‘Hey, Look, It’s a Monkey!’ Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Pokes Fun at Ape NFTs, Expresses Optimism About the Merge

Vitalik Buterin poked fun at the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) non-fungible tokens (NFTs) built atop the Ethereum ecosystem he co-founded, and expressed optimism about the Merge, the impending fundamental overhaul of how the network is run.

The original catalyst behind the creation of cryptocurrencies, Buterin noted, was social change. Instead, millions of people have crypto wallets for a decidedly more whimsical purpose: “so they can trade monkey pictures,” he said Wednesday at the Blockchain Futurist Conference in Toronto.

Crypto’s pioneers pondered the “great battle between the authority of the nation-state and the desire for individual freedom,” he said. Fast-forward to now and “It’s like, ‘Hey, look, it’s a monkey!’” he joked.

More seriously, Buterin believes this is an example of the double-edged sword of cryptography. “The problem with crypto space is that it has great incentives, but at the same time, it has incentives to go into very weird directions sometimes,” he said, noting the Ape NFTs.


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