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Blockchain technology is about to transform every trust-based interaction of our lives, from financial services to identity, from health care to our Internet of Things devices. In this podcast, host Laura Shin talks with industry pioneers across tech, financial services, health care, government and other sectors about how the blockchain and cryptocurrency will open up new opportunities for incumbents, startups and everyday people to interact more efficiently, directly and globally.

Jul 28, 2020

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, shares his thoughts on the five-year anniversary of Ethereum, challenges with ETH 2.0 and criticisms about DeFi. We discuss:

  • his thoughts and feelings ahead of Ethereum’s five-year anniversary
  • how to address the high gas fees on the Ethereum network
  • whether the complexity of Ethereum 2.0 creates a risk for the security of the network
  • whether staking will lead to a higher focus on ETH price and issues such as monetary policy 
  • how he looks at the ETH price with its significance for security in Ethereum 2.0
  • how proof of stake systems can be more democratic
  • whether staking lends itself to the kind of securitization that looks similar to mortgage-backed securities
  • his concerns about DeFi
  • the most optimal way for DeFi projects to distribute their tokens
  • his thoughts about Bitcoin on Ethereum
  • inherent risks to Ethereum users connected to China’s Blockchain Service Network (BSN)
  • his views on DCEP, other CBDCs and Libra
  • the indictment of Ethereum Foundation staff member Virgil Griffith for allegedly helping North Korea to circumvent sanctions
  • how he plans to make the Ethereum Foundation more transparent
  • whether lack of diversity would impact the success of Ethereum in the long term
  • where he would like to see Ethereum in the next five years

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Episode links: 

Vitalik Buterin:


Vitalik’s blog:


Median gas price:

Average gas price:


Solutions to gas price problem:


Reddit AMA with the Ethereum 2.0 Research team, including Vitalik:


Paper on how DeFi lending could undermine security in a POS system:


Vitalik tweet on yield farming:


Abra settlement with SEC and CFTC:


Maya Zehavi’s comments on what this could mean for DeFi:


China’s BSN using public chains, including Ethereum:


Unchained interview about DCEP:


Charges against Virgil Griffith:


More on Virgil Griffith case:


Unchained interview with human rights activist Yeonmi Park on what life is like in North Korea:


Unchained interview on why North Korea is interested in cryptocurrency:


Case against Steven Nerayoff: