Vitalik Buterin, co-creator of Ethereum (ETH/USD) and one of the more prominent figures in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, has stepped down from his position at Chinese venture capital firm Fenbushi Capital.
Founded in 2015, Fenbushi invests solely in blockchain-enabled companies, with the aim to “accelerate the inevitable future of Blockchain economy.” Buterin was initially involved with the firm as a General Partner; however, Buterin and Fenbushi have both officially confirmed that he will now be staying on only in an advisory capacity, with Buterin clarifying that he will “no longer be able to devote sufficient time to meet the growing demands of both Fenbushi and Ethereum.”
Discussing the reasons behind his exit in a statement provided to TechCrunch, Buterin stated that cryptocurrencies had generated a lot of hype but had so far failed to live up to the massive potential they promised, as the projects proposed did not have significant practical usability.
“2017 really has been the year where hype in crypto, including financial hype and social hype in general has far exceeded the reality of what existing blockchain systems can offer. There is a lot of attention, and a lot of eager expectation, but as far as reality goes the practical usability of blockchains has in some cases even regressed due to rising transaction fees.”
Last month, after the market cap of the crypto market surpassed $500 billion, Buterin took to Twitter to express his misgivings about the turn blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies had taken. Questioning whether the $500 billion figure had truly been earned, Buterin pointed toward the fact that despite the massive amounts of money being made off cryptocurrencies, what blockchain tech had accomplished thus far was “not enough” to earn such a market cap.
Among Buterin’s concerns were the facts that blockchain tech has yet to relieve the world’s unbanked, provide censorship-resistant commerce for the masses, facilitate micropayments, advance the potential of smart contracts, and rescue citizens of countries struck by hyperinflation.
Explaining that his aim is to direct his energies solely toward developing Ethereum to meet rising expectations, and ensure that it can ‘walk the walk’, Buterin stated that he would be focusing on the numerous challenges the platform was facing, such as scalability issues and the introduction of sharding and the Casper proof of stake protocol.
“I expect 2018, at least within the Ethereum space that I’m best able to speak about, will be the year of action. It will be the year where all of the ideas around scalability, Plasma, proof-of-stake, and privacy that we have painstakingly worked on and refined over the last four years are finally going to turn into real, live working code that you can play around in a highly mature form in some cases on testnets, and in some key cases even on the public mainnet. Everyone in the Ethereum space recognizes that the world is watching, and we are ready to deliver.”