Search Interviews:

 Jeremy Weisz  6:16  

about why did you not buy the propaganda? There’s people who do buy into the propaganda, right? Well, I

 Dmitry Buterin  6:23  

bought into that, too, like, originally, right. But eventually, I got to see there. How fake it is, you know, I guess by the time I was a teenager, right? And I was pushed to, like, insert into this whole ladder of things like firstly on this, like, communist Scout kind of movement, then you in this next level thing, then you go into this calm Somalia, which is like a youth communist moment, all this bullshit, then you go to the actual Communist Party. So basically, by the time I was supposed to go into the stage three, this pre Communist Party, I’m like, No, this is bullshit. I don’t want to join this bullshit, right? Because I could see that it’s all really about pretense people, just, you know, parroting stuff without anybody believing that and really just like trying to pursue their personal goals by leveraging that. And that it was a time when Soviet Union was breaking apart. And it was possible then. Because before that, it was like, Okay, you either go there are all you kind of lose your prospects in terms of going into goods, you know, university in terms of getting good jobs and stuff like that. But you know, so as their Soviet Union was put in a party, it was also becoming more and more obvious that how fake this whole structure was,

 Jeremy Weisz  7:41  

what made you move down because you then you move to Toronto?

Dmitry Buterin  7:46  

Yeah, I moved 23 years ago, I mean, a bunch of things, some personal circumstances, some curiosity about kinda like living outside of Russia. Also have some doubts about where Russia is going to go with Putin, who just came into the power in 99. And that’s more than left pressure. And I was very suspicious of what’s going to happen and like, my god, and my, my worst dreams, I could not have imagined their nightmare. That’s it wouldn’t drive Russia too. So yeah.

Jeremy Weisz  8:20  

I mean, it’s a huge leap. I mean, not just some people move, you know, let’s say where the United States you would do different city moving to a totally different country is a huge decision. What was that transition like, to when you moved to Canada?

Dmitry Buterin  8:39  

You know, it’s a challenge, right? And you get in this new environment, and you kind of don’t understand so many things about this, like, for example, checking account, what the hell is a checking account? Right, like, you know, those basic things. That’s it. I

Jeremy Weisz  8:54  

mean, it’s like simple things that people take for granted. I mean,

Dmitry Buterin  8:57  

there, the good thing was that I already had, my English was pretty good. So that was not the problem. Also, I had some savings. I didn’t have to look for a job. And actually, just as I moved, I started, I co founded a startup was my friends from the US, my ex colleagues from one of my early jobs. And so there was era. So like, I, I had things to do, right, so kinda like, there was a bunch of things that made it easier. But yeah, it was also pretty challenging basically started from scratch building the network of connections and friends. And I was very much like, into networking and read a lot of books and like, by my nature, I mean, I don’t really say that anymore. But you know, I don’t say that I’m an introvert, which is a bullshit story. But that’s, that’s how I used to think about myself. And so then I pushed myself to join all kinds of organizations and go to networking meetings and stuff and that actually did pay off up quite significantly in my establishing my roads here.

Jeremy Weisz  10:06  

You know, I mentioned the top of the interview three multimillion dollar businesses and wild apricot. Where did Wild Apricot fall in that? Was that the third of the three?

Dmitry Buterin  10:18  

Yeah, it was the very last business in my career that I co founded. Built it, I guess, or about 12 years before we sold it.

Jeremy Weisz  10:30  

What was the original idea behind Wild Apricot? Why nonprofits?

Dmitry Buterin  10:35  

We Heather, basically a custom web development shop, if you will. And we’re serving all kinds of clients and also doing some pro bono stuff for some small nonprofits. And we’re realized that, hey, there are lots of this middle guys. And they have nowhere close to like, money being able to spend a few grand on the software they need. But in fact, they have lots of similar needs. And we the whole concept of software as a service was just being born. It was I think we started that in 2006. And so it’s like, okay, hey, guys, why don’t we try to do this and invest into building the software and then tried to sell it to lots of small organizations as a subscription? And it didn’t work out quite well?

