[2023] Make Ethereum Cypherpunk Again

    title={Make Ethereum Cypherpunk Again}, 
    author={Buterin, Vitalik}, 
1 Like

My highlights:

We are not here to just create isolated tools and games, but rather build holistically toward a more free and open society and economy, where the different parts - technological, social and economic - fit into each other.

The number one culprit that I would blame as the root cause of this shift is the rise in transaction fees.
When transaction fees go to over $100 bull markets only degen gamblers remain willing to play. Degen gamblers can be okay in moderate doses.

  • Rollups are starting to exist.
  • Second-generation privacy solutions such as Railway and Nocturne.
  • Account abstraction is starting to take off.
  • Light clients are starting to exist.
  • Zero knowledge proofs are on the cusp of being usable for consumer applications.

Make at least a part of the Ethereum ecosystem actually be the permissionless, decentralized, censorship resistant, open source ecosystem that we originally came to build.


  • Open global participation
  • Decentralization
  • Censorship resistance
  • Auditability
  • Credible neutrality
  • Building tools, not empires
  • Cooperative mindset

For crypto, the open way to improving security is the only way.

The crypto world is a perfect testbed environment to take its open and decentralized approach to security and actually apply it in a realistic high-stakes environment, and mature it to the point where parts of it can then be applied in the broader world.

It’s valuable for Ethereum to have a strong social layer, which vigorously enforces its values in those places where pure incentives can’t - but without creating a notion of “Ethereum alignment” that turns into a new form of political correctness.
Integration more than balance, in a collection of techniques that will be arrived at iteratively.
Warm and cohesive community remembering that what feels “warm and cohesive” from the inside can easily feel “oppressive and exclusive” from the outside,
Valuing hard norms of neutrality, open source and censorship resistance as a way of guarding against the risks of going too far in being community-driven.