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Contradictory Vitalik Buterin Says He Wants a More Bitcoin-like Ethereum

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 3 min read
Vitalik Buterin. Source: a video screenshot.


Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin has touched on some of the contradictions in his thoughts and values that he hasn’t resolved yet. 

In the first place, the Ethereum mastermind acknowledged that he wants a more Bitcoin (BTC)-like Ethereum with a focus on long-term stability. However, he said achieving that requires a lot of short-term change. 

“Contradiction between my desire to see Ethereum become a more Bitcoin-like system emphasizing long-term stability and stability, including culturally, and my realization that getting there requires quite a lot of active coordinated short-term change,” he said.

Meanwhile, a popular Ethereum analyst, known on Twitter as Polynya, replied that “to attain long-term stability, short-term change is necessary.”

“Unlike Bitcoin, whose premature ossification means there’ll always be fundamental flaws, and it’ll be much harder to resolve later than sooner. So, build a robust system first, ossify second,” Polynya said.

Nearly seven years ago, Buterin created Ethereum as a way to leverage the blockchain technology for all sorts of use cases, contrary to Bitcoin which was meant to utilize the technology to act as a “purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash.”

However, throughout the years, he has seemingly developed an appreciation for Bitcoin’s simplicity and its quest to be simply a decentralized, reliable currency. 

And now, after this recent Twitter thread on contradictions, some crypto industry observers were wondering, whether Buterin was really joking when he published a blog post “In Defense of Bitcoin Maximalism” on April 1. In the article, he was praising the Bitcoin community’s commitment to caution and their willingness to defend the flagship cryptocurrency even with ferocity. 

On the other hand, in the same article, Buterin noted that Ethereum’s feature-richness makes it vulnerable to risks. Eventually, one complex feature could threaten or undermine the decentralization of Ethereum and make it vulnerable to hostile attack, he argued. 

“Systemic effects are real,” Buterin wrote, “And it’s just not possible for a currency to ‘enable’ an ecosystem of highly complex and risky decentralized applications without that complexity biting it back somehow. Bitcoin makes the safe choice.”

Meanwhile, in his Twitter thread today, Buterin continued that there are also contradictions between his “preference for reducing reliance on individuals” and his appreciation of “live players.”

He also admitted that he is fond of decentralization and democracy, but also realizes that, in practice, he agrees with the intelligentsia more than “the people” on many specific policy issues.

“Contradiction between my desire to see more countries adopting radical policy experiments (eg. crypto countries!) and my realization that the governments most likely to go all the way on such things are more likely to be centralized and not friendly to diversity internally,” Buterin said. 

This is probably an indirect reference to what is going on in El Salvador, where some residents have voiced concern over Bukele’s regime that has made BTC legal tender. 

Buterin also mentioned that he is not interested in some modern financial blockchain “applications” like NFTs of monkeys that are traded for millions of dollars. However, he noted that these innovations have grown to become a significant part of the Ethereum ecosystem.

“Contradiction between my dislike of many modern financial blockchain “applications” ($3M monkeys etc), and my grudging appreciation for the fact that that stuff is a big part of what keeps the crypto economy running and pays for all my favorite cool DAO/governance experiments,” he said. 

Learn more: 
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