenario for cryptocurrency is to become a tool in the hands of dictatorial regimes. As an example, he named El Salvador, where the legalization of bitcoin allegedly allows the state to control the finances of citizens.