Jeremy Weisz  11:20  

What was it? What was gave you the biggest traction on more customers for that? I mean, like you said, you’re like, yeah, they don’t have much money. But let’s go after that.

Dmitry Buterin  11:31  

Right? Yeah, we actually, we, because the software was very inexpensive. Like, on average, we’re getting paid like 50 bucks a month. And so which is obviously for business, it’s peanuts, but for small nonprofits. So for some of them, it was quite substantial, because they basically were running on fumes and volunteer bar. And so it took a very substantial investment for us to build that software, right. But it was also very rewarding. And I would say, and we tried two different approaches toward acquiring customers. And one thing that never worked on a whim is the sales. And we build the business up to about 10 million annual run rate, simply by online marketing, and by a lot of focus on customer service and customer referrals. So customer referrals was always our major channel.

Jeremy Weisz  12:28  

You obviously have a lot of expertise in nonprofits. And let’s talk about, the gate, the crane, how’d you get involved? What’s it? What’s it about?

Dmitry Buterin  12:38  

A friend and her friend referred me to this initiative and it came through this guy in Chicago, Alex at work, who is a member of EO I’m sure you’re familiar with intrapreneurs organization, and I was a member of your for 13 years, I believe. So and I have a lot of respect and love for that organization. So I kind of got connected with Alex. And because I, I do follow the events in Ukraine, the Russian invasion of Ukraine quite closely. And I’m involved with a number of initiatives already helping the Ukrainians help in the Ukraine. And so which when I looked at that I was really impressed there was how much energy how well organized they are right and also the mission, they tried to biggest they basically tried to be fundraising the money and then they funneled money directly to suffer and families in Ukraine. There are millions of them now who basically was this invasion, they lost everything. All they lost their homes, they lost their ability to earn money, and they are probably totally in an unbelievably tough situation. So this organization specifically sends targeted small donations to specific families. So and they really, that really resonated with me.

Jeremy Weisz  14:03  

Yeah, I love to hear you’ve helped at this point, probably helped raise millions of dollars for this, cause and I’m wondering what you’ve seen, personally, from following it so closely, and yeah, I was actually at an event with Alex this past week, so he’s just awesome guy. So what have you seen falling it so closely? And also that you know, your roots, your your, your roots? Go back to there too?

Dmitry Buterin  14:34  

Yeah, for sure. Like, I grew up in the Soviet Union. ethnical in Russia and I do have a significant proportion of Ukrainian blood in me like many Russians do. Also, I grew up in a city called church, Grazia and church. Yeah. And that region tried to succeed from Russia back in whatever it was 93 I guess and Russia waged too brutal wars and totally destroy that see, so kind of watched, if you will firsthand like, you know, the way the Russian and Bard Delta was there, it’s, you know, neighbors and the dirt or I said it’s gathered or the centers. So for me kind of like watching how what they did in Ukraine and what they’re still doing in Ukraine was really horrifying. And also brought a deep divide with a bunch of people I still knew in Russia, like, you know, my classmates basically telling me that I shouldn’t be damned to hell and should die horrible death. I’m a traitor of Russian mother of and because I suppose Ukraine. On the other hand, this situation brought me closer with my son metallic, who also became very vocal about his support for Ukraine and his opposition to this crazy war. So yeah, I mean, like, I have lots of friends and Ukraine, I’m involved with a few organizations, and I’ve donated a chunk of money for my own, and I will keep donating. I am supporting my Ukrainian friends and connections. So it’s a it’s a subject close to my heart.

