Ethereum Co-Founder Questions NFT Legacy
Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images. Pictured: Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin speaks at ETHDenver in February.
Vitalik Buterin, one of the co-founders in cryptocurrency Ethereum, is questioning the how the excessive rise in value has made things out of whack.
“The peril is you have these $3 million monkeys and it becomes a different kind of gambling,” said Buterin in TIME magazine’s recent cover story. “There definitely are lots of people that are just buying yachts and lambos.
Buterin is referring to the popular NFT Bored Ape Yacht Club, an NFT that is paid for in Ethereum, which, thanks to smart contracts, serves as a blockchain ledger and a payment system.
More than $1.5 billion have been sold of Bored Apes, second only to dot matrix people art called Crytopunks ($2.1 billion).
In March so far, the average Bored Ape has sold for $234,375. Cryptopunks? $210,538. Some of that has to do with the utility of an ape, which comes with the intellectual property rights once you own it.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club owners recently bought out Larva Labs, producers of the 10,000 punks, after coming to conclusion that the most added value to the customer are those rights.
While he knows he doesn’t have control of how the decentralized product he created is used, Buterin, who is both of Russian and Ukrainian descent, wishes more of it was for good instead of greed.
“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.”
Opensea, the leading NFT marketplace, sold $4.95 billion worth of NFTs in Ethereum, on ETH for short, in January alone.
“If we don’t exercise our voice, the only things that get built are the things that are immediately profitable … And those are often far from what’s actually the best for the world.”