Vitalik Buterin Hurls Criticism at Scammy ICOs and Get-Rich-Quick Investors

Vitalik Buterin commented on the bubbly nature of some of the ICOs that have started in the Ethereum blockchain and the perceived intelligence of those who invested early in Bitcoin.

Miguel Gomez,
51 mins ago


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Known for launching Ethereum and creating a foundation that would help maintain it for years to come, Vitalik Buterin and his project are practically inseparable.

What he says is often so closely bound to the cryptocurrency’s future that billions of dollars are either shed from or added to its market capitalization.

Last Thursday, Buterin sat with a journalist from the Financial Times in an interview where he shed light on some of his opinions about ICOs and whether or not the whole cryptocurrency phenomenon is a bubble.

“There’s projects that never had a soul, that are just like, ra-ra, price go up. Lambo, vroom, buy-buy-buy now!” he said.

Buterin appears to be particularly disappointed with the hysteria that fuels some of the ICOs, an effect he never had the intention of propagating when he worked on the Ethereum blockchain.

“We’ve created a culture where some totally random project raising something like $8 million is like, oh yeah that’s peanuts. You know you’re in a bubble!” he said.

The creator of the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization also appears to laugh at the Bitcoin millionaires who invested early that consider themselves intelligent for doing so.

He believes that no one could have really seen the Bitcoin boom coming and therefore got lucky by investing in an asset that eventually exploded in value.

“It’s the luck of the draw, where everyone who won the draw seems to feel like they deserved it for being smarter. ‘I was loyal and I was virtuous and I held through and therefore I deserve to have my five mansions and 23 lambos!’” he said mockingly.

In contrast to the optimism he had in the past, Buterin appears to have grown slightly more cynical since taking on the Ethereum blockchain project.

Just a few months ago, he warned on Twitter that cryptocurrencies are capable of dropping to “near-zero” values because of their volatility, asking followers not to “put in more money than you can afford to lose.”

In the interview, he also demonstrated his more pragmatic shifts from the childlike idealism of earlier blockchain enthusiasts.

This led to the foundation of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, an organization that counts BP and JP Morgan—whose CEO last year trash-talked cryptocurrencies—among its members.

Points of view seem to matter less to Buterin, a young man who now sees the benefit of seeking results.

In the end, in his mind, anything that benefits blockchain technology—no matter who joins the bandwagon—will achieve the best end result possible for those who are enthusiastic about what it can do for everyday individuals.