In his keynote at the Ethereum Community Conference in Paris, Ethereum co-founder and lead developer Vitalik Buterin implored the Ethereum community to innovate beyond the confines of decentralized finance (DeFi).
Ethereum needs to look beyond the wild, speculative financial movement known as DeFi (decentralized finance), he Described non-financial utilities as “the most interesting part of the vision of general-purpose blockchains,” Buterin lamented that financial applications currently “dominate the Ethereum space.”
“Being defined by DeFi is better than being defined by nothing,” he laid out in one slide. “But it needs to go further.”
Vitalik Buterin also stated several non-financial applications for Ethereum, including decentralized social media, identity verification and attestation, and retroactive public goods funding.
“Moving beyond DeFi is not about being against DeFi. I actually think the most interesting Ethereum applications are going to combine elements of finance and non-finance,” said Buterin.
“Maybe a few years from now we’ll have a lot of really exciting things that are just providing all kinds of very diverse and real value to all kinds of people, not just within the Ethereum ecosystem but also going far beyond it as well,” he added.
He'd touched on the expensive gas fees as: “The Degen's can pay for it, the apes can pay for it, the orangutans can pay for it,” Buterin said, using niche DeFi jargon that refers to wealthy traders and DeFi obsessives. But a holistic Ethereum ecosystem won't work, he said, if gas frees cripple the average user.
Buterin's keynote laid out his hopes for Ethereum underpinning a new social media ecosystem that would encourage higher-quality posting and form the basis of users online identities.
Buterin asserted that now is the time to begin exploring how Ethereum can be used to tackle other issues, stating, “The Ethereum ecosystem has to expand beyond just making tokens that help with trading other tokens.”
he also added, “If you just take this narrow thing that is DeFi, and you keep pushing it to infinity, you’re just gonna get tokens that give you profit from yield farming other currencies that are financial derivatives between other yield farming tokens,”.