NFTs Are Ethereum’s Most Surprising Use Case, Says Vitalik Buterin

In a Twitter Q&A, the Ethereum co-founder shared his thoughts, experiences, and expectations.

Since its launch in 2015, Ethereum has provided the world with use cases in gaming, identity management, decentralized finance ( DeFi ), and much more. But the use case that most surprises co-founder Vitalik Buterin is non-fungible tokens ( NFTs ), which have seen spectacular success this year.

Taylor Monehan, the founder of Ethereum wallet MyCrypto, asked Buterin “Which use case (of Ethereum) has surprised you the most?” during a “ask me what you want” ( AMA ) session with the young founder, in which only his Twitter followers could participate.

He replied, “The NFTs.”

He did not elaborate but has spoken before about the overwhelming success of the NFT sector, and its role in accelerating the adoption of Ethereum, which has posted gains of 20% this week.

“People have talked a lot about the DeFi space, and NFTs, as something that has really managed to break into the mainstream and get a lot of people interested,” he said during Decrypt’s Ethereal Summit in May.

## The rise of the NFT culture

NFTs are unique cryptographic tokens that can be linked to digital content such as images and music.

Open sea, the main market for NFTs, has posted more than $ 3 billion in trading volume so far in August, setting a new daily record this week as NFTs have continued to explode into the mainstream.

Only the transaction volume of Opensea in August has already exceeded the value of the second-quarter sales of Etsy, the market popular with artisans.

Brands and celebrities have launched their own NFTs, while multi-million dollar digital art sales have made headlines, and collections of profile photos, generative artwork, and interactive video game items have been launched.

There is a “speculative aspect” to NFTs, Buterin admitted, but he was excited about their potential to “allow groups of people who previously had no business model to finally have a business model of some kind for the first time.” That could include creators, artists, and even charities, he added. “Things like this can be used to produce some interactions that could not happen before.”

But during the AMA session, some of the questions Buterin was asked hinted at the challenges posed by some of these new ways of working.

“People are more difficult to closely coordinate in small groups than I expected,” he said, speaking of the experience of co-founding Ethereum. “You can’t get everyone to sit in a circle, see each other’s inherent goodness, and get along, especially when there are huge incentive conflicts at play.”

He was also asked about his biggest regret and replied that it was choosing the eight Ethereum co-founders “so quickly and without discrimination”.

One of those co-founders was Charles Hoskinson, who was subsequently kicked out of the group and went on to found rival blockchain Cardano.

The platform’s ADA cryptocurrency has risen strongly on the cryptocurrency capitalization charts this year, setting a new all-time high this week, as Cardano prepares to launch its own smart contracts.

But Buterin isn’t done yet, and the Twitter thread, which contains his thoughts and plans for the future, makes for an interesting read.

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