Yesterday was Ethereum’s third birthday
Its first block was in fact mined on July 30, 2015, an era that seems far off, both in terms of values and developments, which began in 2016 and are linked above all to the introduction of smart contracts and the adoption of ERC20 tokens used by most ICOs.
This cryptocurrency, now traded at around $450, was worth less than $20 until March 2017.
Almost coinciding with Ethereum’s big day, its creator, Vitalik Buterin, decided to start a discussion about the bitcoin ETFs with a tweet:
“I think there’s too much emphasis on BTC/ETH/whatever ETFs, and not enough emphasis on making it easier for people to buy $5 to $100 in cryptocurrency via cards at corner stores. The former is better for pumping price, but the latter is much better for actual adoption.“
Buterin highlights how the recent rally of cryptocurrencies, especially of bitcoin, which sent it back above 8000 dollars, is attributable to financial and speculative factors, while the fundamental element in building the value of cryptocurrencies is the long-term adoption in the real economy.
Developers and the environment, according to Buterin, should be more interested in the common people and their economy made of small purchases, rather than creating elaborate tools to introduce them in the hectic world of finance.
Actual adoption, however, is complicated by another problem that is on Buterin’s mind: scalability. As he pointed out in a recent interview with Tyler Cowen:
“Ethereum blockchain’s capacity right now is about 15 transactions a second. If you even consider something like putting all of the Uber rides on the blockchain, that’s 12 transactions per second already. I do feel just raw ability to process more transactions per second is important, and that could happen through sharding and other base layer scalability upgrades to the system which we are working on.”
In short, Vitalik Buterin wants a cryptocurrency linked to the real economy, not to the further financialisation of the system.