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Vitalik Buterin stated, "It's a concept that has been somewhat lost, and I believe that one of the main reasons for this is that it was priced out of the market."
Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, argues that crypto payments will once again "make sense" when layer-2 rollups reduce transaction costs to fractions of a penny.
The Cointelegraph crew presently on location at Korea Blockchain Week (KBW) cited Buterin as saying that blockchain data compression is the final obstacle to scaling transactions down to fractions of a cent.
Optimism’s layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum, which has worked to reduce the amount and cost of data in blockchain transactions by adding zero-byte compression, was cited as an example of “solid work happening” with rollups.
“Today, with roll-ups, transaction costs are generally between $0.25 and $0.10, and in the future, with roll-ups and all of the efficiency enhancements I mentioned, they will be between $0.25 and $0.10. The transaction costs might be reduced to $0.05 or even $0.02. So much less expensive, more affordable, and a total game-changer.”
Despite primarily acting as a speculative store of value, Buterin underlined that the primary use case of Bitcoin (BTC) outlined in its 2008 white paper was to create a peer-to-peer electronic currency system that was less expensive than existing payment systems.
According to Buterin, this was true until 2013, but as usage rose and blockchain transactions got too expensive in 2018, this no longer held.
“It’s a vision that I believe has been somewhat lost, and I believe one of the reasons for this is because it was priced out of the market,” he explained.
According to the co-founder of Ethereum, BTC and other currencies will soon be able to support this use case again as scaling technologies, such as the Lightning Network in the case of BTC, steadily reduce transaction fees to fractions of a penny.
Buterin described a few possible scenarios in which inexpensive crypto transactions will be crucial. First, he referred to “lower income nations or regions where the present financial system is not very successful,” as it would provide individuals with access to required payments through the internet, something that has already been embraced despite the expense of international remittances.
Second, he stated that in the context of Ethereum, inexpensive crypto transactions could also aid increase acceptance of non-financial applications such as domain name servers (DNS), human proof-of-attendance protocols, and Web3 account management services:
“You must submit a transaction to generate a DNS name, send a transaction to restore your account, and send a transaction to fulfill some of these adjustments. If each of these procedures costs around $11, individuals will not engage in them.
“Scalability isn’t simply a dull issue where you need cost numbers to go down,” he continued. “Scalability allows and unlocks new types of applications.”