Vitalik Buterin, the founder of wildly successful blockchain giant Ethereum, has stated that he predicts the Ethereum network will rival established large-scale financial institutions such as Visa in a few short years.

The Ethereum platform has the potential to challenge established players and even gaming servers in the next few years, states Buterin. The mastermind behind the blockchain platform discussed his predictions for the future of the industry in an open discussion with AngelList founder Naval Ravikant on Monday at the TechCrunch Disrupt 2017 event.

In order to compete with incumbent entities such as Mastercard or Visa, however, the Ethereum network needs to achieve a significant improvement in transaction speed. According to Buterin, Bitcoin is currently performing a little under three transactions per second, Ethereum performs five, and Uber books 12 rides per second globally, giving the impression that it will only take a few years for blockchain to overtake Visa.

In the discussion, Buterin noted that the primary obstacle that stands in the way of widespread adoption of Ethereum is security, which once overcome opens up the network to a wider range of sectors and verticals. The high amount of positivity directed toward the financial industry, however, was balanced by a more reasonable approach to the impact of Ethereum on cloud computing services.

Cloud computing services such as the Amazon AWS platform are used by services such as Amazon to store and deliver content, who are traditionally unwilling to move toward decentralized solutions. There are many applications, states Buterin, where decentralized solutions are not ideal.

One promising application of blockchain technology, however, is gaming. Buterin notes that it’s possible to play games such as Starcraft on the blockchain, which offer a high degree of scalability and security that provides a foundation for these kinds of services to be built on and delivered across.

Ethereum has recently achieved a new milestone in development as the highly anticipated Metropolis upgrade is being rolled out. The first element of the upgrade, a hard fork called Byzantine, is expected to launch within the next month. The Metropolis update is set to improve the entire Ethereum ecosystem, as well as deliver a more secure and efficient infrastructure for both developers and decentralized apps.

While the Ethereum network prepares for the Metropolis upgrade, the price of Ethereum has reached a record high, surging to $286 and reaching the top 10 most valuable digital currencies.

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