Video Of The Week: Vitalik Buterin - The Unchained Podcast Interview

As I mentioned last week, at the start of this interview Laura Shin plays a bit of my “rant” about Ethereum losing it’s lead.

Vitalik, as is his nature, calmly reacts to it and rebuts it.

The entire interview is interesting and hopeful for Ethereum holders like me.


Comments (Archived):

  1. kidmercury

    EOS gets a lot right but the whole voting and block producer governance system is wrong and going to lead to cartels IMHO. too many people hold that view, which i think is going to block EOS adoption significantly.if someone can come up with a better delegated proof of stake governance system, i think they can dethrone ethereum. i expect such a system to emerge and consider it probable that it will start as a contract on ethereum before branching off to its own chain.

    1. Evan Van Ness

      It’s much more likely to be the opposite: DPOS chains start off as their own basechains and eventually get implemented as layer2 solutions on Ethereum as things happen that make developers demand the decentralization and trustlessness of Ethereum

      1. kidmercury

        perhaps — one of the things like about etheruem layer2, though, is that i think it is the easiest and cheapest place to test out ideas, refine them, and then once the required governance and smart contract features are thoroughly understood, an investment in a new chain is justified. if a new dPOS chain is built from scratch without any product validation, i think the risk the features are not what the market wants are very high.

  2. William Mougayar

    There’s an important dimension to the Ethereum project that many are forgetting, and it is one that most other blockchains aren’t even close to: it is the degree of decentralization that their infrastructure is built upon. Ethereum (and Bitcoin) are the only large-scale sovereign-grade blockchains. Comparing a blockchain that has 8,600 nodes to ones that has 21 or 50 nodes is not a fair comparison. (https://arewedecentralizedy…When Vitalik said that Ethereum lost some of its lead, it’s really a comparative statement that he didn’t have a chance to elaborate on. On a relative basis, sure. Same as Bitcoin used to be 99% of crypto, and now it is roughly 50% of it, but still it managed to grow and maintain its dominance in the meantime. Ethereum used to be ~ 90% of ICOs and the majority of Decentralized Apps, and maybe now it’s 60-80% of the total, but it still maintains a staggering lead in terms of number of apps, # of developers, investments, innovation, ambition, scale and core developers commits.When you’re a leader, everyone wants to attack you. So Ethereum needs to defend itself, and sometimes they don’t do a good job at that, because the other competing chains are more marketing-driven. Truth is- most other chains are off-springs of Ethereum, starting by copying Ethereum’s thought leadership, and trying to compete on a given feature or technical exploit. But what they can’t copy is the Ethereum ecosystem itself, its critical mass, and the fact that the Ethereum goals are to remain sovereign in itself, and to still give us hope that a global censorship-resistant blockchain will continue to exist, because that’s the real revolution that’s unraveling.

    1. kidmercury

      Ethereum used to be ~ 90% of ICOs and the majority of Decentralized Apps, and maybe now it’s 60-80% of the total, but it still maintains a staggering lead in terms of number of apps, # of developers, investments, innovation, ambition, scale and core developers commits.this is very true, and much of the standard network theory monopoly stuff applies here; even if it sucks more in a lot of ways, ethereum captures the network of participants and thus is still the easiest and most logical starting place for the vast majority of crypto projects centered on smart contracts.

      1. William Mougayar


    2. awaldstein

      Can you help me visualize this statement?’…a global censorship-resistant blockchain will continue to exist, because that’s the real revolution that’s unraveling.”I can’t.

      1. William Mougayar

        That’s the essence of Bitcoin and Ethereum. These blockchains can’t be turned off at this point (unless you turn off the Internet). They are un-stoppable. No government can stop them or remove content from them. That’s the real innovation we have that we need to take advantage of.

        1. awaldstein

          i get that.i would never have thought the libertarian roots of this is what you would think is both the most relevant and most economics piece of this.interesting.

    3. jason wright

      Are the 8,600 nodes each uniquely operated?

    4. JamesHRH

      Fred seemed to give a pretty good argument as to why decentralization is a bug.

      1. William Mougayar

        It’s not a bug. It’s just messy, and inefficient in its early days.

  3. awaldstein

    As someone with holdings in Eth and an active project in an exchange for PoS coins, the interview did create some confidence but I still have nagging uncertainties that are hard to shake.I’m a fan though of his and listened to his talks at RadicalXchange which where worth listening to. An interesting movement btw.

  4. Isaac Akemadae Kenley

    Check out — see our investor relations section for pitchdeck and more. We have art cards trading on the ethereum blockchain as a nft collectible. We are the next overnight success coming in dapps!

  5. jason wright

    ERC20 is mutation, but natural selection leads to extinction.

  6. Richard

    Nice post – plenty of truth woven throughout the video.

  7. msft sux

    daily emails had me convinced you were a kinder gentler variant of a traditional VC. Your rant in the youtube video coupled with foul language set me straight, you’re the same as the rest of them. unchecked capitalism is the ruin of our society.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      It felt like a temper tantrum.

