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n a recent blog post titled "Make Ethereum Cypherpunk Again," Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin expresses his concerns about the deviating trajectory of Web3 from its original vision. Buterin argues that the increasing transaction fees have played a significant role in steering Web3 away from its decentralized ethos. 

Vitalik Buterin co-founder of Ethereum, wearing green t-shirt.
Vitalik Buterin Co-founder of Ethereum

The Foundational Principles of Web3

Buterin begins by highlighting the foundational principles of Web3. Initially coined by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, Web3 was envisioned as more than just "Bitcoin plus smart contracts." It aimed to be a part of a broader set of technologies that would form the foundation of a more open internet stack.

However, Buterin suggests that the practical use of cryptocurrency for financial transactions often relies on centralized means, such as internal transfers on centralized exchange accounts or trading USDT on platforms like Tron.

Ideological Divide and Distraction

Buterin identifies a growing ideological divide where segments of the non-blockchain decentralization community view the crypto world as a distraction rather than a kindred spirit and potent ally.

This perspective undermines the core idea of decentralization and dilutes the original vision of Web3. According to Buterin, this shift in perception hinders the progress of Web3 and its potential to revolutionize the internet.

Rising Transaction Fees and Its Impact

Buterin points to rising transaction fees as a significant factor behind the observed drift from decentralization. When the cost of interacting with the blockchain was minimal, developers envisioned diverse applications using blockchain technology in both financial and non-financial realms.

However, with transaction fees surpassing $100, the focus has shifted towards high-risk traders known as "degen gamblers" who dominate the space. Buterin argues that this shift in user demographics reshapes public perception and internal culture within the crypto space, further deviating from the decentralized ethos.

Reversing the Drift 

To reverse the drift from decentralization, Buterin suggests addressing the issue of rising transaction fees. He proposes exploring layer 2 solutions, such as Ethereum's Optimism and Arbitrum, which aim to reduce fees and increase scalability. These solutions can potentially bring back the focus on decentralization and allow Web3 to realize its true potential.

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