Jeremy Weisz  16:16  

Let’s talk about Vitalik for a second he comes to you. He wants to drop out of college. Yeah, he came

Dmitry Buterin  16:24  

home. I mean, I do remember that day. And he brought it up. And it’s funny, because all three of us, me, my wife at the time, his stepmom, his mom, where she was also at our house, and he came over and he said that, hey, guys, I’m thinking about dropping out of college. And we all had a very similar reaction that we kind of we supported him, right? Because, for me personally, it was very obvious that, you know, he’s obviously they’re smart, amazing human being, and he will succeed no matter what. And yeah, I mean, he can finish that the one before University, get a wonderful job at Google, Apple, whatever, make good money. And him dropping out would probably make his life if you will more difficult, versus just let go get an education, and then the jobs, but also knew that you would learn much more, and hopefully, he would become much more resilient human being to and that’s, that’s pretty much what happened. So yeah, I mean, we all support his decision, there was no doubt and many of us,

Jeremy Weisz  17:31  

what did he want to do at the time when he said, I want to,

Dmitry Buterin  17:35  

he wanted to travel for for a bit. And that’s what he did. And he also wanted to spend more time on a bunch of crypto projects that he was been involved in. And then specifically, you know, their idea of earring was kind of, I guess it was somewhat in its, you know, being born around that time, maybe a little bit later.

Jeremy Weisz  17:58  

What was you introduced them early on to Bitcoin and some of these concepts, what were those early conversate? What was your thoughts at that time? And what were the conversations like?

Dmitry Buterin  18:11  

I have a very curious mind. And for me, when I discovered Bitcoin, like I didn’t, I have to say that I didn’t seem much more attention than that being a very cool project and kind of for technical curiosity, because it was clear, oh else, that guy or some people behind it. So they really brought together a whole bunch of other concepts to come up with a totally new different concept of managing money, right, without relying on any kind of centralized institution, right. And on the one hand, I was impressed with the Power of Thinking through their technologists, the algorithm behind it, but then also, like, if you will, that was my solid background and my general distrust towards anything centralized, I felt like oh, okay, this makes a lot of sense to try to go away from a centralized approach to managing their monetary, you know, instruments to do it this way. And, you know, then we had a whole bunch of nursing. I mean, we’ve had some conversations, but it really piqued with Alex’s interest and he, he got more and more involved and you know, him being my son, it was definitely because of that was paying more and more attention for a while for a couple of years, I guess. He was co founder and writer of this Bitcoin magazine, editing and writing lots of articles and I still have lots of those magazines actually laying around here at my place. You know, I read a lot of his articles.

Jeremy Weisz  19:42  

I love it. I could see like a signed copy from to his dad signed copy of Bitcoin magazine. For you, I love it. What was what was it at that time? The landscape? You know, because obviously, he’s writing is that did that magazine, go online? I mean, at some point or what what happened,

Dmitry Buterin  20:02  

it was actually very interesting because they did launch it as a print publication, right? Because for me by then, like, that was a very unusual decision, because obviously, launching the print publication is very expensive proposition, right versus like, things seem to go online. And they were kind of going there in the opposite direction. But so I guess that they had their reasons. And it was the glossy, very well produced, you know, High Quality Print Magazine. And that was very interesting, unexpected, and met basically, back then that was, I guess, like, 2011 2012. Around that time. 2013, maybe early. It was obvious that Bitcoin is a technology that succeeded. And now well, you know, after its initial success, then the this is what we humans, do we always look at this and like, oh, how can we now leverage that different way? How can we improve that? So a lot of their writing and discussion was really about? Okay, so this is awesome that Bitcoin is doing this for money. Okay, can we now use it for stocks for real estate? Can we do this? Can we do that? Like, what if we change this, Brian? Or can we build a better Bitcoin, stuff like that? So it was really the Euro off initial experimentation.

Jeremy Weisz  21:25  

I want to hear what you see Ethereum being used for now in the future. But I want to talk about the Bitcoin magazine for a second, like, this is what I picture Dmitry you know, the pay Palsson to get like all those people when not all of them, but many of them went on to start amazing companies and do amazing things. Was it similar with the the Bitcoin syndicate who was in the Bitcoin magazine syndicate? Who else at that time that he was working around? Do they go off and do different things as well?

