At press time, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap and the number one competitor to bitcoin is trading for roughly $290. That’s about ten dollars less than where it stood yesterday afternoon.
Recently, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin shared his thoughts on the currency and the future of blockchain. In addition, it appears the Russian-Canadian tech entrepreneur has received a generous offer from Google to work with the search engine giant. At a private event in San Francisco last week, Buterin spoke to an audience of crypto-enthusiasts about what he’s been up to and addressed some of the biggest issues facing the digital asset community.
“I am spending a lot of time working on the proof-of-stake and sharding protocols,” he commented. “This is what the Ethereum research community is focusing on more than anything else at this point. We think that proof-of-stake and scaling are both important, and there has been a lot of progress on improving the algorithms and the development of multiple limitations over the last couple of months.
“I’ve also been looking at the economic analysis of transaction fees and how transaction fee algorithms can be improved to basically cut fees down and make the protocol alignment centers better and more efficient. Those are the main things I’ve been working on myself.”
Buterin is also very enthusiastic about the future of Casper. He states that there have been a lot of frameworks for state channels coming out, and that the Casper protocol is getting much closer to being finalized. All that remains is an academic review. He further stated that one of the biggest problems the cryptocurrency space is facing today is speculation and hype taking the place of facts.
“The amount of sustainable usage of blockchain is very low,” he stated. “Although it exists, there are a lot of people giving value to cryptocurrencies, yet the amount of useful stuff happening is still much lower than the $200 billion market cap makes it seem. The main challenge for the industry as I see it is basically understanding how to bridge that gap and get to the point where there is $200 billion in some sense of actual final value being generated.”
Lastly, he commented that while both mass adoption rates and regulatory openness is a problem in most regions, he does predict a future when someone can walk into a grocery or convenience store and use cryptocurrency to pay for items:
“I want to be able to walk into a convenience store, get a card and pay a small fee to start using bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, etc. Allowing people to use small amounts of crypto for everyday use is valuable, particularly for use cases of blockchain that go beyond crypto. Even non-financial blockchain use cases still require transaction fees. If we can reduce this friction with one trip to the convenience store, it would be simple to start using cryptocurrency.”