In a bold move, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin took to Twitter to post fallacies found in the panelist discussions, at the Deconomy 2018 conference on April 3. The 24-year-old publicly called out Craig Wright, a controversial bitcoin figure, and asked the panel “Why is this fraud allowed to speak at this conference?”
The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the person(s) who supposedly created Bitcoin, is yet unknown. However, Craig Wright came out in 2016 and proclaimed to the world that he is, in fact, Bitcoin’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
As expected, Vitalik Buterin and several blockchain proponents have spoken against Wright, but none as boldly as today.
At the start of Deconomy 2018, Buterin posted on Twitter his intention to closely follow the meeting, along with live tweeting any discrepancies in the discussion. The topic for the day was the Bitcoin Cash propaganda presentation “Bitcoin, Controversy over Principle.”
I'm going to live tweet comments on the "Bitcoin, Controversy over Principle" section of Deconomy for fun.
— Vitalik "Not giving away ETH" Buterin (@VitalikButerin) April 3, 2018
Ethereum Co-founder Makes His Annoyance Public
As the proceedings began, Buterin began to fire away tweets about the pro-bitcoin cash presentation, commenting in very technical terms his criticisms. The debate was between Samson Mow and Roger Ver, with Buterin choosing either individual based on what they were speaking about:
“Roger Ver’s presentation begins. The emphasis here is more directly on “economic freedom”. Samson’s was “transacting value without trusted intermediaries.”
While Buterin’s support was split roughly down the middle between the arguments of Mow and Ver, supporting the Bitcoin Core approach to Replace by Fee, but also stated he supports the ‘super big blocker position,’ only as long as sharding is used and agreed with many of Ver’s points on several issues.
“Roger’s argument: the core devs diverted the project and shifted the vision in ways that many of its constituents disagree with (“store of value”) and belittled and censored them, so of course people are upset. I personally do agree that the vision was diverted.”
“…small blockers do have real and legitimate points about the importance of client side validation… Bitcoin core devs’ work in making the node more efficient over time so it can handle and efficiently process larger and larger blocks is indeed admirable.”
However, the real deal began when Bitcoin Cash proponent Wright took to the stage.
Buterin: “Why is this fraud allowed to speak at this conference?”
The Ethereum co-founder notes that Wright’s presentation — besides being an opportunity to “brag about how many university degrees he has,” was brimming with “lies,” “non-sequiturs,” and “bulls***.”
“Craig Wright begins: “We’re going to talk about the lies”…Then proceeds to brag about how many university degrees he has…”
The Ethereum co-founder then goes onto criticize Wright’s argument against selfish mining:
“Re selfish-mining: “you actually have a negative gamma” … “you actually help the honest miners by attacking the network” My bulls*** meter appears to be showing a negative value…. oh wait that was an integer overflow.”
Buterin concluded regarding Wright’s talk, he is relying on a system where all of the miners are honest, which in terms of security is concerning. And in the final act, as the discussions came to an end, Vitalik asked the organizers of the conference, “Given that he makes so many non-sequiturs and mistakes, why is this fraud allowed to speak at this conference?”
The audience seemed largely in favor of Buterin and clapped after this statement was made. Here’s the video:
The ‘Fake Satoshi’
With the newfound fame, Wright later published a now ridiculed blog post and reached out to major news outlets, such as The Economist, BBC, and GQ, in order to be publicized as the person behind the Bitcoin Protocol, a.k.a. Satoshi Nakamoto.
Wright’s proof of being Satoshi was covered up with layers of technical papers and research codes, which were quickly refuted by bitcoin developers as “nonsense.” They further observed that Wright’s post was very complicated, and had no concrete proof to back his claim of being Satoshi.
Years after that fiasco, Wright has reemerged as a public proponent of Bitcoin Cash, a Bitcoin hard fork which has divided the developers and followers into two groups – Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Cash. Unsurprisingly, if Wright really were who he claims to be, there would be no way he could abandon Bitcoin Core.
With all this in mind, there’s little doubt as to why a visionary like Vitalik Buterin would waste the chance to call such uncredible figures a “fraud.”
To wrap things up on Twitter, Buterin finished it in style, calling Wright “crazy,” but also pointed out the debate between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash needs to improve in many ways, noting that there is no similar animosity between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.
Buterin’s entire commentary on the event can be found here.