Dmitry Buterin  21:58  

Well, it was not a huge team. And really, their main guide behind that, who got Vitalik involved was Mihai Alesia. Really awesome. Romanian guy. And he, he’s working on a really cool project called the Akasha, which is a basically blockchain based social media project. And so yeah, he’s quite passionate about that stuff. And I’m not so sure about the rest of the team. It was kind of people, lots of people coming and going. But you know what, definitely, that early involvement and exposure to crypto and blockchain stuff that gave people the foundation to do so much right. And then it was up to each individual.

Jeremy Weisz  22:46  

Dmitry, some people hear these terms thrown around, they don’t really know exactly what it means. With Ethereum. What can you go over just a little bit, what does it use for now? What do you see some of the uses in the future?

Dmitry Buterin  23:00  

For sure, I mean, one analogy, which is still for technical people, but I think many people will understand if you think back to early websites, right? Like original websites, they were built using this technology called HTML, which is called hypertext markup language, which is basically a way to structure your documents or think about this as a page layout, or, you know, a language to create page layouts. That was earlier websites where they were just pages. And you will use that language if you if you want for your own language, HTML markup language to create the structure of the page. And then you would have a sequence of pages when you click here, then you page opens, whatever. So it was a wonderful start to, to the web. And it was also very limited because it was really just a sequence of static linked pages that what what it’s about. And but early on, then was a lot of experimentation. What happens is that after a lot of experiments, it was like Flash and Silverlight and all kinds of other stuff and muddled Macromedia, but what became the most common way to build websites is using JavaScript, which is a programming language where you can do any kind of program and stuff. So now, when you open, I don’t know This looks just like an app on your computer on your phone, even though it’s a website because it’s so dynamic, you know, you click here and stuff comes up, it’s reacts to you. It’s not just a sequence of static pages. So this is like the analogy like Bitcoin was a wonderful technology for managing monetary monetary records. You know, Joe has 100 bitcoins Now George sends one bitcoin to Mary and stuff like that. This is basically the concept of Bitcoin on the record is stored on this distributed ledger all over the world. You know, people keep copies of that and they constantly reconcile them to each other. That’s the Bitcoin so if you’re in was okay, taken that but then in a language on top of that programming language, on top of that, Just like JavaScript was added on top of HTML. So now each record, you know, when the transfer happens, then there is some logic, there are some conditions, you can check this you can execute that it becomes suddenly reach, it becomes something much more alive, something much more dynamic. So, really from static websites to the modern websites, and that’s really what we have as their transition from what Bitcoin was just records of monetary transfers to this very idea of, and they call them smart contracts. But basically, it’s just, it’s any kind of transactions, which manager monitor objects, but then they have all kinds of very large logic doing that. So and back to your question, like, what is it used for, it’s used for so much stuff now, from gaming to our, you know, those entities, many people have heard those terms to, I don’t know, insurance and reputation systems, and actually some really good projects that in social media, and I do hope, I mean, I’m pretty sure they will succeed. It’s just a matter of time. But you know, we will go away from the elimination of Twitter and Facebook and whatnot. And you know, those guys sell in our personal data and you know, Bush and all those ads, two very different transparent systems.

Jeremy Weisz  26:23  

Yeah, I remember watching the documentary, the social dilemma, and about the social media. Where do you see it going? What do you see being used for in the future? I remember when I was talking to Alvy, Ray Smith, who started Pixar, and he was like, he saw the vision. years, years and years later of he’s like, Toy Story. He’s like, we don’t have the technology now. But we will this this year. Yeah. And he saw that, and what do you see? Where do you see Ethereum going in the future and helping with

