Vitalik Buterin, the Russian-Canadian programmer and co-founder of Ethereum, has slammed the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT collection. He raised concerns that new cryptocurrency investors may take the wrong cues from the flashy displays of wealth. Over the course of fairly long interview, Buterin also talks about the dangers of cryptocurrency. His biggest concerns include impulsive investors, rising transaction fees, and the insensitive display of wealth that appears to dominate public perception of crypto.
Buterin graced the cover of the Time magazine this month, where he was dubbed the “Prince of Crypto.” During an 80-minute interview with the publication, the 28-year-old programmer revealed that he is not a fan of the famous Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT collection and its offshoot projects.
“The peril is you have these $3 million (roughly Rs. 23 crore) monkeys and it becomes a different kind of gambling,” Buterin said. The publication noted that the Ethereum co-founder was referring to the BAYC.
A collection of 10,000 unique NFTs, BAYC has quickly become a status symbol for those with deep pockets in the digital age. Among these are Justin Bieber, Paris Hilton, Jimmy Fallon, Eminem, Stephen Curry, Post Malone, Mark Cuban, and even Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Meanwhile, Buterin has more wholesome plans in mind for the future of the Ethereum network and its use cases, including becoming “the launchpad for all sorts of socio-political experimentation: fairer voting systems, urban planning, universal basic income, public-works projects,” Time reported.
Instead, “There definitely are lots of people that are just buying yachts and Lambos,” he said.
During the interview, Buterin also mentions the millions of dollars in cryptocurrency donated to aid Ukraine as Russian President Vladimir Putin began an invasion and seemingly compared it to money spent on Bored Apes.
“One silver lining of the situation in the last three weeks is that it has reminded a lot of people in the crypto space that ultimately the goal of crypto is not to play games with million-dollar pictures of monkeys, it’s to do things that accomplish meaningful effects in the real world,” Buterin said.
In 2022, Buterin hopes to be “more risk-taking and less neutral,” he told the publication. “I would rather Ethereum offend some people than turn into something that stands for nothing.”
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