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

By CCN.com: 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.

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. 

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. 

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

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.

9. Testing grounds for new market designs

The Ethereum founder points to decentralized markets like uniswap.exchange 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. 

11. Peer to peer marketplaces for internet connections

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 ens.domains 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.

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.

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

Last modified (UTC): April 30, 2019 10:12 AM

About the author

Ben Brown
Ben Brown

Ben is a journalist with a decade of experience covering financial markets. Based in London, UK, his writing has appeared in The Huffington Post and he was Chief Editor at Block Explorer, the world's longest-running source of Blockchain data. Reach him at or on Twitter at . Email ben @ benjamin-brown.uk.