Dmitry Buterin  27:02  

one metaphor, one of the metaphor that I can give you is, like, we’re all familiar with not every service, right? Like, when you do something, but then public notary then verifies that what you have done, you know, you have the right documentation, there’s, you know, maybe you’re buying a house and whatever else you’re doing. So you can think of the fear with this kind of global notary, you know, a global computing service that you can trust on to execute specific transactions, whether that be purchase on stock transfer of real estate execution of, I don’t know, some gaming algorithms. And so because in the modern world, when you run, when you use some kind of computing system, let’s say it’s Facebook, let’s say, your banking system, whatever, you have to rely on some people somewhere, taking, you know, running on the server and taking care of that software. And that model is actually not that trustworthy, because so you know, the years to decades of using that model, we have realized, yeah, you know, what, like, people are, they can be corrupted the system, they can have all kinds of bugs, there are all kinds of problems. Was that right? So your data is, you know,

Jeremy Weisz  28:15  

you use it to manually answer Okay, yeah, in a sense,

Dmitry Buterin  28:19  

totally. Right. So here is the replacement for that. So basically, it’s this, instead of you trusting that some people somewhere, run those computers and the poor per manner. Instead, it’s a very complex technology that ensures that all of those lines of programming code that you use to for whatever important operations that I mentioned, some of them write, that they’re executed in a transparent manner, you can verify that they have been executed, that they have run exactly the way they should that the iteration has been completed, that, you know, the ownership has been transferred, and so on, and so on. So really, it’s a different way to interact with computing system, when you have full transparency instead of you tracking was Facebook, for example, and having no clue like, you know, what are they doing with your data? Are they given it and so on, like, with their public blockchain based system like Ethereum, then all of this stuff is, is verifiable, it’s transparent, you can you know, keep track of that, you decide. That’s actually a very different part of that, again, like instead of you trusting that some people somewhere they do a good job of running, you know, those computer and systems to handle your data and do the processing that you need them to do. Now, you become the owner, you have this concept of digital wallet, digital identity, digital ownership, and now you decide, okay, so maybe, you know, when they ask for this much information, I decide whether to give them or not, and they have visibility into what they’re going to do with it and so on. So it’s actually the change of this. There’s this term, people use their art Self serenity, you know, you, as a human being, you become the silver and the king of your data, you’re processing the way you interact with the world versus like having to blindly trust some other centralized systems, which obviously proved to be very unreliable, they’re untrustworthy in many, many cases,

Jeremy Weisz  30:19  

what’s holding back the adoption

Dmitry Buterin  30:23  

is a very, very complex technology, because obviously, I just described you in a very professional way what they do, but behind the scenes, there are so much has to happen, right? And, and let me put it this way, most central assistants, they had built the wisdom assumptions that there are some ideal humans who are kind and trustworthy, and diligent and they will run those systems. But we are humans, we’re not that way. Right? Bitcoin succeeded, because it was technology built with very different assumptions, that was well built, the assumption that people will try to break people will try to steal your money, people will do this on that. And the system was built with assumptions that they will try that, how do we prevent that from happening? Right? So modern systems, Blockchain based systems, they kind of have to do that they build for the assumption that everybody will try to bribe them to steal your data to be. So they’re designed with a very adversarial, if you will, mindset. So there’s a lot of complexity, there are a lot of very complex math and cryptography and technology. And it’s really hard to do that. Like, properly because, again, people are very inventive, right? Some people invent the technologies and lots of other people tried to break it try to gain, you know, to make some personal gains from that. So scalability is, is a very big was a big problem for a long time. And I would say that actually, this year 2022, we are finally solving the scalability issues, specifically on the theorem, but you know, there are some other awesome solutions that are being built. So So before, before this, it was really a system that you could use it for some small project. But as soon as getting anywhere close to scale, that it becomes too expensive, too slow, and so on. And this is rapidly changing. So I think we actually get into the era of mass adoption of this blockchain based systems now.

