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Ethereum's Founder Worries That Crypto Has ‘a Lot of Dystopian Potential If Implemented Wrong'

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One of the most influential voices in cryptocurrency is sounding the alarm about the future of the space.

Vitalik Buterin, who co-created Ethereum in 2013, said in an interview with Time Magazine published on Friday that he is worried about trends he has observed in the space, telling the publication that "cypto itself has a lot of dystopian potential if implemented wrong."

One example of these trends is the explosion in the value of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, like the Bored Ape Yacht Club. "The peril is you have these $3 million monkeys and it becomes a different kind of gambling," Buterin said.

Lately, Buterin has made a concerted effort to speak out and try to ensure that Ethereum is still used for projects ranging from voting systems to urban planning, Time reported.

"If we don't exercise our voice, the only things that get built are the things that are immediately profitable," he said. "And those are often far from what's actually the best for the world."

Buterin came up with Ethereum, the blockchain that powers the cryptocurrency ether, in 2013 at age 19. It is now the second-largest cryptocurrency, with its $360.7 billion market cap second only to bitcoin's $808.8 billion, according to CoinGecko.

Unlike bitcoin, which is often seen as a peer-to-peer payment system, Ethereum is capable of powering and building decentralized applications, like financial tools and social media platforms, along with NFTs, CNBC Make It previously reported.

Though Buterin is influential in the crypto space, he doesn't have the power to single-handedly ensure his vision for Ethereum comes to fruition. The founder "fundamentally rejects the idea that anyone should hold unilateral power" over it, Time reports.

It's not the first time that Buterin has gone public with concerns about cryptocurrency. Back in 2018, Buterin warned investors about the volatility of the space, telling people that "traditional assets" were still a better place to put their life savings.

"Reminder: cryptocurrencies are still a new and hyper-volatile asset class, and could drop to near-zero at any time," he said. "Don't put in more money than you can afford to lose."

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