Ethereum co-founder revisited the topic of Bitcoin regulation and Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.
Buterin also talked about altcoins, decentralised finance (DeFi), and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has shared some of his biggest predictions in the crypto space over the past decade, admitting in a Twitter thread that he got a few completely wrong.
He also reflected on the lessons learned, explaining where he stands today about subjects such as Bitcoin regulation, stablecoins, the Ethereum proof-of-stake roadmap, and Bitcoin Cash.
On Bitcoin and the regulatory climate
One of Buterin’s earliest comments about crypto regulation is from July 2013, when the Ethereum co-creator talked about increased regulatory attention on Bitcoin and the consequences these would have on the pioneer crypto.
But while he felt Bitcoin was resistant to government interference, he felt growing regulation of Bitcoin services such as exchanges was impactful.
“Bitcoin is resisting the government not by being clever about what ‘legal category’ it’s in, but rather by being technologically censorship-proof,” he summed up his belief in those early days.
As per what he thinks today, Buterin shared that he believes decentralization sits well with Bitcoin and would be the reason it survives even in the harshest of regulatory environments. However, he still thinks just being censorship-resistant isn’t enough if the flagship cryptocurrency were to flourish.
“Sure, Bitcoin’s decentralization would let it still “survive” under a super-hostile regulatory climate, but it could not “thrive,” he noted.
According to him, for a censorship resistance strategy to succeed, the network needs to have both “technological robustness and public legitimacy.” Without these, he opines, chances of thriving are limited.
Ethereum’s PoS and sharding roadmap
On this one, the Ethereum co-founder said it was almost laughable what he put forth as the timeline for the switch from proof of work to proof of stake.
3. My projections from 2015 of when we will get PoS and sharding. Honestly, these were very wrong and worth laughing at; I’ll share a screenshot of one of my presentations from 2015 so everyone can laugh more easily. pic.twitter.com/6tbsmajJyu
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) January 1, 2022
Among the mistakes, he noted, was that he “deeply underestimated the complexity of software development.
On proof of work vs. proof of stake, Buterin feels his earlier outlook on PoW’s energy waste was “apologist.” But now that he’s had an “intellectual evolution” on the topic, what’s good in PoW and PoS.
On Bitcoin Cash, DeFi and NFTs
While he was very positive about altcoins early on, his outlook on some projects has completely changed.
He points out Bitcoin Cash as one of the projects he thinks have failed, with the core reasoning being that its proponents largely coalesced around a rebellion and not competence and coherence.
Among other predictions in the Ethereum whitepaper were ERC20-style tokens, DAOs, Oracles, algorithmic stablecoins, and Domain Name Systems (like ENS).
Buterin’s take is that he got most right, including his idea on Uniswap and basically predicting DeFi. However, he admits to failing to predict NFTs.