Jeremy Weisz  32:23  

Yeah, I think a lot of times in, you know, technology sometimes has to catch up and community sometimes has to catch up totally things. Yeah,

Dmitry Buterin  32:31  

of course, right. And we have to get used to the fact that again, like, you know, this new breakthrough thing happens, like, again, look, think back to there. The birth of web, right, and there, and then there,, bust, and all of this stuff. And in crypto, we’ve seen all of that we see so much cool stuff being built. And then also all of this speculation, all of this scam and all of this stuff. So when people who use those systems, they have to learn this new concept, they have also to understand their own desire to get rich quick, and the risks that come with that, and you know, their own interaction, and their own attraction to that crazy speculation and gambling and whatnot, that’s happening. And some of those systems.

Jeremy Weisz  33:18  

You know, one thing you talk about is some of the the challenges and things you’re trying to solve for, in general in the community is you talked about the fees. Can you talk about your thoughts on that? For sure.

Dmitry Buterin  33:31  

I mean, it’s a people talk about fees, right, which is basically when you use this, you can think of a theorem and similar system as public service. So when you use them, then the way it works is that for you to use a public service, somebody has to provide the public service. So for that public service to be provided, then again, why would people provide those computing facilities, right? And in Bitcoin they called miners and a theorem they called validators, basically people, people, companies, organizations, whatever, those who provide the resources to, to run the actual system, right, and they have to be compensated. So there has to be fees for AI in the system. And it’s also when people have made a number of attempts trying to get around this, but end of the day when they tried to build a system. Without that then what happens is like, if every transaction has a chance, every transaction is free, and they all get a chance to compete with each other. Then immediately all those bots all those spammers and scammers and whatnot, they just flood the system because they don’t care it doesn’t cost them anything to do that. So they just flood the system with millions of transactions. So there was there was no way around the fact that to use this public service you have to pay a fee. Now beyond this question like know how much is the See how clear regulated and in relation to the demand, that’s a big issue. And this is something that really smart people been working on for a long, long time. And actually, this year, probably in August, if you’re in, we’ll be making a major transition to a different algorithm used to run the system from the system. And in similar to what Bitcoin users called Proof of Work, the new system called Proof of stake, and this system actually decreases their energy consumption by a factor of hundreds of times. So I’m really excited about that fact. And it’s also creates a foundation for lowering the fees on the system as the demand demand keeps skyrocketing, right, like, and the end of the day, again, this systems, they’re really built on very simple principles and connected to intrapreneurs. You know, growing up in the Soviet Union intrapreneurship was not something that I understood, because it just like, wasn’t there. There’s the centralized state, which was supposed to provide services and goods, and they were totally failing, because there was no motivation. So eventually, I understood intrapreneurship as, okay, you know, what, you build some solutions, you solve problems for the people, you give it a word for that. Very simple, right? So the same thing here is like systems like, fear. And the question is, like, is there a demand for them? Well, nowadays, on a daily basis, people spend about $10 million on fees to use the system. So it’s worth that for them that much. And you know, it goes up and down. So this there is obviously, we it’s well established by now that people do want this kind of service, they want this trustworthy, a decentralized system, they can that can run their you know, those kind of, if you will automated legal transactions, if you will, right. That’s what smart contracts are. So yeah, this is, this is the current stage where we are and I think from here on, we are re entering the era, the mass adoption times.

Jeremy Weisz  37:02  

You’re talking about you started Blockgeeks with Amir Rasik. Talk about what was the original idea for that?

