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Vitalik Says His Role as the Founder and “Face” of Ethereum is Overemphasized


thecryptobasic.com 02 September 2022 10:45, UTC
Reading time: ~2 m

Vitalik Buterin believes the crypto community overestimates his influence and contribution to the Ethereum ecosystem.

Canadian programmer and co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, is not particularly in agreement with the community’s opinion on his position at Ethereum. Buterin has remained the “face” of Ethereum for years now. This is largely due to his significant contribution to the project at its initial stages. Notwithstanding, the Canadian writer thinks the acclaim he receives has been overstated.

Buterin noted this in a recent exclusive interview with Noah Smith – a former Bloomberg Opinion columnist. Smith highlighted Buterin’s opposition to Balaji Srinivasan’s idea of a central focus point in leadership for online startups. Vitalik Buterin disagreed with parts of Srinivasan’s concept of the perfect network stated in an article published on July 13.

Citing his opinion in the article, Smith asked Buterin if he thinks the press and community have overemphasized his role as the face of Ethereum. Buterin answered in the affirmative. He mentioned that in the last two years, Ethereum has grown to an extent where his influence has decreased drastically. He noted that this had been his wish. 

From 2015 to 2017, Buterin stated that his part in Ethereum research had reduced from 80% to 70%. In addition, his coding contribution to the project decreased within this timeframe, as others took up much of the work. 

Furthermore, he highlighted that, as of 2020, others handled about two-thirds of the research, as his contribution became less. The same happened with the coding exercise. Regardless, he was still doing most of the “high-level theorizing” then.

But over the last two years, even the high-level theorizing is something that has been slowly but surely slipping away from me,” he added, pointing to Ethereum influencers like pseudonymous researcher Polynya has recently been handling much of that aspect.

According to Buterin, Ethereum’s MEV research remains under the control of the Flashbot team. He further remarked that Barry Whitehat and Brian Gu are among the engineers handling the zk-rollups sphere. Conclusively, Buterin noted that two individuals, Justin and Dankrad, have taken up some roles as thought leaders, despite being originally added to the team as researchers.

All this underlines the fact that Buterin’s influence and contribution to the Ethereum project have reduced over time. He highlighted his excitement about this growth. “I don’t think that the public perception has quite caught up to this yet, but I expect that over time it will,” Buterin concluded.

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