Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has expressed concern over the shift away from the original vision of Web3 and the core principles of decentralization within the cryptocurrency community.
Make Ethereum cypherpunk againhttps://t.co/qEiOcZLEeg
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) December 28, 2023
In a blog post published on December 28, Buterin urged the Ethereum community to return to the “cypherpunk” ethos, which envisions a public decentralized shared hard drive with peer-to-peer messaging and decentralized file storage.
Buterin attributed the diminishing focus on decentralization to the rise in transaction fees, which have made it economically challenging for developers to create diverse applications beyond financial use cases. He noted that high fees have skewed the user base towards high-risk traders, colloquially known as “degen gamblers”, altering the public perception and the internal culture of the crypto space.
Buterin issued a cautionary statement about the potential dangers of yielding to forces that might foster the development of excessively centralized structures within the cryptocurrency environment. He underscored the peril of eroding the distinctive worth inherent to the realm of cryptocurrency. He highlighted the need for Ethereum to uphold core values such as open global participation, decentralization, censorship resistance, auditability, credible neutrality, a cooperative mindset, and tool building.
Despite the obstacles, Buterin highlighted the encouraging progress made within the Ethereum network in 2023. He accentuated the evolution of scaling strategies like rollups, the introduction of second-tier privacy measures, and the advent of account abstraction and lightweight clients.
Vitalik Buterin Proposes Solutions and Optimism for the Future of Ethereum and Web3
These advancements provide optimism for the resurgence of a decentralized spirit and a shift away from unregulated centralization and excessive financialization. Buterin foresees Ethereum evolving into a nexus for a variety of applications, from decentralized social networks to safe, anonymous voting mechanisms.
He underscored the growing accessibility of zero-knowledge proofs for developers, paving the way for new opportunities in consumer applications and technologies that preserve privacy. Buterin believes this facilitates a move away from the misleading dichotomy of anonymity versus security, enabling the coexistence of privacy and diverse authentication methods.
Buterin also conveyed a positive outlook on the sector’s capacity to tackle issues. He pointed out the remedies offered by decentralized exchanges to counteract breaches on centralized exchanges, and innovative tools such as Cowswap, Flashbots Protect, and MEV Blocker that aid in reducing the impact of specific attacks on Ethereum users.
In a recent proposal, Buterin advocated for a leaner and more straightforward Ethereum proof-of-stake chain by decreasing the count of signatures needed from validators. This proposition is in line with his aspiration for a more streamlined and efficient Ethereum network.
Buterin emphasized the need for Ethereum to reignite the “cypherpunk” revolution, which he believes is the true spirit of Web3. He expressed his aspiration for the thriving of non-financial applications on the blockchain, anchored by cypherpunk principles such as decentralization, inclusive participation, resistance to censorship, and trustworthy impartiality.