Ethereum's Vitalik Buterin Sees Growing Presence of Asia Developers in Blockchain Tech

Asia's role in the global crypto scene is no longer just "hundred-millionaires buying your favorite dog coin," Ethereum's co-founder told a crypto-industry conference in Austin, Texas.

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AUSTIN, TEXAS – Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of the Ethereum blockchain, said he's observed a growing influence on crypto technology from teams in Asia – a marked departure from the past, where most development was taking place in the West.

"Five years ago, it felt like East Asia had great exchanges and great mining but, you know, very little contribution to the dev and research side," Buterin on Wednesday told attendees of the Permissionless crypto conference in Austin, Texas. "And I feel like that has really massively flipped."

Buterin was speaking remotely, beamed in via projection screens from a location in Asia, he said.

He commented about Asia while discussing advancements in a new type of "smart account" crypto wallets via an innovation made earlier this year known as "account abstraction," or ERC-4337. The upgrade is intended to make crypto wallets more user-friendly, including features to make account recovery possible when users lose their keys.

"I’ve been traveling through East Asia over the past month and there’s been at least four groups that I’ve talked to, maybe even five groups, that are building some kind of account abstraction wallets," Buterin said.

That probably would not have been the case in prior eras of the 14-year history of blockchain.

"When the average crypto Twitter person says, 'Oh, Asia is back,' they’re really referring to hundred-millionaires buying your favorite dog coins or whatever," Buterin said, referring to tokens like SHIB of the Shina Inu blockchain ecosystem, which in turn was a knockoff of Dogecoin's DOGE. "But I feel like, here, there is an Asia degree of deep community and technical involvement that is unlike anything I’ve seen before Covid or before any of the recent bubbles."

Edited by Aoyon Ashraf.


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Bradley Keoun

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Tech & Protocols team. He owns less than $1,000 each of several cryptocurrencies.

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