Vitalik Buterin Hints at AI For Addressing Ethereum’s Biggest Risks

By Ben Knight February 20, 2024 In Cryptocurrency, Ethereum
Vitalik Buterin. Image: Shutterstock
  • Amid an impressive week for Ethereum, the blockchain’s founder looks towards AI as a solution for several of the network’s flaws.
  • Ethereum (ETH) is up 10% over the past 7 days. 
  • Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, believes that coding bugs present the biggest technical risk to the blockchain.
  • He thinks that harnessing the strengths of AI, in conjunction with the logic and intent of humans, could help diminish the potential for harmful gaps in code.

Vitalik Buterin – the co-founder and programmer behind Ethereum – has always been one of the more thoughtful figureheads of the crypto industry. He is constantly looking at ways to improve his product and of late has taken a keen interest in the potential of artificial intelligence. A few weeks ago Buterin released a paper – The promise and challenges of crypto + AI applicationswhere he name-dropped the decentralised AI network Bittensor (TAO), resulting in a significant price surge. More recently, Buterin took to X (formerly Twitter) to muse further on just how AI can be harnessed to improve blockchain tech. 

Biggest Ethereum Risk is “Probably Bugs in Code”

Ethereum’s ascent to the second-largest crypto by market cap was largely fuelled by the introduction of smart contracts. These computer programs allowed networks to execute transactions based on meeting a set of criteria. Essentially, applications could bypass the need for a middle-man to verify a transaction. This unlocked a whole new world of decentralised finance – but by the same token, unlocked the potential for significant coding bugs. In the past, such smart contract errors have resulted in exploits across the DeFi ecosystem, causing losses in the millions (think the Ronin Bridge hack, for example).

Vitalik Buterin acknowledged this in his most recent social media post, stating that:

Right now Ethereum’s biggest technical risk probably is bugs in code…

Vitalik Buterin

But there may be a solution closer than we think. Although bug bounties are an excellent motivator for finding and disarming bugs in code, humans simply lack the computational power of… well… a computer. Which is why having artificial intelligence assist in this process could speed up the bug finding process.


One application of AI that I am excited about is AI-assisted formal verification of code and bug finding…anything that could significantly change the game on [coding bugs] would be amazing.

Vitalik Buterin

Ben Knight

Ben Knight

Ben Knight is a writer and editor from Melbourne with a passion for all things music and finance. He enjoys turning complex topics – especially the technical details of cryptocurrency – into digestible bites that anybody can understand. He acquired his Master’s in Writing, Editing and Publishing from RMIT in 2019 and has run his own creative writing business ever since.

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