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The Salty Battle of Two Bs – Bitcoin’s Adam Turns Back on Ethereum’s Vitalik

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 3 min read
Source: Adobe/Wit

Fans of the two top projects by market capitalization – Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) – are well-known rivals, occasionally turning enemies, but continuing the same fight over the two’s differences for what might be too long at this point.

The latest round of arguments and accusations begun with a tweet by Adam Back, CEO of Canada-based blockchain technology firm Blockstream and a major Bitcoin supporter, in which he places Ethereum among projects he finds to be scams – and some that are proven to be scams. These include a Ponzi scheme Bitconnect, the inventor of the said type of scheme, Charles Ponzi, even Cardano (ADA), Stellar (XLM), and XRP.

For several years now, Back’s go-to argument against Ethereum seems to have been “70% pre-mined [coins],” meaning that the majority of the tokens were created and available to the founders before it was launched to the public.

The reaction to this was pretty expected by now:

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, tweeted in defence of the network and the coin, saying that BTC maximalists such as Back are on the wrong side of history. He added that Back is calling ETH a ponzi “because we don’t fully subscribe to his ideology regarding proof of stake, premines and the like.”

This is the furthest it could be from the only instance of BTC-ETH rivalry. Over the years, the internet – and one can say particularly Twitter and Reddit – became home of a large mass of intertwined attacks directed from both sides, often even turning personal once other, many times utilized arguments and counter-arguments have been exhausted.

As a matter of fact, this very ‘discussion’ between the two prominent Bs is reminiscent of several others that had already played out, including this one from September 2017: Back said ‘scam’ and Buterin said ‘nope’ – but in more words.

There seems to be a change in the air though, at least according to some within the industry. The constant bickering seems to have gotten old: according to some industry players, the new people coming in don’t care for it, while even the old maximalists have eased up on altcoins with time, or at least toned back the bashing.

Tom Shaughnessy, co-founder at digital asset research firm Delphi Digital, for example, stated that what new users are interested in is the technology and decentralized finance (DeFi), and not the history between the two coins. “DeFi is happening on Ethereum, not Bitcoin and that’s fine,” he wrote.

This is not to say that both sides don’t have armies of supporters rushing to their sides once another battle starts, but there are also those who’ve been in the space for a long time and are just tired of the battles altogether. Some find the situation and one or both participants “ridiculous,” and are wondering if they should mute Back’s “clown takes.”

But Ethereum and its co-founder were not spared by the commenters either. “Theranos is rising, Edison machines in every Walgreens, nanotainers and miniLabs are rising, all with an all-star board including William Foege (former director CDC), Henry Kissinger (former U.S. Secretary of State) etc. The tides of history will not be favorable to scientists,” tweeted Samson Mow, Blockstream’s Chief Strategy Officer. Earlier this year, he also said: “Bitcoin is on Ethereum because they want BTC. Ethereum isn’t on Bitcoin because we don’t want that shit.”

Others took a turn ‘adapting’ Buterin’s response to Back too:

Meanwhile, the Bitcoin dominance, or the percentage of the total market capitalization, stands at 60% today, compared with Ethereum’s 12%.

At pixel time (11:22 UTC), BTC trades at USD 11,701 and is up by 2% in a day and 7% in a week. The price is also up by 26% in a month and 1% in a year.

At the same time, ETH trades at USD 395 and is unchanged in a day, while rising by 24% in a week. It also rallied by 66.5% in a month and 75% in a year.

Learn more:
Has the Bitcoin-Ethereum Rivalry Hit New Heights of Hostility?
DeFi Punches Above Its Weight As it Targets Bitcoin’s Thunder