Ethereum co-founders Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Lubin have argued that ether can be a source of money to rival bitcoin and fiat if the community wants it to be. 

Ether as a Form of Money

While Ethereum, which occupies the second largest cryptoasset by market capitalization, has long been thought of as a network-based platform, its co-founders believe its ether coin is capable of being viewed as actual money. Speaking on a panel at Ethereal Tel Aviv 2019, both Buterin and Lubin agreed that ether has the potential to match bitcoin as a source of money, depending upon the community’s needs. 

An audience member challenged the pair of co-founders to comment on ether’s potential as a form of money, after pointing out that Buterin, in particular, appeared ready to “hand off money to bitcoin.” Instead, the audience member argued that a proof-of-stake, smart contract network like Ethereum could actually “emulate money far better than a proof-of-work hard cap money” such as BTC. 

Buterin was quick to reply, saying, 

Yea, ether absolutely can be money, if the community wants it to be.

Lubin jumped in to argue that while Ethereum has great potential as a source of money, it suffers from a complex narrative that has been difficult to quickly convey to institutional and early adopter investors. 

He said, 

That’s going to take time for [Ethereum] to show [investors] the value proposition of an essentially new kind of decentralized worldwide web.

Lubin argued that while ether “can be a better money than bitcoin,” BTC has managed to solidify itself to investors as the best store of value. However, he believes that Ethereum’s functional advantages as a token over bitcoin, in addition to intrinsic value, will lead to greater adoption as a form of money.

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