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Elon Musk Wants Crypto’s Best Ideas. Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Delivers 13

By Elon Musk is getting deeper and deeper down the cryptocurrency habit hole. After yesterday’s mysterious tweet which read simply “Ethereum,” the Tesla chief then asked Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin for suggestions on what to develop on the blockchain platform.

What should be developed on Ethereum?

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 30, 2019

Buterin responded with a list of 13 real-world use cases for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The list included everything from payments to insurance to new governance systems. Here’s Vitalik Buterin’s list in full.

1. A globally accessible financial system

Buterin highlights cryptocurrencies most obvious use case – financial infrastructure. The Ethereum founder suggested payments, a store of value, and insurance. Insurance might chime with the Tesla CEO who recently announced a new Tesla insurance program. 

My top picks (1):

* A globally accessible financial system, including payments, store of value, also more advanced stuff like insurance

* Identity: “sign in with Facebook” -> “sign in with an ethereum account, no intermediaries”. Also web of trust…

— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) April 30, 2019

2. “Sign in with Ethereum” options

Buterin told Musk that Ethereum could be used to replace the ubiquitous “sign in with Facebook” option. He said it should be replaced with a “sign in with Ethereum” button to completely bypass intermediate companies.

3. Secure and transparent registries

Aside from financial applications, Ethereum can also be used to record data securely and with better transparency. 


* All sorts of registries should publish on chain for security and easy verifiability, see my thread on this

* Experimenting with new forms of human organizational structure, eg. @MolochDAO

* All sorts of micropayment use cases via payment channels…

— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) April 30, 2019

4. Experiment with new forms of governance and human organization

Vitalik Buterin pointed to Moloch DAO – a “decentralized autonomous organization” pioneering a completely decentralized form of governance, executed by smart contracts.

5. Micropayments

Beyond the globally accessible financial system, Buterin highlights the power of micropayments specifically.

6. Markets for personal data

“For privacy preserving machine learning (you pay me X, I let you homomorphically execute function Y on my data that’s been attestated to by Z…)”

7. Spam prevention in social networks


* Markets for personal data for privacy preserving machine learning (you pay me X, I let you homomorphically execute function Y on my data that’s been attestated to by Z…)

* Cryptoeconomics for spam prevention in social networks

— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) April 30, 2019

8. Micropayment schemes for publishers of good content

Buterin is likely referring to initiatives like Steem which rewards writers for creating content and Brave which aims to compensate publishers in place of advertising revenue.


* Cryptoeconomics / micropayment schemes to reward publishers of good content

* Testing ground for new market designs, eg. frequent batch auctions, combinatorial auctions, automated market makers (eg.

* Stickers/badges

— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) April 30, 2019

9. Testing grounds for new market designs

The Ethereum founder points to decentralized markets like and new ideas for auction markets.

10. Charity stickers for donations

In the past, Vitalik Buterin has promised to donate thousands. Ethereum could help develop branded stickers that acknowledge donations. 

The current cryptokitty drama is a good time to bring up the old idea of charity stickers. Donate 0.1/1/10/100 ETH to {{charity}}, get a branded sticker. As many ETH chat apps as possible (leeroy, status, etc) can “recognize” these stickers, and show them beside a user’s profile.

— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) December 9, 2017

11. Peer to peer marketplaces for internet connections


* p2p marketplace for internet connections / incentivized mesh networks

* Identity, reputation and credit systems for those that currently have few resources (eg. refugees)

* Decentralized DNS alternatives (eg.

— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) April 30, 2019

12. Identity, reputation, and credit systems

Specifically, identity systems for those without access to resources, such as refugees.

13. Decentralized DNS alternatives

Domain name servers are incredibly reliant on centralized systems. Decentralized alternatives like and handshake are arguably more democratic and more secure.

Elon Musk’s obsession with cryptocurrency

This isn’t the first time Elon Musk has engaged with the crypto community on Twitter. He was ceremoniously appointed the CEO of Dogecoin before declaring the meme coin his favorite cryptocurrency.

Dogecoin might be my fav cryptocurrency. It’s pretty cool.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 2, 2019

Looks like you’re the CEO now @elonmusk, DM us where to email the access codes 😀

— Dogecoin (@dogecoin) April 2, 2019

Musk later retired his CEO title, changing his Twitter bio to “Former CEO of Dogecoin.”

Elon Musk moves ETH price?

Musk’s latest Twitter antics appear to have nudged the price of ETH up 3.25 percent in the last 24 hours. As EthHub developer Anthony Sassano pointed out, search interest in ethereum also shot up in the hours following Musk’s tweets.

Google search trends the moment @elonmusk tweeted about Ethereum 🔥🔥🔥

— Anthony Sassano (@sassal0x) April 30, 2019

It remains to be seen whether Elon Musk will tap the Ethereum blockchain for Tesla or SpaceX.

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