Vitalik Buterin wants Ethereum to become Cypherpunk again

Vitalik Buterin Wants Ethereum to Become Cypherpunk Again, Why a Radical Shift? Will it Change the Strategy of Ethereum?

Vitalik Buterin wants Ethereum to become Cypherpunk again. Vitalik Buterin was nowhere in the last few weeks when ethereum was struggling and suddenly he’s back and gave 2 blog posts and made a presence on X as well.  Is this a sign that we should start seeing a better future for Ethereum? Are layer2 solutions over or he has something else in his mind?

The current rally of ETH to $2400 has made Ethereum the center of attention once again. And his sudden appearance has also made everyone curious. So, I analyzed those two blogs to put a clearer picture in front of you because they might be a little confusing for you. What Vitalik actually means and what’s his motto? With this blog, I’ll explain what Vitalik actually meant.

Vitalik Buterin wants Ethereum to become Cypherpunk again

Vitalik Buterin, the developer and co-founder of Ethereum, wants to return to Ethereum’s original cypherpunk vision, emphasizing its role as a decentralized shared hard drive.

In a recent blog post on December 28, Vitalik expressed the desire to bring back the ethos of 2017 when Ethereum was envisioned as a platform supporting peer-to-peer messaging and decentralized file storage.

He pointed out that Ethereum’s original vision took a back seat in 2017 when the rise of decentralized finance (DeFi) applications and financialization dominated the network.

According to Vitalik, the primary factor behind this shift was the escalating transaction fees. He highlighted that during times when writing to the blockchain was inexpensive, a diverse range of applications, both financial and non-financial, could thrive.

However, as transaction fees surged, Ethereum’s usage was primarily driven by what Vitalik referred to as “degen gamblers”, individuals willing to engage more as cryptocurrency prices increased.

Despite this, Vitalik acknowledged Ethereum’s progress, citing innovations such as;

  • Rollups
  • zero-knowledge proofs (zk-SNARKs)
  • Account abstraction

Moreover, he emphasized Ethereum’s commitment to its core values, including open global participation, decentralization, censorship resistance, audibility, credible neutrality, building tools instead of empires, and a cooperative mindset among projects within the ecosystem.

Here’s the link where you can read the full blog post

Core Principle of Decentralization

Vitalik Buterin has expressed concern that the original ideals of Web3 have diminished as various projects deviate from the core principle of decentralization.

He highlighted an ideological divide, where parts of the non-blockchain decentralization community view the crypto world as a distraction rather than a valuable ally.

The term Web3, initially coined by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, was envisioned as a broader set of technologies forming the foundation of a more open internet stack, moving beyond the concept of “Bitcoin plus smart contracts.”

Lower Transaction fees

Buterin attributed the shift away from decentralization to the significant rise in transaction fees. He emphasized that lower costs, such as $0.001 or $0.1 for writing to the chain, allowed for diverse blockchain applications, including non-financial ones.

However, as fees soared beyond $100, a trend dominated by “degen gamblers” emerged, influencing public perception and internal crypto culture.

Zero Knowledge Proofs

Zero-knowledge proofs were highlighted as a promising development, offering increased developer-friendliness and opening avenues for consumer applications and privacy-preserving technologies.

Buterin envisioned Ethereum evolving into a hub for various applications, from decentralized social media to secure, anonymous voting systems, leveraging zero-knowledge proofs for scalability and privacy simultaneously.

Ethereum Core Values

Restating Ethereum’s core values, Buterin urged the community to uphold principles like open global participation, decentralization, censorship resistance, audibility, credible neutrality, a cooperative mindset, and prioritizing tool building.

He cautioned against creating systems within the crypto ecosystem that deviate from these values, emphasizing the risk of losing the unique value of crypto and inadvertently recreating a less efficient version of the existing web2 ecosystem.


To conclude, Vitalik wants Ethereum to become Cypherpunk again while highlighting the core values of the Ethereum network. He mentioned the rollups and zero-knowledge proofs in the future of Ethereum. His absence for a while and the comeback with this blog have sparked questions about the future of Ethereum. But since the price rally, investors have been showing more interest in Ethereum after a huge FUD which appeared when Solana’s price surged massively.

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