. 2 min read

New Ethereum Scaling Solution is Not New, Says BTC Dev; ETH Camp Fights Back

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The never-ending sandbox fight between Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) camps just got a new twist.

Source: iStock/Zabavna

A scaling solution for Ethereum was proposed the other day, but now, some bitcoiners claim this is an old idea and that it might be implemented in Bitcoin if it proves valuable.

Short recap: we reported yesterday on market’s lack of response to the days-old announcements of a so-called missing link to ETH mass adoption. Matter Labs, a developer of scaling and privacy engine for Ethereum, revealed their vision for ZK Sync and announced the launch of the devnet for ZK Sync. It’s not clear when the solution will be implemented, but the developers called the v0.1 devnet the first step on a long journey.

Since then, however, several discussions have started online, caused by this Matter Lab’s announcement, but also by the post by Bitcoin Core developer Gregory Maxwell. Posting on Reddit as “u/nullc,” Maxwell commented on the announcement with: “This is what happens when the devs are paid for their product to work: ETH’s ZK Sync.” He continued, saying in the post that “It leads with a false (or vague to the point of being deceptive) claim “security strictly on par with [Layer 1]”,” but also that this solution is not a new idea.

In fact, he says, it was actually proposed for Bitcoin all the way back in 2013, providing his old Bitcoin Forum post. Maxwell explains that the underlying technology six years ago “was too immature to even start implementing it (as in there were no suitable ZKP’s published only academic papers).” However, as it was posted publicly before Ethereum even went live, it or Matter will not be able to patent it.

And should this proposed solution provide a good value, Bitcoin will adopt it, says Maxwell. “Or if it allowed BTC to scale for massive adoption or if it provided “too much” privacy or…”, adds to that Redditor Big_Bubbler.

However, Maxwell also notes that a lack of funding is a contributor to slow development in cases like these. “There are many advantages of massive premines, just as there are many advantages to other forms of ripping people off… I’m still happy that Bitcoin hasn’t engaged in that sort of activity,” he writes.

ETH supporters jumped to its defence, saying in the comments that Maxwell is an egomaniac and his post is vague rambling, to which Maxwell replied that “the comment about premines was directed to the central premise of the post about paying for development,” that many other cryptos have had large pre-mines which they invested in additional development, marketing and astroturfing. These have “various grades of scammyness such as Zcash (ZEC), Ripple (XRP), and Dash (DASH)” and ETH as well, “with its 72 million coin premine which they have often fraudulently claimed was ‘only’ 12 million coins.”

One more amusing, but important discussion revolved around experimentation vs playing it safe, with many people agreeing that its better to be the one experimenting. “There’s like a million good ideas you could be thinking about implementing. Sitting back and letting others do the experimental work is how end up being Blockbuster and not Netflix,” commented a Twitter user, with another adding “kind of how Nokia allowed Apple to innovate and just implemented all the cool new tech when it was ready.”

And that discussion culminated (if it can end) with this interaction.