I completely Missed NFTs Despite Predicting DeFi

I completely Missed NFTs Despite Predicting DeFi

The start of a new year provides an opportunity to reflect on the past and move forward with intention and purpose. And while other crypto personalities started 2022 with bullish predictions, Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin chose to travel back in time, revisiting some of the things he predicted over the last ten years. He also shared what he learned and what he thinks about the subjects today.

As a programmer, writer, and an active member of the cryptocurrency space since its early years, Buterin has said, written and predicted a lot of things about the industry. Some he nailed, some he missed, and others very laughable. But for one thing, he doesn’t shy away from admitting when he’s wrong about his predictions.

Vitalik on Bitcoin Adoption and Regulation

Before launching Ethereum in 2015, Buterin was bullish on Bitcoin: he even wrote an article in July 2013 explaining the “internationality and censorship resistance” of Bitcoin and how the leading cryptocurrency can help protect the purchasing power and wealth of citizens in countries like Iran, Argentina, China, and Africa.

Vitalik Buterin



The Ethereum co-founder said in a Twitter thread that he visited Argentina last week and he noticed that crypto adoption was high but stablecoin adoption was higher as businesses use USDT for their operations.


Buterin then went on to reflect the negative impact of Bitcoin regulation he predicted about ten years ago. At the time, the programmer argued that “Bitcoin is resisting the government not by being clever about what ‘legal category’ it’s in, but rather by being technologically censorship-proof.”

Today, Buterin believes Bitcoin’s decentralization would allow it to survive in any super-hostile regulatory climate, but at a cost – “It could not thrive.”

“Successful censorship resistance strategy requires a combination of technological robustness and public legitimacy,” he wrote.

Wrong About Ethereum’s PoS and Shrading Timeline

The Ethereum co-founder recalled how he was briefly an apologist for PoW energy waste in 2012. However, he became excited when he learned about proof of stake as a promising alternative in 2013 and he fully bought the idea by 2014. Buterin tagged his transition as a  broader intellectual evolution.”

Buterin also highlighted his predictions about the timeline of Ethereum’s PoS and Sharding while admitting that they were wrong and laughable. He also noted that underestimating the complexity of software development was his core underlying mistake.

Next on Buterin’s list was his comments on the internet of money. He still maintains that “the internet of money should not cost more than 5 cents per transaction,” and that’s why Ethereum developers are working round the clock to improve the network’s scalability.

“Bitcoin Cash is a Failure”

Buterin also recalled an article where he defended altcoins in 2013 for three points – different chains optimize for different goals, costs of having many chains are low, and the need for an alternative in case the core development team is wrong.

But his views about some altcoins have changed drastically. For instance, Buterin said he was optimistic about Bitcoin Cash in 2017. However, the programmer sees BCH as a failure now because of the rebellious nature of its community.

Predicted DeFi, but Missed NFT

Citing Ethereum’s whitepaper, Vitalik Buterin noted that he predicted Decentralized Finance (DeFi) among other decentralized applications, but he completely missed NFTs.

Early Mistakes Corrected Quickly

Conclusively, Buterin admitted that his “thinking about politics and large-scale human organization was more naive then,” adding that he made a couple of early mistakes which he corrected quickly. The programmer also noted that he had “good instincts early on for avoiding the craziest parts of bitcoin maximalist thinking.”

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