Investors and traders may be celebrating the apparent return of “alt season” as crypto values across the board exhibit positive movement, but Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin isn’t convinced.
The cryptocurrency market is currently exhibiting strong bullish signals, with a cumulative market cap of over $388 billion. While a large portion of this growth is attributed to high market cap cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple, the top 50 altcoins are almost all experiencing 7-day average positive movement of 5%.
Cryptocurrency traders may be enthused by the shift in market sentiment, but Vitalik Buterin has decried the recent surge in interest, stating that most altcoin valuations are “far ahead of accomplishments.”
Buterin is Sick of Altcoin Speculation
In a lengthy interview with the Financial Times published earlier this week, the Ethereum creator struck out against a number of blockchain projects including Tron, which Buterin cited as an example of “projects that never had a soul.”
There’s projects that never had a soul, that are just like, ra-ra, price go up, Lambo, vrromm, buybuybuy now!”
Buterin proceeded to critique the Tron project which, in January, boasted an astronomical market cap of $17 billion USD with no demonstrable product. While Buterin has remained staunchly opposed to cryptocurrency speculators that maintain a position in the market solely with the intent to capitalize on the new asset class, the Ethereum founders’ qualms regarding the Tron project are valid.
Promoted as a blockchain-based protocol designed specifically for the entertainment industry, Tron captured a significant amount of investor capital with no MVP.
Justin Sun, Tron’s founder, gained infamy within the cryptocurrency community for posting a continuous series of “announcements of announcements,” goading investors with promises of partnerships that took an inordinate amount of time to actualize.
Tron’s current performance is far more in line with the real value of the platform — only having recently announced testnet implementation, Tron now possesses a far smaller market cap of $3.3 billion.
The criticism that Buterin levels at Tron can be applied to many high market cap projects present within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Outside of high-profile blockchain projects, the level of speculation and manipulation that occurs within the cryptocurrency market is highly evident.
Viewing the weekly and even daily chart patterns of low market cap cryptocurrencies reveals concerning levels of manipulation, with evidence of “pump and dump” groups rife.
Buterin Roasts HODLers
Buterin, who recently captured the attention of the cryptocurrency community for publicly denouncing Bitcoin Cash proponent Craig Wright at the recent Deconomy conference, is widely known to hold enmity toward the Tron project.
The ongoing wrath of Vitalik Buterin, however, is not limited to blockchain developers and project founders. In his conversation with the Financial Times, Buterin ridiculed cryptocurrency millionaires that have profited by HODLing their investment through the wild vicissitudes of the crypto market:
It’s the luck of the draw, where everyone who won the draw seems to feel like they deserved it for being smarter. I was loyal and I was virtuous and I held through and therefore I deserve to have my five mansions and 23 lambos!”
Buterin’s evident hostility toward cryptocurrency speculators and his perceived overvaluation of the altcoin market appears to step from a frustration with the lack of focus on the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies in favor of short-term profits.
Speaking with Israeli financial newspaper, TheMarker, last year, Buterin outlined his perspective on innovation versus capitalization:
I think that one of the reasons for this is that it is a social revolution wrapped in something speculative, that can make people rich. Sometimes a conflict is created between people that want to change the world and people that see this technology as an investment instrument.”
Buterin may hold a valid perspective, but it’s arguable that the extremely lucrative altcoin market is a key driver in attracting institutional investors to the blockchain sector which, in turn, drives further innovation.
Ultimately, Buterin makes a strong argument for blockchain technology as a disruptor of monolithic financial and societal structures, emphasizing his vision of the true impact of the blockchain revolution:
Scrappy grocery stores, with five-year-old kids helping mommy and daddy rearrange the water bottles. These are the people you’re actually serving”