Ask: Vitalik Buterin

On Twitter, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin follows 278 accounts and is followed by 2.7 million. A couple of months back, he held an ask-me-anything session where only the accounts he follows can ask questions. He received many responses including from luminaries. Here is a selection, edited for context, brevity and punch.

Emin Gün Sirer Cornell
Q: What's the hardest lesson you learned through the Ethereum experience?
A: It is hard to coordinate even a small group of stakeholders.

Taylor Monahan MyCrypto
Q: Which Ethereum use-case has surprised you most?

Bruno Maçães Author
Q: Is Ethereum real?
A: If others build upon it, it is real.

Ewoki Gitcoin
Q: How to fund public goods (eg. open source Ethereum)?
A: Retroactive funding: Like a an exit for a startup, when a project is done and proven useful, it is amply funded from protocol fees.

Divia Eden Blogger
Q: What are your favourite podcasts?

Eva Beylin TheGraph
Q: What activities or habits do you think are most beneficial for anti-aging?
A: Lowest-hanging fruit is to cut extra sugar out of your life entirely.

Haseeb Qureshi Dragonfly Capital
Q: So all-in-all, how is being famous?
A: I am planning to keep wearing a mask long after covid stops being a problem.

Alexis Ohanian Reddit
Q: What are some obvious applications of crypto that people just don’t get?
A: ENS (Ethereum Naming Service): Give long crypto addresses easy-to-remember names plus more (eg. abc.eth can point to,, @abc, avatar, wallet etc).

Terence Tsao Prysmatic Labs
Q: Which latest research excites you the most?
A: ZK-Snark (Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge): eg run a password protected website for multiple users without storing user passwords.

Q: Can you share some interesting books you read recently?
A: Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism

Je Meng Ethereum Follower
Q: Where do your humanist values come from?
A: Happy globalist Canadian culture, early internet, Eliezer Yudkowsky, GiveWell, travel

Paul Graham Y Combinator
Q: Do you think you're likely to create another cryptocurrency?
A: No

Nick Johnson ENS
Q: If you weren't working on crypto, what would you be working on?
A: A new social media platform...

Elon Musk Tesla
Q: What is love?
A: One's children...