Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin appeared to reflect, or directly respond to, an open letter that tech professionals sent to Washington lawmakers urging them to be careful with cryptocurrencies. The letter he criticized, published on Wednesday (1st), was signed by 26 computer scientists from major US technology companies, including Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google. The letter urges lawmakers to challenge the narrative that cryptocurrencies are “an innovative technology that is unconditionally good.” Buterin posted a series of tweets — almost as long as the letter itself — stating that it is sad to see how the crypto community has become increasingly adversarial over the last 10 or 15 years. “A big difference between the ‘new idealist movement’ landscape of 10-15 years ago and today is that at the time it seemed possible to be on all the good guys teams at the same time,” he tweeted. “Today, [existem] much more contrary thoughts and conflicts. I’m trying to understand… where are we going now?” Recently, Buterin has become the unofficial moral compass of the crypto community, analyzing industry developments in Twitter threads. In the past, he has written that he had doubts about the future of Ethereum, called algorithmic stablecoins a “propaganda term” in the face of Terra’s collapse, and wanted holders of Bored Ape Yacht Club’s non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to “finance goods public”. In this week’s review, Buterin highlighted the fact that tech journalist Cory Doctorow had signed the letter, stating that it upset and confused many in the crypto community, as Doctorow was considered an ally. In 2018, Doctorow had presented his talk titled “Decentralize, Democratize or Die” at DevCon, the annual Ethereum developer conference. In one of the most troubling sentences in the letter, the signatories claim that crypto will “always continue to be inadequate as a basis for large-scale economic activity.” Buterin stated that in addition to the separation of crypto from the big tech industry — or, at least, from its staunchest critics — the crypto community is also dealing with a lot of infighting. He suggested that this was a natural by-product of the fact that many projects had attracted a huge following, but it’s a phenomenon that still saddens him. “As Cory mentioned,” wrote Buterin, likely referring to Doctorow’s 2018 speech, “crypto was, at first, just [repleto] of decentralization enthusiasts, but now there are different types of ‘moneyed people’. This is an inevitable part of getting bigger. In non-financial movements too, various classes of normal people and many crooks enter from time to time.”
More criticism of the letter
Buterin was not the only one to publicly criticize the letter sent to US lawmakers. The matter also drew the ire of Bradley Rettler, a philosophy professor at the University of Wyoming who is currently writing a book on Bitcoin. “When you’re writing a paper, you need to substantiate your assumptions — the bolder the hypothesis, the more substantiation you need,” he said in his own statement. series of tweets. “This letter is full of hypotheses and weak of foundations. Basically, it’s terribly bad.” Preston Byrne, a crypto lawyer at Anderson Kill, wrote his own counter-argument, questioning the amount of effort that was apparently put into getting the press to write about the letter. He criticized the claim that the signatories work in cryptocurrency-related fields and then dismissed the cases mentioned by the letter as misleading or false. “The problem with cryptocurrency regulation is not that the two parties have provided some form of leadership, it is that they have done nothing, that they continue to do nothing, and while they hesitate, the world is attacking us,” criticized Byrne. *Translated by Daniela Pereira do Nascimento with permission from Decrypt.co.