2018 has been a rough year for cryptocurrency and Vitalik Buterin hopes centralized exchanges burn in hell. Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, made the tempered statement at the TechCrunch Sessions Blockchain event in Zug, Switzerland. Centralized Concerns Buterin’s discussion with the host, Jon Evens, focused on issues of centralization and decentralization in cryptocurrency. Buterin, who is known for his quirky personality, provided a great deal of insight to shortcomings he has identified within the space.
The conversation began with Buterin noting that there has not been enough focus on decentralization. This statement rings true, especially when considering hash rates. “Back in 2013, when GHash had 51 percent everybody freaked out. It’s happening a second time and people aren’t really talking about it this much.” Buterin said. Buterin was likely alluding to Bitmain, the Chinese mining tool, which is edging toward a 51 percent of network hash rate. Buterin hopes to make Ethereum as decentralized as possible by design. “The Ethereum Foundation tries very hard to be a decentralized organization. We try very hard not to have a very hard divide, such as you’re on the inside and you’re on the outside.”
Issues with Regulation The discussion also touched on the balance between decentralization and adhering to formal regulation. Buterin acknowledged criticisms of the Ethereum project being too decentralized to meet regulatory requirements, stating “In a lot of industries, I understand that it comes down to compromises.” However, Buterin went on to emphasize the importance of focusing on innovation over compromise. Vitalik Buterin Hopes Centralized Exchanges Burn in Hell Finally, in the most quotable moment of the discussion, and perhaps even of the entire TechCrunch Sessions Blockchain event, Buterin said – “I definitely hope centralized exchanges go burn in hell as much as possible.” There are dozens of decentralized projects to watch in 2018. Yogesh Srihari, co-founder of LQDEX, an inter-blockchain exchange launching this year, commented on Buterin’s discussion: “Buterin is right. Centralized exchanges don’t fit with the big picture of cryptocurrency. The ethos of bitcoin lies within it’s open-source, decentralized nature.”