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Ethereum's founder is worried about its future, says he wants blockchain to serve as a 'counterweight to authoritarian governments'

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Photo by STR Nur/Photo via Getty Images

Vitalik Buterin, the founder of the Ethereum Network, which houses the world’s second most popular cryptocurrency, Ethereum, is unfathomably wealthy and successful.

Despite his unprecedented success, the 28-year-old financial tech guru is not exactly optimistic about the future of cryptocurrency.

He told Time Magazine that “Crypto itself has a lot of dystopian potential if implemented wrong.”

Time reported that the Buterin’s creation, the Ethereum Network, is a trillion-dollar financial “ecosystem that rivals Visa in terms of the money it moves” and that “Ethereum has brought thousands of unbanked people around the world into financial systems, allowed capital to flow unencumbered across borders, and provided the infrastructure for entrepreneurs to build all sorts of new products.”

Buterin is worried that people who are overeager to invest their money in cryptocurrency underestimate the risks associated with doing so and expressed a general distaste for people who treat cryptocurrency as a sort of get-rich-quick scheme.

Referencing the infamous line of Bored Ape NFTs he said, “The peril is you have these $3 million monkeys and it becomes a different kind of gambling.”

Buterin also dislikes the glitz and glamor that often accompanies the newfound wealth by people who invest in cryptocurrency; he said, “There definitely are lots of people that are just buying yachts and Lambos.”

The encrypted blockchain technology that Ethereum runs on, like Bitcoin, gives Buterin hope that his creation will eventually become more than a financial asset.

Reportedly, Buterin hopes that “Ethereum will become the launchpad for all sorts of sociopolitical experimentation: fairer voting systems, urban planning, universal basic income, public-works projects” and more.

Most important to him however is a desire for Ethereum to serve as a “counterweight to authoritarian governments and to upend Silicon Valley’s stranglehold over our digital lives.”

Put simply, Buterin hopes to see his creation be used for more than financial investing.

He said, “If we don’t exercise our voice, the only things that get built are the things that are immediately profitable and those are often far from what’s actually the best for the world.”

Buterin’s vision, however, may not come to pass as he is far from the formal leader of the Ethereum Network.

In fact, the network was created so that there could be no central figure that directs its trajectory. It is a decentralized platform that is responsive to the whims of whoever is using it the most effectively.

This decentralization leaves Buterin trying to guide Ethereum’s legion of devotees by writing blog posts, giving interviews and speaking at conventions, and conducting independent research on blockchain technology.

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