The pain for ethereum fans has been relentless in 2018, with the cryptocurrency sliding more than 80% from its January highs.
Then, moments ago even more pain was unleashed by an unlikely source after Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum's 24 year old co-founder, said that "the days of explosive growth in the blockchain industry have likely come and gone now the average person is aware of its existence."
In an interview with Bloomberg at an Ethereum and blockchain conference in Hong Kong, Buterin said that "the blockchain space is getting to the point where there’s a ceiling in sight. If you talk to the average educated person at this point, they probably have heard of blockchain at least once." What this means is that "there isn’t an opportunity for yet another 1,000-times growth in anything in the space anymore."
Commenting on the first six or seven years of growth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Buterin said that it was dependent on marketing and trying to get wider adoption, but "that strategy is getting close to hitting a dead end."
Instead, the co-founder of the second most valuable cryptocurrency said that the next growth phase will be getting people who are already interested in cryptocurrencies to be involved in a more in-depth way: "Go from just people being interested to real applications of real economic activity", a point he has made regularly in the past even as he frequently slammed the stratospheric growth observed in cryptocurrencies in 2017, if not so much 2018.
Ethereum has tumbled more than 80% in the past 9 months, with losses accelerating last month as some start-ups paid in the digital currency during their Initial Coin Offerings cashed out to cover expenses, and on concern about broader price declines among virtual currencies, according to industry watchers cited by Bloomberg.
Following Buterin's commentary, Ethereum plunged another 8%, dropping as low as $200, with the comments by its billionaire founder making him 8% poorer in a matter of minutes.