Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin while presenting his keynote address at the Paris EThCC conference yesterday advocated for the Ethereum network going beyond the wild and largely speculative DeFi mania.
Touching on everything from complex blockchain-based login mechanisms to embarrassing social media token-shilling, Vitalik thinks that Ethereum “being defined by DeFi is better than being defined by nothing, but it needs to go further.”
The 27-year-old Polymath after marinating for a while before stepping up the podium to address the audience, most of which were DeFi entrepreneurs, investors and developers said that Ethereum must be socially useful as well as financially beneficial.
Vitalik brought up the undying issue of gas fees pricing out many of Ethereum’s retail users. In his words,
“The degens can pay for it, the apes can pay for it, the orangutans can pay for it,” adopting the enigmatic language of the DeFi space referring to wealthy traders and DeFi obsessives always looking to make insane profits from DeFi protocols. Looking away from Vitalik’s language choice, a holistic Ethereum ecosystem won't work, if gas fees cripples the average user.
As a vast-brained fellow, Vitalik crisscrossed several solutions Ethereum could serve, and those which deserved more attention. However, one idea which is worth exploring for him was “retroactive funding.” By this, Vitalik speaks of a system where Ethereum developers effectively build a public infrastructure for free and then are paid for it when it yields dividends. According to him, this is a fast track that developers must toe to comfortably make Ethereum transform into a “public good”, serving the benefits of a thriving and saner society.
A hardcore decentralisation preacher, Vitalik keynote laid out his expectations for Ethereum, a network that will support a social media ecosystem that would encourage high-quality posting and form the basis of users’ online identities. His proposition would be a direct challenger to centralised social media networks, which he criticised for their rampant data harvesting and the “misaligned incentives” which reward cynical posters with high engagement, and likes.
Consequently, the core of Vitalik’s proposition would mean that Ethereum wallets serve as multipurpose online identities which owners can deploy to sign into a wide variety of Ethereum-based and other web3 applications just as Gmail and Facebook accounts are used in Web2. Vitalik faulted legacy login providers like Google which have a tendency to arbitrarily de-platform users, while often refusing to help those who have been locked out of their accounts.
While the gatekeepers are presently having their field day, Ethereum-based login options, on the other hand, would provide “credible neutrality,” censorship resistance, and a “built-in economic layer that makes it easier to do mechanism design.” Vitalik’s vision of social networks is one where only vested members of an Ethereum DAO are allowed to post.
Meanwhile centralised systems like Google, Twitter and Facebook haven’t entirely been about the blatant censorship of the “good” guys alone. Although there’ve been several cases of crackdowns of scam posts on YouTube and Facebook or even phishing adwords. However, there is still a blurry line between censorship and cracking down on scam posts.