Quick Take

  • Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin weighed in on ChatGPT’s capabilities for writing code. 
  • “At this point, AI is quite far from being a substitute for human programmers,” Buterin said.

Vitalik Buterin has some good news for programmers who might be worried they could be made redundant by AI — it's simply not that good yet.

The Ethereum founder said he had taken a spin on ChatGPT, an AI chatbot developed by OpenAI, to see if it could write useful code. There has been an explosion of interest in the bot ever since its creator OpenAI released it for free, with developers exploring to what extent they can rely on it.

While Buterin said in a blog post that the new chatbot could be a “programming aid,” it made several mistakes when asked for specific code snippets.

“At this point, AI is quite far from being a substitute for human programmers,” Buterin said.

ChatGPT uses natural language processing, a type of advanced artificial intelligence, to respond in real-time. Among many of its use cases, ChatGPT can also be employed to look up certain code that can help developers write applications whether specific to blockchains or other types of software.

"In a lot of cases, it can succeed and write some pretty good code especially for common tasks," Buterin said.

Coding patterns

While ChatGPT may be an efficient way for developers to find answers to questions, it’s possible that incorrect code can be provided. So, it's important for developers to be careful. 

“That said, it did introduce me to some coding patterns I had not seen before, and it wrote the base converter faster than I would have on my own,” Buterin said.

Usually, developers rely on websites like StackOverflow to manually look up ready-to-use code, but that process can take time.

Other blockchain developers agree with Buterin's conclusion. “I think [ChatGPT] will certainly be helpful in reducing the amount of time spent searching StackOverflow,” Rooter, the founder of Solana-based lending protocol Solend, told The Block.

Still, Rooter cautioned against the authenticity of code if used in blockchain apps. Given blockchain code is immutable and cannot be changed after it’s in production, developers need to be careful, he added.


This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.