Invited by the digital assets platform Enigma.art, Vitalik Buterin offered a conference in Buenos Aires amid great expectations. Tickets to see and hear him at the Usina del Arte, at eight o’clock in the local afternoon, they sold out within ten minutes of being put on sale. The expectation was high. The media did not save on qualifiers: great star of cryptocurrencies (the most repeated profile), rockstar of cryptocurrencies, boy genius, child prodigy, great brain, and so on. The biography of this 27-year-old young man has been replicated by the paper newspapers, on the internet, by land, sea and air.
Vitalik Buterin in Buenos Aires
During the talk-conference and following the questions that were being raised, he spoke about the local economy. He was in awe of the strength of the crypto community in Argentina. Even during the show, the concept of Argentina as Cripto Nation was dropped, in the wake of El Salvador. It was not the programmer who said it, but one of his stage companions, Santiago Siri. Of course, he pointed out that the context of a relatively weak state helps. Thus, he connected with the crypto-anarchist mythology of the origin of cryptocurrencies. So anti-state. Something well received in a country with a state that, throughout history, seems to have given more displeasure than protection and satisfaction.
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Beyond his amazement at the strength of the Argentine community, Buterin acknowledged moving in a context of great uncertainty. Yes, NFTs can cut their price in half. It depends on the bitcoin quotes and the ether itself. He was only affirmative when, faced with the dilemma between tacos and roasts, he opted for the former.
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Buterin has been the great figure these days in Argentina; although the great protagonist of the show that was designed around it were the NFTs. Almost all the communication campaign around it had as its main objective the promotion of the collection of NFTs entitled Total Thanks-Soda Stereo, launched by Enigma.art.
The hero of uncertainty
Buterin does not have the image of our archetypal western heroes. He is a hero of uncertainty, who conveys uncertainty. He is not an Achilles or an Ulysses. Not even the image of a hero of sports or pop music. No, it would not enter either the notebook of classic myths, presided over by Zeus, or the catalog of the tops of the cultural and entertainment industry. But he has been received and listened to in Buenos Aires as if he were a demigod. Of course, an uncertain demigod. The Usina del Arte and this space inserted in the La Boca neighborhood became the Mount of Beatitudes, on whose slope, according to Christians, Jesus of Nazareth gave the sermon with the most echo in history. La Boca, where you can breathe football, turned to listen to someone who has been described by the Argentine media as the top star in the world of cryptocurrencies.
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The creator of Ethereum and, therefore, of smart contracts was already received with great anticipation in the previous days. During the weekend, it seemed that all of Argentina wanted to take a picture with him. As if that photograph conveyed something of his creative ability. It is curious that in all the photographs that show us the image of Buterin accompanied by someone or, more precisely, someone accompanying Vitalik, he gives off a constant air of loneliness. He arrived alone in Buenos Aires. They say on vacation. Although the media echo does not seem to leave too much vacation privacy.
Future and opportunity
From the head of the Porteño Government, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, to former President Mauricio Macri, they were photographed with Buterin. Yes, Macri, who enacted tax reforms designed to prevent an ether from escaping the contribution.
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In between, hundreds of Argentines. He, almost impassive. With that slight smile and his dark blue-green uniform, with the shirt that looks the same, a big white watch and sandals with socks! Each one of the co-photographed, then launched into an enthusiastic work of dissemination of photography through social networks, in search of recognition of having been next to a source of charisma that changes life. The testimonies in the language of tweets seemed to account for a sacred experience. They did not notice sandals with socks, something that definitely ties in with the most vulgar problems on earth, that puts the feet on the ground. And so the summer began in Argentina. Neither Achilles, nor Ulises, nor Maradona or Messi had come. Perhaps it was the visit of someone in whom Argentines can project the future more than the past. It may be a future full of uncertainty; but, at least it is a future and an opportunity, with our feet on the ground.