Disclaimer: The following op-ed represents the views of the author, and may not necessarily reflect the views of Bitcoinist. Bitcoinist is an advocate of creative and financial freedom alike.
TIME Magazine is a respected media outlet with just under 100 years of publishing prowess under its belt. Its recent exposé on Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin is a polarizing take on the cryptocurrency industry.
The piece referring to Buterin as “The Prince of Crypto” presents the best possible reasoning behind Satoshi’s disappearance and highlights the many ways Bitcoin is immune to the same challenges Ethereum faces. It is also powerful reminder why Satoshi will always remain King.
When Buterin First Met Bitcoin
Smitten by Satoshi Nakamoto’s creation, a young Russian-born Canadian programmer named Vitalik Buterin set out to get involved in cryptocurrency. His career began writing about Bitcoin in the years following Satoshi’s disappearance. Few know that Buterin was a co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine and later nearly embarked on a career at Ripple.
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From there, Buterin released the Ethereum whitepaper and interest in the project grew. In January 2014 at the annual Bitcoin Conference in Miami, still going strong some 8 years later, the project was officially announced and Vitalik Buterin has become “The Prince of Crypto” ever since.
Ethereum has made many millionaires since its inception | Source: ETHUSD on TradingView.com
Becoming The Prince Of Crypto
From his early days penning Bitcoin Magazine, Buterin is now on the cover of TIME. The “concerns” the Ethereum creator reveals has been a polarizing topic amongst the community. Pundits view a crypto creator issuing warnings related to his own project a sign of just how out of control things have gotten.
Buterin is described as having to dash past crowds down the street to get to where he’s going, all while adoring fans give chase. “Buterin has watched the world he created evolve with a mixture of pride and dread,” an excerpt reads. In particular, Buterin calls attention to the “gambling” on “$3 million monkeys” being driven by celebrities and buzz.
He also warns that if more isn’t done to raise awareness, the only things that will be built are projects that are “immediately profitable” continuing that “those are often far from what’s actually the best for the world.”
— TIME (@TIME) March 18, 2022
The Kingdom Satoshi Created
If Buterin is “The Price of Crypto,” that makes Satoshi “King” and rightfully so. Not only did Satoshi create the kingdom that today we know as the crypto industry, but there remains yet to be a creator or founder that his handled things better.
Satoshi thought of everything: the consensus mechanism; the issuance schedule; how to get around double-spending; even how to make the perfect exit and disappearing act.
Related Reading | Vitalik Buterin’s Best Work Yet: “In Defense Of Bitcoin Maximalism”
“People used my fear of regulators against me, saying that we should have a for-profit entity because it’s so much simpler legally than making a nonprofit,” Buterin said in the TIME article. Satoshi never had to face such regulatory pressure, nor was he ever quite in the public eye the same way the Ethereum creator is.
It was a simpler time when Satoshi was around, with much less monetary value and participation from the masses. Satoshi also never had to face the legions of individuals who have found incredible wealth from crypto, or those who are now actively seeking it. Bitcoin was still under $1 each by the time Satoshi disappeared.
Bitcoin has come so far since Satoshi's disappearance | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com
The Ongoing Ethereum Effect
The Bitcoin creator also by design, didn’t build a platform that allows for greed to flourish to same way that Ethereum does. This fact is clearly weighing on the founder TIME describes as “wiry” and “elfin.” But Bitcoin also doesn’t allow innovation to proliferate with the same level of freedom that Ethereum can. Although it might not be what is best for the world, like Buterin warns, there is something magical about being able to launch a new project on the blockchain overnight.
Buterin has a lot on his plate. He has the weight of what he built on his shoulders, and is in part responsible for whatever it brings into the world. For all the positive a network that moves enough value to rival VISA and Mastercard does, there are exit scams, pump and dumps, empty promises, and worse on his blockchain.
Please give the Prince a break. And remember to pay respect to the King.
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