Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Poon Call Out Craig Wright at Deconomy 2018

Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Poon Call Out Craig Wright at Deconomy 2018

Deconomy, an international blockchain forum, is taking place in Seoul, South Korea, from April 3 to 4 at the Walkerhill Hotel. Organizers have looked to bring audiences the “brightest entrepreneurs, thought leaders, investors, developers, academic and policy groups, and blockchain enthusiasts” to present and discuss the biggest topics within the blockchain industry.

Among the event’s many speakers was Craig S. Wright, chief scientist at nChain, who in 2016 controversially proclaimed himself to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin. He joined Blockstream CSO Samson Mow and Bitcoin Cash proponent Roger Ver on a panel discussion entitled “Bitcoin, Controversy over Principle.”

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin is also a featured speaker at the event, but on the afternoon before his panel, he live-tweeted the presentation featuring Mow, Ver and Wright.

During Wright’s comments, Buterin tweeted that the scientist was “crazy.” In the subsequent Q & A period, he pointed out several errors in Wright’s presentation and asked, to hefty applause, “Why is this fraud allowed to speak at this conference?”

A longtime proponent of Bitcoin Cash, Wright’s views on the cryptocurrency differ from the Ethereum mogul’s, who claims that Bitcoin Cash is a “fraud.” At the beginning of Wright’s segment, Buterin stated on Twitter:

Craig Wright begins: “We’re going to talk about the lies.”
“Samson said that money was used first in barter and as a store of value — BULL****!”
Then proceeds to brag about how many university degrees he has….. eh, at least he read Graeber.

During his presentation, Wright spoke directly about the lighting network, which was created by OmiseGO advisor Joseph Poon. Wright commented that “LN work is as hard as breaking a discrete log.” He later got technical in his speech, saying that “gamma can be less than zero” while discussing the concepts of “selfish mining” and “honest mining.”

His ideas were difficult to understand even for Poon, who commented from the audience, “I wrote the lightning network paper, and I straight up don’t understand a word of your presentation.”

Vitalik calling Wright a fraud was nice and all, but Joseph Poon (@jcp) saying “I wrote the lightning network whitepaper and still didn’t understand your talk” was the real cherry on top.

— alex van de sande (@avsa) April 3, 2018

In response to Buterin’s barrage of tweets, Wright fired back and insinuated that ether was an inferior currency, stating, “Vitalik has one issue… When we demonstrate what BCH can do, he knows that ETH will wither and die.” He later followed up with a comment that he “broke Vitalek [sic]” — that he was a “twig” and that Wright “must remember to be gentle next time.”

The ongoing feud began following Wright’s previous statement that he was Satoshi Nakamoto. Buterin has long been skeptical of this, and he has repeatedly asked Wright to “cut the lies and drop the claims.”

In addition, Wright was the subject of a recent lawsuit by his former business partner Dave Kleiman, who claims Wright “swindled” him out of $5 billion in bitcoin.

To see Buterin’s live tweetstorm, click here.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Going Meta: Vitalik Buterin Issues Proposal for Capping Ethereum’s Supply

Going Meta

On a day when the cryptocurrency community was on high alert for gags, whimsical announcements and other tomfoolery, the creator of Ethereum, known for pulling his own pranks in the past, stepped forth with a most serious proposal: setting a cap on Ethereum’s monetary supply — which has long had no cap at all — at 120 million.

On April 1, 2018, a day known as April Fools’ Day, Vitalik Buterin published Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 960 to limit the supply of ether (ETH) to 120,204,432 — twice the amount issued in the project’s presale in 2014. To those paying close attention, the proposal was listed under “meta,” a hint that this was a meta joke, meant to leave people scratching their heads and wondering if he was being serious or not.

For those still wondering whether or not was an April Fool’s joke, the answer is: it was an April Fool’s meta-joke. *The point* was seeing people argue about whether or not the proposal is “real”.

— Vitalik “Not giving away ETH” Buterin (@VitalikButerin) April 2, 2018

If the community wants fixed supply and people believe that EIP 960 is a good way to achieve that, then it should adopt the proposal. If the community does not, then it should not. This is true regardless of whether or not the original intent was in jest.

— Vitalik “Not giving away ETH” Buterin (@VitalikButerin) April 2, 2018

All meta joking aside, the proposal recommends implementing the cap as part of a hard fork when the platform switches from its proof-of-work consensus algorithm to Casper, a proof-of stake algorithm still in development, as early as the end of this year.

In order to ensure the economic sustainability of the platform under the widest possible variety of circumstances, and in light of the fact that issuing new coins to proof of work miners is no longer an effective way of promoting an egalitarian coin distribution or any other significant policy goal, I propose that we agree on a hard cap for the total quantity of ETH,” the proposal states.

This is the first time Buterin has suggested setting a limit on Ethereum’s supply of ether.  

Why Set a Cap?

Some argue that a supply limit is important to a cryptocurrency because it creates scarcity, making a “coin” more valuable, sort of like gold. Yet, a hard cap can also mean there is no way to replenish the supply when coins fall out of circulation due to people dying, losing them or even holding on to them.

Unlike Bitcoin, which has a supply limit of 21 million coins programmed into it, Ethereum has never had a monetary cap, which means over time the number of ether in the system could go up indefinitely.

As it stands, 60 million ether were initially created during the Ethereum presale to raise money for building the network. Following the network’s launch in 2015, five new ether have been created for every new block, every 15 seconds. That brings the current supply of ether to around 98.5 million and counting. If EIP 960 goes through, the new cap would likely require reducing the issuance of new coins or finding a way to balance the supply.  

For instance, in an earlier blog post, Buterin talks about introducing “sinks” or fees into the system that would lead to ether actually being destroyed, as a way to create more scarcity.

Making Way for Casper

Buterin’s proposal to change Ethereum’s monetary policy is timely because it sets the stage for Casper, which will introduce changes to how ether are distributed and used.

Buterin’s arguments for a supply cap are based on the idea that in a proof-of-stake system, the coin holders themselves are the ones who get the block rewards, not the miners. Also, because proof of stake consumes far less energy than proof of work, block rewards can be lower. Finally, he thinks the money supply can be better controlled through a system of fees and rewards paid by those using the platform.

It is important to keep in mind that EIP 960 is only a proposal and not certain to be adopted.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.