Welcome to this week’s edition of This Week in Crypto, where we cover the latest trending stories in crypto technology and markets. This week we’re looking at Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin’s list of transitions needed for Ethereum’s growth, a new crypto project that aims to incentivize human connection, and Minecraft’s latest update on their supposed NFT ban.
Ethereum Creator Outlines 3 Things Ethereum Needs for Growth
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has outlined three major transitions that he believes are necessary for Ethereum’s future growth. In a blog post, Buterin identified the transitions as layer-2 (L2) scaling solutions, adoption of smart contract wallets, and improved privacy for fund transfers. He acknowledged that these transitions pose challenges but stressed their importance for Ethereum’s survival and scalability.
Buterin emphasized the significance of L2 solutions called “rollups” in scaling Ethereum. Rollups process transactions off the main Ethereum blockchain and validate them as smaller data on the mainnet, reducing transaction costs. Buterin stated that failure to address the move to rollups would result in escalating transaction costs and increased centralization on Ethereum.
Buterin also highlighted the need for improved privacy measures, citing concerns that without sufficient data privacy, users would avoid Ethereum. He suggested the use of “stealth addresses” to protect user identities, but acknowledged that these methods are still developing due to cost and functionality challenges. Overall, Buterin’s proposals aim to enhance Ethereum’s maturity, scalability, and usability in order to meet its long-term vision.
New Crypto Project Aims to Combat “Epidemic of Loneliness”
PairedWorld, a new project developed by a group of health experts and technologists, aims to utilize Web3 and an associated Ethereum-based token to incentivize human connections and combat loneliness. The project, revealed at the Non Fungible Conference, seeks to add value to existing communities by giving them partial ownership of the PairedWorld ecosystem. Existing NFT owners can join the ecosystem and receive a soulbound token called SOUL as a reputation signaling device. They can also earn PairedWorld’s ticket tokens based on their NFT holdings and activity within the community, which can be used to attend physical events or create their own events if their reputation is high enough.
PairedWorld’s initiative aims to build an ecosystem where meaningful interactions and genuine relationships flourish. The project has worked with neuroscientists and psychologists to incentivize the right behavior, with the goal of increasing user engagement and rewarding participants. The project’s focus is currently on facilitating real-world connections through events such as concerts or dinners with other PairedWorld members. PairedWorld aims to address the epidemic of loneliness and isolation by leveraging Web3 technology to revolutionize how human connections are formed and deepened.
Minecraft Provides Update on Planned NFT Ban
Minecraft’s planned ban on the use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on player-run servers, which was announced in July 2022, has yet to take effect but is still forthcoming, according to a Microsoft representative. Mojang, the Microsoft-owned game developer, had stated in a news post last summer that it would update Minecraft’s usage guidelines to restrict the use of NFTs. The decision to ban NFTs came as a response to unofficial Web3 projects built around Minecraft that created exclusive content or features for a select group of asset owners. Mojang emphasized that the use of NFTs contradicts Minecraft’s values of inclusivity and cooperative play, as it promotes scarcity, exclusion, and a profit-driven mindset.
Although Minecraft’s guidelines have not been updated and no follow-up announcement has been made, Microsoft confirmed that the planned ban is still on track. The move affected third-party Web3 projects, such as NFT Worlds, which sold NFT land plots on the Ethereum scaling network Polygon and intended to build a dedicated Minecraft server around them. These projects had to adjust their plans, with NFT Worlds transforming into Topia, a new game inspired by Minecraft but built from scratch. Interestingly, Microsoft itself had previously released NFTs tied to Minecraft in collaboration with crypto gaming startup Enjin, enabling their use within the game through an Enjin-created plugin.