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Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Loses Hope on CBDCs, Says He’s ”Apprehensive” About Some Overseas Travel

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Vitalik Buterin Encourages Dogecoin and Zcash to Move to PoS too
Vitalik Buterin Encourages Dogecoin and Zcash to Move to PoS too

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Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said he’s losing hope on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), which are turning into little more than the “front ends” of traditional banking.

“As each and every one of those [CBDC} projects come to a certain maturity, all sort of fall away as the thing comes closer and closer to being a 1.0,” he told CNBC in an interview. “We get systems that are not actually much better than existing payment systems because they just basically end up being different front-ends for the existing banking system.”

While five years ago he was hopeful around talk that CBDCs would become blockchain friendly and provide transparency, verifiability guarantees and thus a level of privacy, he said that’s all given way to their ability to monitor financial transactions and those who use them, he said.

“They end up being even less private and basically break down all of the existing barriers against both corporations and the government at the same time,” he told CNBC.

Buterin Concerned About Travel To Some Countries

Buterin also said that he’s increasingly concerned about traveling to some countries and cited Russia specifically after it’s war against Ukraine.

“There’s definitely a bunch of countries that I would have very gladly visited three years ago, that I’m much, much more apprehensive about visiting today,” said Russia-born Buterin.  “Even in countries that the mainstream considers to still be fairly normal places — I definitely worry about those more.”

Crypto Accepting Businesses Need to Use Decentralized Services

Speaking about cryptocurrency development, Buterin said some countries have made significant moves to adopt cryptocurrencies. He mentioned being able to find services in Argentina that accept crypto payments without even actively looking for them.

However, he sees a problem of centralization, as most such places rely on Binance and similar major centralized platforms for transaction processing.

Buterin said he appreciates how Binance has made things simpler for non-crypto businesses to get into crypto payments. Still, he believes companies need to stick to decentralized services.

CNBC quoted Buterin saying that instead of placing blind trust in a central intermediary to act in customers’ best interest, a better solution is to write better code so that users can deal directly on-chain. This is also something that he hopes to see as part of Ethereum in due time.

“The way that I see the ethereum ecosystem in general is that the last decade was the decade of kind of playing around and getting ethereum right. This decade is where we have to build things that people use,” he said.

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