Ethereum ETH/USD co-founder Vitalik Buterin defended Bitcoin BTC/USD maximalists in an unexpected blog post on why this Ethereum-hating community gets things right more often than many give them credit for.
What Happened: Buterin found himself defending the Bitcoin maximalists — most of whom disapprove of him and his creation, Ethereum — and explaining how much more sense many of their ideas make than many believe, in a Friday blog post.
Buterin asks, “what if Bitcoin is far more than an outdated pet rock tied to a network effect?” He explains that its characteristics make it the best bet for fighting for independence and freedom from government control. Buterin even goes as far as to argue that the signature intolerance towards other cryptocurrencies (which they often call sh*tcoins) “is in fact necessary to prevent the former from sliding into” what he calls “grifter cryptocurrencies.”
Buterin explains that Putin’s recent invasion of Ukraine goes to show that “we live in a dangerous world, where there are plenty of bad-faith actors who do not listen to compassion and reason.” In such a world, blockchain technology — and Bitcoin — is a tool that sacrifices performance, efficiency, features and cost-effectiveness to serve its users reliably even in the most extreme of situations.
Ethereum’s co-founder admitted that Bitcoin is particularly hellbent on promoting reliability at all costs, with its low block size of one megabyte, 21 million coin limit and what he described as a “simple Nakamoto consensus proof of work mechanism that even a high school student can understand.”
He said: “The protocol design must be easy to justify decades and centuries down the line; the technology and parameter choices must be a work of art.”
Another component pointed out by Buterin is Bitcoin’s “culture of uncompromising, steadfast minimalism.” Such a culture has to “stand unyieldingly in defending itself against corporate and government actors” and “bad actors inside the crypto space.”
Buterin suggested that Bitcoin’s culture includes people who “take pictures of themselves with an AR15 and an axe as a side hobby” rather than to “care about being everyone’s friend”
He concluded: “It’s better to offend millions by standing aggressively for what you believe in than it is to try to keep everyone happy and end up standing for nothing.”
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