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Vitalik Buterin critiques celebrity memecoin trend, outlines criteria for respectable projects

Buterin believes that a celebrity token should include engaging features beyond simple trading.

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images. AI-enhanced image of Vitalik Buterin.
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images. AI-enhanced image of Vitalik Buterin.

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Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has expressed his dissatisfaction with the recent surge of celebrity memecoin releases.

Buterin argued that the goal of a project should be to provide value to society and leave participants feeling satisfied and happy to have been involved, even if the tokens eventually become worthless.

Buterin’s comments came in response to a post discussing the possibility of Iggy Azalea’s MOTHER token becoming the mother of this cycle’s celebrity experimentation if it achieves sustainable value creation. The Ethereum founder argued that financialization is only justified if it serves a purpose that brings value to society, such as improving healthcare, supporting open-source software, and promoting art and creativity.

Buterin compared the current celebrity memecoin trend to Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ Stoner Cats project, which he considered far more respectable. He noted that Stoner Cats funded an actual show, whereas the recent memecoins lack substance and purpose.

To earn Buterin’s respect, a celebrity crypto project should have a clear public benefit goal beyond enriching the celebrity and early investors. He also prefers projects with longevity, ideally lasting over 10 years, rather than those that gain temporary popularity for a few months and are then forgotten.

Additionally, Buterin believes that a celebrity token should include engaging features beyond simple trading. While he does not favor token-voting decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), he acknowledged that they at least provide activities and a sense of community for people. However, he stressed that the DAO should not dictate the agenda entirely but should have some degree of influence.

The recent weeks have seen a trend of celebrities launching memecoins on Solana, with Iggy Azalea, Caitlyn Jenner, rappers Soulja Boy and Rich The Kid, and adult-content models Kazumi and Ivana Knöll among those who have released tokens. Some celebrities have complained of being scammed by entrepreneur Sahil Arora, who has denied any wrongdoing in the token launches. Azalea stated that her token launch had nothing to do with Arora.

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