Vitalik Buterin on Ethereum and immortality

UpOnly: Chats with Crypto Experts

Jan 20 2022 • 1 hr 42 mins


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Show Notes

Wdyd Besides Crypto?

– Vitalik reads a lot

– Fascinated in how languages have evolved

– Vitalik: Like you know how gate used to mean a structure that lets things in and out…now “gate” means a media scandal!

– Ledger: “Favorite high fantasy?”

– Vitalik: “Early Game of Thrones were great. Early high fantasy was very much good vs. evil, like in Lord of the Rings Elves and men are good, and Orcs are evil”

– It’s possible Vitalik would run a book club in the future given Cobie would want it

10 years ago what’d you see yourself doing?

– Wasn’t thinking too deeply

– Then Bitcoin came along and turned into something

– Vitalik was the first writer for Bitcoin magazine

– Cobie: “Did you at one point apply for a job at Ripple?”

– Vitalik: “Yes”

– Jed McCaleb said yes, but Visa trouble prevented him from joining

Ethereum Beginnings

– Too many co-founders at first (there are 8 for those of you who just pretend you like crypto)

– Some coding changes too

– Vitalik: “Sometimes I wonder how things would’ve turned out if Ethereum had different distribution”

– Cobie: “Do you see Ethereum now as your life’s work or is there a future where you don’t work on Ethereum?”

– Will be a large part of future

– Might do some writings and other stuff in the future

– Vitalik: “There’s a part of me that just wants to troll the market and repeat that stunt again [faking death lol]”


– Vitalik’s dad is like a crypto influencer

– Mom getting involved in crypto, optimistic rollup


– When did PoS become obvious as the path forward?

– Vitalik: “2014” holy chad

– Eventually had a proper understanding of the tradeoffs and got convinced it was the way forward

– ZEC and DOGE also switching to PoS


– Why are they so good at onboarding and what’s the future?

– There are huge desires for inclusion and collectibles

– Vitalik: “Even like 10 years ago was more valuable than a private jet”

– Virtual property is a thing

– NFTs could be the big first use cases for crypto besides currencies and DeFi

– Its an easy way for artists to get money

– Vitalik: “Sometimes there is certain value in trading of things being hard”

*Vitalik cuts out*

”He needs to pay more gas!”


– Most research prob already done

– zk is really amazing technology but needs to be improved til we can use it

– MEV could use some more research

Wallet Improvements

– Wallet security and multisig

– Most wallets just have 1 password, can be dangerous

– Alternatives:

– Multisig – 3 keys, need at least 2 to transfer funds

– Social recovery – on Vitalik’s cold wallet there are 6 individuals who have power, 4 out of 6 needed to move funds

Most likely to be Satoshi?

– Craig Wright, Charles Hoskinson, Elon Musk, Loomdart

– Vitalik: Blueberry

– Cobie: “If you had to choose someone who’s your best guess?”

– Vitalik: “If I had to choose someone I’d guess Hal Finney… between 1-20% chance it’s Hal Finney”

Vitalik Memes

– Vitalik has replied to deranged vitalik memers hahaha

– Vitalik: “FTX – does that stand for FiTalik Exchange?”

Multi-chain but not Cross-Chain

– There are too many risks with bridging

– Can just create same assets and use on 1 chain

– In single chain, you can always revert chain and everyone gets assets back to at least initial state

– With multi-chain, if stuff breaks, the problem is way larger (double spending etc)

Ethereum Roadmap

– Goal is still to have $0.05 per transaction

– Hard to scale without sacrificing on security or centralization

– With Rollups and sharding Ethereum can scale immensely

– Within a couple of years Ethereum fees will be back under 5 cents

Future of Ethereum

– Progress on zk EVM is going very well

– Most nodes won’t store full chain

– There will be a few who do

*wifi cut out 5 min miss*


– Blockchain isn’t “true privacy” just pseudonymous

– Regulators ok with that

– Once its on ETH… where do we go?

– Vitalik: “People are really underestimating the risks/ downsides of no privacy”

– Ledger: “I want to know the craziest thing Vitalik ever bought with crypto”

– Vitalik: “Metformin probably”

– Anti-aging drug


– Ledger: “How long do you think someone born today will live?”

– Vitalik: “I think more than a 50% chance someone will see the year 3,000”

– SIR!

– How does equality come into play? Just the rich live forever?

– Vitalik: “I think it will shortly evenly distribute”

– Not just billionaires get to live forever

– Anti-aging stuff should be part of the plan for countries that have universal health care

– Vitalik: “COVID vaccines should have been offered as a choice for those who wanted it in summer 2020”

– More towards very conservative for mandates, very liberal for choice

– Vitalik: “If people start to live to be 500 years old psych will be bad – this is a fair critique”

– Not all tech solves all problems

World Stuff

– It will take a long time before we actually populate Mars

– Think about Antartica…we aren’t there yet and its way easier

Non-crypto Area of Investment

– Biotech

– Really thinks there will be a long arc of progress over next 70 years

– Same way computers had a long arc of progress over last 70 years


– Vitalik: “Come out of every day a better person than when you went into that day”

– Vitalik: “Whether its math or cryptography or working out, whatever it is do something”

– It puts you in a frame of mind of progress which is really good for mental health

Notes by Kevin and Luke

Music by GiovanniPickle