Vitalik Buterin decided to run “a random Twitter experiment” yesterday in the form of an Ask Me Anything post. Twitter users, which the co-founder of Ethereum had either followed or mentioned, were permitted to comment with any question they had for the young Ethereum co-founder, on subjects personal, political, philosophical, economic, or simply trollish in nature.
Though only a tiny fraction of Twitter was given a chance to speak with him (only his 300 followers), those who did, asked some intriguing questions. Some have doubtlessly weighed on the minds of many others in the crypto space – which were promptly given answers.
NFTs: The Most Surprising Use Case
Responding to Taylor Monahan (founder and CEO of the MyCrypto wallet manager), Vitalik answered that NFTs have been the most surprising application of his network.
This is an answer that most long-time crypto enthusiasts – especially Bitcoiners – can likely sympathize with, given the absurd reality of watching once worthless jpeg files now selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars on his network.
Watching this development may have influenced Vitalik’s answer to another question just minutes later.
When asked about what he has recently changed his mind about, Vitalik answered that he now believes that the market of memes, culture, and ideas is more important than that of property rights and physical resources, which he says “follows quite different laws” than the latter.
ZK-Snarks, or The Next Revolution
Buterin believes that ZK-Snarks will be a revolution that “permeates the mainstream world over the next 10-20 years.”
ZK-Snarks is a type of zero-knowledge proof that allows for a party to reveal that they possess information without revealing the information itself. Most notably, this is the technology used by privacy coin Zcash, which Buterin has previously called his favorite crypto, next to Ethereum.
Later, Buterin called ZK-Snarks the research that excites him the most at the moment and even reveals that a “full-on SNARKed EVM” is coming soon.
When asked about what changes he would like to see the meme network implement, Buterin wishes to see Dogecoin incorporate a Proof of Stake consensus mechanism over Proof of Work.
The ETH co-founder then likes for Doge to use their $5 Billion Proof of Work issuance to fund a DAO for public good instead, to fit with the coin’s “non-greedy wholesome ethos.”
Buterin restated his support for PoS over PoW multiple times throughout the AMA but didn’t elaborate on why – even when directly asked – besides some scattered allusions to environmental harm. He wished for the Bitcoin community to come to “appreciate the virtues of PoS on their own,” though he admitted that his own network has been underwhelmingly slow in implementing it.
The Monetary Theory
Showing further incongruency with the Bitcoin community, Buterin confessed that he actually does not dedicate much time to studying monetary theory these days:
“I just don’t rate it as anywhere close to the world’s most important problem the way I would 10 years ago or the way many BTC people do today.”
However, Buterin says that he has been doing some research about future unit-of-account stability as of late. He has begun to suspect that Bitcoin and Ethereum will never achieve a form of price stability, even in a “hyper-cryptoized” world, and that there may be a need for stablecoins to serve that purpose at that point as well.
Fun Times With Vitalik
As mentioned, the AMA gave us a look into non-crypto-related facets of Buterin as well, including his preferences, personality, and sense of humor. Here are some of the best questions from the fun side of the thread – starting with one from Elon Musk:
- Question (Elon Musk): What is Love?
Answer: X AE A-12 don’t hurt me…
- Question: How is being famous?
Answer: I am planning to keep wearing a mask long after covid stops being a problem. There are definitely disadvantages.
- Question: Do you think there’s free will in humans?
- Question: How do you deal with stress?
Answer: Have enough life experience to know that “everything’s going to be all right.”
- Question: Cats or dogs?