Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin: If Musk's Twitter flops, it's not such a bad thing
Predicts replacement, without Elon's problems, is waiting to fly
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin told an audience at Singapore's FinTech Festival on Thursday he believes a social media platform to replace Twitter – one that avoids many of the bird-brand's existing problems – is already on the way somewhere.
"Elon is a high variance actor, right? Minimum there is a chance that he's going to make Twitter really great, there is a chance that he's going to make Twitter really terrible – and that is in some ways also good. Because if it becomes too terrible, that actually opens up the opportunity for other people to make something really great," said Buterin.
"I have no idea what the thing is going to look like even 90 days from now," admitted the Ethereal founder. Buterin expressed annoyance over dodgy crypto brands that operate without protocols riding his coattails by commenting on all his tweets with fake or hacked accounts.
The software engineer and founder believes that in the next five to ten years a better social media platform will come along and solve such annoyances and related security issues.
"Whether that ends up being Twitter itself, or whether that's a big groundswell and just a huge number of alternatives – we'll see.”
At the Festival, Buterin had a few extra non-Musk insights to offer – like the current state of Bitcoin.
"There's definitely some very specific communities that Bitcoin still strongly appeals. I think that's going to be true, no matter what kind of improvements in either the Ethereum protocol or other protocols in the crypto space make."
As to whether Bitcoin will remain the cryptocurrency market leader, Buterin said it was undisputed until a couple of years ago, but now its popularity depends on the priorities of the crypto investor.
"Do you care about where the macroeconomic action is? Do you care about where the intellectual action is? Do you care about where the energy trying to make crypto payments happen is?" posed Buterin. "The crypto space is a very diverse place that has lots of different perspectives."
The Ethereum creator also said regulations play an important role in managing applications of decentralized networks. Ultimately, he opined, regulations exist regardless of their application – on a network or with "pieces of wood" (aka paper money). However, the industry could do itself a favor by being proactive about known issues.
"In a lot of cases it is up to people in the crypto community to suggest some good ideas for addressing some of their concerns and basically try to pre-empt more adversarial situations," suggested Buterin. "I am very hopeful that we can have more kind of collaborative conversations between regulators and industry in all the countries."
Buterin specifically addressed countries like Singapore, that have expressed disapproval for retail cryptocurrencies:
It's easier to say that cryptocurrencies are unstable and have low value in countries like Singapore, where the economy and the government are quite stable. But there are plenty of places in the world where cryptocurrencies have even over the last year fallen in value less than the local fiat currency.
"If you interview people there, they'll say yeah, cryptocurrencies rise and fall, but the local fiat falls and falls."
Ethereum experienced "The Merge" on September 15 of this year. That refers to the moment when its proof-of-work validation was replaced by proof-of-stake – a process in the making since 2014. During his presentation, Buterin revealed the switchover had reduced electricity consumption by 99.95 percent.
The founder revealed that before the switch, Ethereum was consuming the same amount of electricity as an average wealthy country of three million people.
"Now Ethereum consumes less energy than most mainstream – even centralized – web services that everyone uses today." ®