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Ethereum creator slams NFT empire: ‘You have these $3 million monkeys and it becomes a different kind of gambling’

Michael Ciaglo—Getty Images

Vitalik Buterin, the 28-year-old billionaire co-creator of Ethereum, isn’t a fan of the famous Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection.

“The peril is you have these $3 million monkeys and it becomes a different kind of gambling,” Buterin, 28, told TIME Magazine. The publication noted that he was “referring to the Bored Ape Yacht Club.”

BAYC is one of the top NFT collections living on Ethereum, with $1.41 billion in total volume traded, according to data site DappRadar. Many of the top all-time BAYC sales were for over $1 million, with celebrity owners like Jimmy Fallon, Serena Williams and Paris Hilton.

But Buterin has more wholesome hopes for future Ethereum use cases, including becoming “the launchpad for all sorts of sociopolitical experimentation: fairer voting systems, urban planning, universal basic income, public-works projects,” TIME reported.

Instead, “There definitely are lots of people that are just buying yachts and Lambos,” he said.

He also mentioned the millions of dollars in cryptocurrency donated to aid Ukraine as Russian President Vladimir Putin began an invasion, and seemingly compared it to money spent on Bored Apes.

“One silver lining of the situation in the last three weeks is that it has reminded a lot of people in the crypto space that ultimately the goal of crypto is not to play games with million-dollar pictures of monkeys, it’s to do things that accomplish meaningful effects in the real world,” Buterin told TIME on March 14.

In 2022, Buterin hopes to be “more risk-taking and less neutral,” he told TIME. “I would rather Ethereum offend some people than turn into something that stands for nothing.”

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com