Does Vitalik Buterin need to take a step back from Ethereum?

He is the central figure of the Ethereum project, but is this their biggest weakness?

Since the most recent bull run of 2017 Vitalik Buterin has become something of a deity to those ‘hodling’ Ethereum. He recently said at the DevCon conference he might need to take a step back from Ethereum for it to succeed, but is this really the case?

Depending on the way you view Bitcoin, one of its biggest strengths is that Satoshi left the project in the early days. This has meant that decisions over which path to follow have largely been left to the community. Of course, this has created a large amount of friction, particularly in the case of the scaling debate leading to the split of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.

Ethereum is no stranger to controversy either. The DAO hack led to Ethereum splitting with many (mainly BTC maximalists) accusing Buterin of leading the charge to reverse the transactions on the blockchain, thereby rendering the decentralised and immutable nature of the Ethereum Blockchain void.

Having such a high profile within the community means that there are always going to be those that look to Buterin for answers whenever questions are posed. Whilst this can create a sense of certainty with many following his approach, the main point of decentralised blockchains is to remove the need for a third-party as a central point of failure.

Ethereum isn’t the only cryptocurrency to suffer from this issue. Indeed many of the newer cryptocurrencies have precisely the same central point of failure dilemma.

Ultimately, the decision does lie with Buterin himself. By moving further into the shadows, he could allow others to fill his place. This does not mean he has to leave the community altogether either. Whether the community itself is prepared to lose their poster boy though is questionable.

What do you think? Should he take a step back from the running of Ethereum or does Ethereum need him as their leader?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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