Dmitry Buterin  37:13  

And your simple, right, because yeah, we started that in 2016. And oh, my god, time flies, right, six years ago. And back then it was already clear to us that the technology was well, way less developed than it is now. But we firmly believe, and I think that our belief, different beliefs definitely played out that this is where the world is going. And that, you know, all of the modern, most of the modern technological systems, we’ll end up going to work using those decentralized blockchain based systems just because we are really, if you will, we’re just becoming realistic, we are realizing just like, you know, in the early days of computing, nobody thought about security, because like, yeah, of course, people just want to use computers to do good stuff, right. But now people have all kinds of motivations that you want to make personal gains they want, do they want to get advanced this and that. So the whole security was something that was added to computer systems much later on. So if you will, we now witness on a similar scale of, you know, Revolution, when we realized, you know, what, we cannot trust that some people I don’t know, I don’t know, Mark Zuckerberg, but maybe he’s doubling up stem guide, but basically trusting all of my personal data interaction to that he has only good intentions and my earth, His heart and you know, has the right capability and teams and systems, it’s like, it’s becoming obvious that this is not how the world works, right. So it was very clear that blockchain based systems to which do not assume trust, but again, you know, they are assumed that there will be other people trying to break the system to take advantage, you know, still, and so on. So let’s design the systems for that. Let’s design the systems for this for the real world. So it was clear to us that that’s where you’re going. We started this litigation company and had some ups and downs in terms of like, who we serve and who’s not but the overall direction the overall concept is definitely played out.

Jeremy Weisz  39:28  

Yeah, talk about the evolution for a second. So originally, you want to educate people on you know, blockchain and the different things there’s, you know, course free courses here and guides. Yeah. But yeah, you are

Dmitry Buterin  39:41  

original. Yeah, the original thinking was really about educating more developers because back then, it was still a very limited, very small community of people building those kinds of systems. So the focus was on technical information, that’s what we did for their first Few years of the business but eventually realized that like, neither Amir nor myself are developers. And also there were lots of other services and developers that smart guys, you know, they actually figure are they so many ways for them to learn this stuff. So eventually, we changed our direction. And we now mostly are really focusing on people new to this blockchain technology, not in terms of building stuff. But in terms of using that. Right. What kind of wallets do you use? Like, which exchange Do you trust? Like, you know, how the big bit and all these different blockchains so kind of like the basics, the foundations, so really supporting this whole, the current phase of what they refer to as mass adoption of blockchain tech, and you know, what are referred to as web three?

Jeremy Weisz  40:50  

What are some resources you recommend? Dmitry, either podcasts or sites in the space?

Dmitry Buterin  40:58  

I would say number one, for me is a podcast called Bankless. Those guys do an awesome job, they have a newsletter, they have a podcast, and they provide you know, everything from giving you a big picture. Why are we doing this? What is good about this to actual very detailed specific emanations like investigating different technologies and cryptocurrencies and systems and so on. So yeah, bank lists will be my, I think their website is, if I’m not mistaken,

Jeremy Weisz  41:31  

any conferences that you’ve been going to in the, in the space,

Dmitry Buterin  41:36  

I mostly, you know, when I do go, I mostly go to Ethereum conferences, because I really resonate with fear, if you’re in community, it’s a community full of really smart people who are also very passionate about this building, because you know, some other conferences, I go there, and I get a sense that that’s really a lot of money grabbing. And on the one hand, there is nothing wrong with that, because obviously, it’s a very natural desire for human beings to survive, and they try to get as much resource in there futile hope that maybe they will stay mortal, or some kind of bullshit like that. But yeah, very, very often, that actually gets way over extended into just like everything for me, for me, just for me, right. But that is that is not the vibe that I get from the Ethereum community. And again, there are all kinds of people there for sure. But in general, these are people who are very passionate than if you will, idealistic and all extremely technically smart people who were building this infrastructure for the world to use, this is the driver for people. So yeah, if your event has a number of conferences, they have this local conferences, they have a global conference happening once a year in different localities, because also, it’s a very international community. Like for example, Bitcoin used to be very US centric, probably still is to a large degree and Ethereum is much more internationally, there are all kinds of, you know, things happen. And so if you just look for things like Aetherium conferences, or there’s a wonderful organization called eth, global, that’s a wonderful source, where you can find information about upcoming conferences.

Jeremy Weisz  43:17  

Yeah, and people to check out, you have a bunch of updated links and resources to if you look at go to, if you’re watching the video, you have a bunch of resources.

Dmitry Buterin  43:31  

There’s a bunch of my recent interviews and stuff like that. And then there was just some background information about me and some of my life philosophy and stuff like that.

