Vitalik Buterin about Ethereum
During a VICE News interview, founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin expressed his thought about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies but also about the geopolitical tug of war over Internet 3.0.
Raised in Canada by two Russian parents Vitalik Buterin is the blockchain movements biggest celebrity. He created the Ethereum blockchain when he was just 21 years old and his cryptocurrency, the ether is second only to Bitcoin. Ethereum market cap increased by over ten thousand percent in 2017 with an actual value of $60 billion. Vitalik has been on a global campaign to raise awareness of his creation and its potential implications for business finance and government.
First of all, Vitalik Buterin was asked when he heard the first time about Bitcoin.
“So I heard about Bitcoin for the first time in maybe February 2011. Eventually I found a guy who was willing to pay me five bitcoins per article for writing articles for his Bitcoin blog. At that time each Bitcoin was about $0.8. Being a high school guy with not much money I thought 1.5 dollars an hour was a fairly reasonable wage.”
Buterin was astonished about the potential of Bitcoin and the idea of people that can work together and create an entirely new financial system.
“I earn 20 bitcoins, then I spent 8 and a half of them on a t-shirt, and I figured oh cool! This all actually works, and what really struck out me was this idea that it actually is still possible for people to come together and create an entire new financial system. And it’s like seemed kind of very empowering to me.”
He was asked about the thoughts of recreating the financial system with a utopian resemblance and get rid of all the old stuff and create something totally from scratch.
“No it wasn’t about kind of like overthrowing anything, it was more just to the idea that before, kind of finance and lots of other things seems like there were all these people way up there that we’re just doing these things, and without them, you know there’s no way any of this could happen. And here it just made it very obvious that money is just something that a community can make for itself whenever at once. We know what decentralized networks are, I mean I’m sure you’ve heard of BitTorrent, and all the various file-sharing networks like all the various decentralized messaging systems. This group of cypherpunks that thought, okay you can do all those things in a decentralized network. But way why can’t we do decentralized cash?
Subsequently, Vitalik Buterin explained how the blockchain can prevent the double spending problem, which means trying to avoid people to use many times the same Bitcoin. The same way as we do with a picture or a song, where a copy can send multiple times over the internet, with Bitcoin is impossible thanks to the blockchain.
“For example if I have a song and I want to send you the song over a decentralized network I do this. And that’s fine, I have a song you have the song. Money is fundamentally different because money requires some notion of memory. So I have a hundred digital dollars, I send you the hundred digital dollars then I make another transaction which looks exactly like the flat first transaction, except the only difference I sends someone else one the same hundred digital dollars. I published both transactions at the same time. Clearly, both of those transactions cannot succeed. You have to have some mechanism that keeps track of the fact that I sent you these hundred dollars, and so that after I send the first transaction, the system knows that I no longer have the money and so the second transaction fails.”
Buterin was asked to express his thoughts about the potential of this technology and whys he believes that is so transformational and it will change the world.
“Because it represents kind of epochal changes in the options that we have for interacting with each other. With a Bitcoin it’s you don’t need banks to send money anymore it’s just something that happens directly peer-to-peer, and Etherium extends that to making digitally enforceable agreements (learn more about smart contracts).”
In conclusion, Buterin was asked if he feels like the destroyer of worlds because essentially he can eliminate many jobs by doing that and he answered:
“What if you make the destroyer of jobs creator of better ones?”