Vitalik Buterin Recounts Lessons Learned Since Ethereum Inception

Vitalik Buterin Recounts Lessons Learned Since Ethereum Inception

Recently, Breaker Mag published an interview with the Ethereum co-founder, discussing a wide range of issues from fake news to communication concerns

After Buterin’s Devcon4 keynote presentation, Brain Patrick Eha of Breaker Mag approached him for an interview. Eha characterized the ETH founder as a humble and ‘unprepossessing centimillionaire’, ‘without an unkind bone in his own body’.

The Interview

The interview delved into Buterin’s awareness of his work as Ethereum’s creator and developer, his view on super-quadratic sharding, and some of the lessons he learned for the past five years.

  • Around the middle of last year, a thread on 4Chan said Buterin was confirmed dead due to a fatal car crash. During that time, the price of ETH fell. He was asked if he is concerned by the community’s dependence on him.

He replies, in a decentralized system, community reliance on him is ‘definitely a problem’.

The whole point of decentralization is that you can make a system where you don’t need to know which specific people are involved in it and that they’re trustworthy in order to be able to participate in it.

  • Another question centered on whether or not those who cannot understand mathematical or programming language are in the mercy of those who could?

To which he replies that there is ‘definitely a balance there’. Some concepts are in fact complicated needing decades-long researches. This is why Buterin is not very fond of super-quadratic sharding. And doing quadratic sharding is what he opted to, in order to lessen protocol intricacies.

But you do have to be very hawkish about protocol simplicity. And there are areas where I’m trying hard to come up with ways to push the protocol’s complexity down.

  • For the past five years since Ethereum’s inception, Buterin has learned a life lesson that without addressing the fundamental issue, a dialogue will not resolve a conflict.

At some point I realized that you can’t resolve all conflicts by just getting the two people to sit down and have a conversation with each other and hug each other. That resolves it for one hour, but then they go back to their rooms, and if the underlying issues aren’t addressed then it’s not changed.

The full interview spans a total of 9 Q&A, originally published on Nov, 11 on Breaker Mag.


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