Vitalik Buterin Says Forget Institutional Investors’ ETF, Think $5-$100 Cards in Corner Stores


Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has always had radical and game changing ideas. Now, he has an idea of increasing crypto adoption.

In a tweet he said,

Buterin suggests that the cards would not be intended to be spent at the store. Instead, they would be used “to pay for transaction fees, and micropayments in applications.” In other words, the cards would simply be an accessible way of obtaining cryptocurrency. Gift cards that aren’t redeemable in a physical location are very common: many gift cards sold in stores apply only to an online store, such as Steam or iTunes. Furthermore, gift cards always need to be activated. This means that preloaded crypto cards would likely be attached to an online broker and would not simply be paper wallets with a Bitcoin balance inside.

Superficially, this idea may not look very impactful, especially when proposing a solution to institutional investors. However, the solution is in line with the core philosophy of decentralization. Think about it, there will not be anyone entity with majority control of a platform and the scalability of gift cards has the potential to crack many different demographics. Especially for people hesitant to download apps and do crypto-based transactions online in the fear of getting scammed, a card in its physical form given to you by a person who just gave you your daily groceries, many new people will certainly get an exposure.

The issue is anonymity: gift cards do not typically involve identification, but most cryptocurrency brokers are required to collect identity from their customers. In a sense, a preloaded card is just window dressing: if a card must be redeemed with an online broker that can demand full identification, the card is simply adding a step to the purchasing process.

Most people in and around crypto community think that there is not enough investment coming into the cryptocurrency ecosystem, but Buterin thinks otherwise. Buterin wrote, “I personally think the current level of adoption is imbalanced, ie. There are relatively speaking too much investment and not enough usage.”

Vitalik’s solution is especially required given light of the fact that only 2% of American investors own cryptos and more than 70% are not even interested in the new technology.

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