Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin recently showed doubt that cryptocurrencies will replace traditional currencies on the world stage. He does, however, believe cryptos can co-exist as an alternative asset class.
Assets, Not Currencies
As reported by Reuters, Vitalik made his comments at the VivaTech conference in Paris.
“I do not expect cryptocurrencies to take over the world,” he said. “It’s about cryptos and digital and governments.”
As originally conceived, Bitcoin was created as a digital money solution to the problems of our banking system today. That includes allowing for peer-to-peer trades without interference from middlemen and creating a form of money immune to monetary debasement.
Many including Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey believe this property will allow Bitcoin to replace sovereign currencies. In his view, it could even replace the US dollar as the world reserve currency.
Vitalik’s view on crypto is a bit divergent, however. The ETH whale was most interested in Satoshi’s invention as a system of “distributed consensus,” as written in the Ethereum whitepaper.
By contrast, he’s admitted during a Twitter question period that he does not pay deep attention to monetary theory, or matters of currency. When questioned, he suggested that neither Bitcoin nor Ether may ever achieve price stability, even in a “hyper-cryptoized” world.
Expectations vs Reality
Some perceived the co-founder’s words as slightly bearish on blockchain technology as a whole. In May, Vitalik posted a Twitter thread highlighting ways that he wished Ethereum could mimic Bitcoin, in terms of security and stability.
He also suggested that blockchain is yet to find a profitable use-case that isn’t financial in nature, much to his dismay.
Interestingly, his more recent views are not so divergent from those of MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor. The billionaire, whose company is the largest corporate holder of Bitcoin, believes Bitcoin will become the world reserve “asset.” However, he maintains that the US dollar will stay the currency of the world over time.
Part of this thesis involves Bitcoin replacing all precious metals, such as silver and gold. In a similar fashion, Vitalik tweeted on Thursday that gold and silver are “so last millennium.”
Bitcoin’s grassroots adoption as a currency is still lacking, arguably due to its price volatility.
However, countries such as El Salvador and the Central African Republic have already declared Bitcoin as legal tender. Each nation is continually preparing infrastructure to make Bitcoin more usable as a means of payment.