Jeremy Weisz  43:40  

Um, do you mind go to your LinkedIn page, and I see this image watching the video. So talk, talk about this image. And if you’re white listening to the audio, you’ll just have to go to the video to see what I’m looking at. But I’ll describe it’s kind of like a green ish, alien looking character. Tell me about this. 

Dmitry Buterin  43:40  

Yes. I’ll give you a couple of perspectives on this one is full on time again, like we’ve tried to build businesses with a concept of this is business this is personal. Let’s try to separate them right. I don’t buy this bullshit. Like, you know, human is human. What’s happening with you and your family in your life will affect your work. What’s happening with your work will affect your personal lives. So for me, they’re just like aspects of the same indivisible human. So I really, that’s the way I’ve been building businesses. And that’s the way I always look to connect with people and support them and building businesses is like, Let’s support the whole human including having fun, right? So LinkedIn are supposedly for businesses, staff and people they’re there. They have to look confident and important than the business units and whatnot. Okay, look at this green dude and he He’s, he’s got the money call on a leaf somewhere on him. And if you’re not, so this is a really a reflection of my personal philosophy that life is a whole thing. And you know, it’s important to have fun, whatever business you’re doing. And actually, I would say that most businesses that to pretend to be so wonderful and formal and so professional, they are full of bullshit and scam and greed, and fakeness. Right, and you know, so that’s one perspective. Another perspective. I mean, this is originally an NFT, non fungible topic, non fungible token, which is, if you will, in a simplified way, digital art, right, just like we over the years learn to deal with their money through blockchain technology. Now, we didn’t always art, the provenance of art. And actually, I stayed away from nfts for a long time, because it just like, couldn’t quite get it. And then I tried for the last time maybe about a year ago. And then they started playing was that and then I discovered the whole world of wonderful digital artists, great and fun images, impactful images, passionate images, and the art, whether that being you know, those profile images, just the digital art and stuff like that, and ended up for collecting over 1000 NFT art pieces, if you will, and really kind of got to understand that it’s really about so many human things. It’s not about just digital, listen that but it’s about having fun, it’s about showing off. Like instead of Lambo people now have those I never got into those specifically, but those board apes, things which sell for hundreds of 1000s or millions of dollars. And it’s really, it’s all about us humans just trying to be significant, right? So there’s that it’s also about connections, right? People become parts of those tribes. So I’m a tribe of, you know, this board ape, so no, I’m with penguins, and this and that. So, so kind of like playing who is that and that is the gate and all of that space was really amazing. And most recently, with the war in Ukraine, there was a quite a lot of fundraising being done by through digital art and some really cool project based on NFT, which fundraise millions 10s of millions of dollars, actually through through NFT technology. So that was really amazing to see,

Jeremy Weisz  47:27  

have you found people are integrating physical objects with the digital NFT as rewards or things like that? And I asked that because I think it’d be a cool reward for maybe Like, maybe there’s an NFT Ukraine project, and people get three signed Bitcoin magazines from Vitalik or something as a reward. I wonder how that would? That would be.

Dmitry Buterin  47:53  

I’ve seen a bunch of attempts and projects I have not seen anything succeeded large scale, but I think there are some really cool stuff. And just recently, there was this project being discussed, like some people are thinking of, as you know, in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ukraine was able to destroy a lot of Russians army equipment, in tanks. So people are talking about getting one of those destroyed Russian tanks cut under into a lot of small pieces and actually selling MFTs for that as a verified, you know, provenance of that. But then also people will get a piece of actual blown up Russian tank as a part of their donation support of this initiative. So this is just like one example.

Jeremy Weisz  48:41  

Amazing. Dmitry, I want to be the first one to thank you. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and stories. This has been amazing. I want to encourage people to go to Also, you can check out and more episodes of And Dmitry, thanks for joining me.

Dmitry Buterin  49:01  

Yeah, good to talk to you Jeremy. Thank you.