Vitalik criticizes "individualistic mindset" of the crypto community

25 Mar, 2019 | Updated: 26 Mar, 2019
by David Robb
Opinion
Vitalik criticizes individualistic mindset of the crypto community

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin recently gave a speech at the RadicalxChange event in Detroit, as reported by Breaker. He addressed the history of crypto and how he feels the space should evolve in the future.

Vitalik is one of the few prominent crypto influencers who doesn't seem to subscribe to a strictly libertarian ethos, thinking much more deeply about the importance of decentralization for society. Speaking about the beginnings of the cypherpunk movement that eventually birthed Bitcoin and the rest of the crypto space, Vitalik claimed that it had "this very strong individualistic mindset. Basically this idea that it’s you, personally, making the decision".

According to the Ethereum co-founder, Satoshi Nakamoto's encoded reference to the bank bailout in 2008 was intended to show that crypto had a higher social purpose: "this is not just about making a peer-to-peer digital currency. This was really about something different and something greater". 

Read more: Justin Sun wants to build a monument of Ethereum and Vitalik ButerinVitalik Buterin admits Ethereum is losing its lead "to some extent"

As the crypto space evolved, Vitalik explained how the community discovered that dealing with "the money business" meant that members had to deal with complex issues that involved a broader range of considerations than just their own individual privacy or prosperity: "money is a fundamentally social thing in a much deeper way than, say, two-party encrypted communication. You have to start thinking about governance, social contracts … common shared expectations in this community, how do changes get made, how do we decide how changes get made, how do we discuss things … These are all very political things".

Vitalik claimed that the political ideas that are dominant in the wake of 2016's political upheaval are, broadly, "1950’s-style centrally planned statism" and "free-market capitalism with slightly more welfare". He insisted that both these ideas are "intellectual dead-ends", and explained the importance of moving forward to develop more modern systems of governance.

Read more: Is Ethereum at $100,000 really possible?

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