Ethereum (ETH): Inventor Buterin outlines ideas for the future

Vitalik Buterin, inventor and co-founder of Ethereum, has revealed in an interview where and how ETH can score innovatively. In doing so, he goes beyond finance and also mentions digital identities as a goal.

Around three weeks have passed since Ethereum (ETH) took the first major technological step towards an Ethereum 2.0 with “The Merge”. Thus, even ETH mastermind Vitalik Buterin can detach himself from technological details for the moment and formulate ideas for the future. In an interview titled “What’s Next?”, Buterin emphasizes the values that hold the community together at Ethereum and aim to keep ETH’s network open to multiple use cases.

Buterin points to regions that are not “1st world” and where financial systems are insufficiently developed and/or politically dominated. There, he says, Ethereum, as a global and well-functioning cryptocurrency, is particularly valuable to citizens because it opens up new financial opportunities. This is often underestimated outside of Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, he said. In fact, the African continent, for example, is increasingly becoming the focus of the crypto industry because many people there do not have bank accounts but can use cryptocurrencies with their smartphones.

Away from the use cases for ETH as a surrogate currency, Buterin believes Ethereum can occupy lines of business such as digital identity and blockchain-based social networks in the future. In May, Buterin had presented his concept of a Soulbound Token (SBT), which is used to organize digital identities and could also serve as a ballot in democratic process, for example. Buterin also cites Ethereum Name Service (ENS) as a tool to open up new use cases in the ETH ecosystem.

Meanwhile, after “The Merge,” the interim optimism at the parallel Ethereum POW (ETHW) has already evaporated. The price curve of ETHW turned negative by about 30 percent in the last seven days and Ethereum POW is currently trading at around 8 US dollars. This indicates – as predicted by most experts – that the attempt to maintain an “old” Ethereum with Proof-of-Work as protocol has little resonance. Ethereum with the upgrade to proof-of-stake is trading at around $1,350.

Bottom line: Ethereum wants to be more than a cryptocurrency

When Buterin talks about his visions for Ethereum, what you hear is not a financial investor, but the staunch advocate of a free world order. In 2023 and later, further upgrades should make the Ethereum ecosystem fit to process thousands of actions per second through sharding and side-chains. This would then provide inexpensive capacity for handling special tasks such as digital identities via ETH. However, competitors such as Cardano (ADA) are also trying to occupy such fields of application. In addition, IT giants such as Google and Microsoft are aggressively involved in the topic of digital identity with their own solutions. It is therefore by no means guaranteed that Ethereum will establish itself as the standard in the medium and long term.

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