  8. Ken Seiff

    Fred, curious of two things. 1. Did Vitalik change your point of view and if so how. 2. I believe that great leaders could build a broad, decentralized attack on the opportunity that Vitalik describes in his response. And, I think his point has merit that the next generation of products and companies may not follow a centralized, linear, full time employee, executional strategy strategy like they have in the past. But, I dont think that view is inconsistent with your point that Vitalik is a brilliant technological mind while the Ethereum project lacks strong strategic leadership and the latter may well torpedo the projects lead. Didn’t he miss the crux of your point that the Ethereum project lacks the quality leadership, strategic vision and strong execution that silicon valley prizes or were you saying that Ethereum should follow the silicon valley way?

  9. Adam Parish

    Except for bashing Tron. I sense that the leaders of the various chains are open to collaboration. This is their moment.

    1. jason wright

      Channeling Brexit? 🙂

  10. Matt A. Myers

    Conveniently the narrative perpetuated has been able to shift from between “status quo money vs. cryptocurrencies” to “cryptocurrency vs. cryptocurrency.” Until the true foundational pitfalls are addressed in every conversation with the solution provided, along with how these different problems / pitfalls interact with each other and their solutions, this is all just digging a deeper hole for yourselves.The simple fact that cryptocurrencies allow bad actors to thrive in the networks unchecked is a big enough problem on its own. The solution to it is centralized body that knows what accounts are attached to whom.The simple fact that cryptocurrencies use an incredible amount of energy for processing is perhaps not a problem on its own, however the fact that it is linked to its defences is a problem. The solution to that is a centralized body that only allows trusted and agreed upon parties into the network.These two points above alone, ignoring the Pyramid-Ponzi scheme structure of these amazingly successful global decentralized schemes – which leads to unreasonable and unnecessary transfer of wealth towards the earliest adopters, are enough to simply realize everyone defaults back to in-person trusted human networks – and not the hyped up “blind trust” that’s been perpetuated as a talking point.Everyone hyping cryptocurrencies are trying to fast track natural trust mechanisms that have evolved over millions of years that has allowed cooperation to bring us to this point in time. It has been successful. That many people are unhappy with where their governments are at, or the controls for where they are at, however you simply can’t bypass it without external costs – such as if you’re willing to allow bad actors to thrive on a network, in an economy, unchecked then you’re facilitating them and perhaps arguably complicit since these cryptocurrency economies are trying to avoid and supersede the rule of law.It’s really unfortunate that there isn’t the same incentive and urgency for people to promote the full truth – and to actively push back against the positive narrative perpetuated constantly by the “army of HODLERs” who are all incentivized – whether having any “stock” of the digital Pyramid-Ponzi schemes, or even more invested as VCs, the more successful ones like Coinbase who are selling the shovels in this new artificial gold rush. They may believe too that this behaviour with the bubbles and speculation are just that, bubbles, however that’s not a justification that solves for all of the pitfalls of these structures – if they actually wanted to think critically of how this all unfolds.Encryption is important, as are the ideas of data ownership and mobility – however these can be achieved without the pitfalls of allowing bad actors into the network, and without costing an unreasonable amount, and without transferring an unreasonable amount of wealth/value to the earliest adopters. These are concepts that everyone in society must learn, understand, and be able to debate – so they can counter the growing “army of HODLERS” who forever will be incentivized to push their hype, their version of the story, and while constantly dismissing or ignoring the pitfalls.”The world needs a decentralized platform” is an illogical statement – it’s incongruent. Decentralized means no platform. Decentralized is the concept of mobility and freedom. Has no one challenged this lack of integrity that embedded in this belief or ideology? Decentralized, the empty space that exists between us – is how trust networks form, with the interactions of people; in this case, the Earth is our platform.The whole point of financial markets and regulating bodies – and stock exchanges – is to prevent and protect consumers/investors from pump and dumps. Likewise the false parallel that has been drawn between ICO’s and IPO’s on the stock market is so disingenuous it’s sickening. Companies who IPO have product already that’s being used or bought, revenues, perhaps profits, and they definitely have market share – or at minimum resources allocated with potential that people are betting on. in comparison with ICO’s – there’s just too much wrong with them to even start.Vitalik wished there was a magic wand to “shut it all down” – the fraud, completely ignoring that magic isn’t needed: mechanisms already exist in society and with law to deal exactly with this, yet his system allowed them to be bypassed. That financial regulation bodies were influenced somehow and allowed all of these to go on so long is just shocking, as their reason for being was to stop this kind of fraud and taking advantage of people. Ignorance of everyone involved isn’t a solid criminal defence. Having allowed and supported all of the losses from scams, as part of the pitfalls of these systems, or even enabling consumers to buy unvetted “ICOs” really should be looked at as damages and losses caused to people, to society.

  11. Lawrence Brass

    Don’t watch in bed, I’ve just found that Vitalik’s voice has ASMR properties.And speaking about ASMR, found this jewel, for Jason.cheers!

    1. jason wright