Vitalik Buterin Responds to Bitcoin Maxis Who Joke on Proof of Stake

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Vitalik Buterin Responds to Bitcoin Maxis Who Joke on Proof of Stake

Vitalik Buterin Responds to Bitcoin Maxis Who Joke on Proof of Stake
Vitalik Buterin is the co-founder of Ethereum. Image: Flickr
Source: Decrypt
1657715310 13 Jul / 12:28

Vitalik Buterin defends Ethereum's transition to proof of stake on Twitter. Nick Payton, the managing editor of Swan Bitcoin, claimed on Thursday that any cryptocurrency that runs on a proof-of-stake blockchain — which utilizes validators with promised, or "staked," assets to verify transactions — is a security.

"The fact that you can vote on something to change its properties is proof that it's a security," Payton added. The remark strikes a sore area for an industry that has fought for years with the Securities and Exchange Commission and is especially sensitive for Ethereum investors since the question of whether ETH should be called security remains unresolved.

Buterin termed Payton's allegation a "bald-faced lie" on Friday morning. "It's amazing how some [proof-of-work] proponents just keep repeating the unmitigated bare-faced lie that [proof-of-stake] includes voting on protocol parameters (it doesn't, just like [proof-of-work] doesn't) and this so often just goes unchallenged," he said, adding, "Nodes reject invalid blocks, in [proof-of-stake] and in [proof-of-work]. It's not hard."

Proof of work, which requires the participation of “miners” who contribute substantial processing power to solving challenging mathematical problems, is now used to validate transactions and safeguard the networks of both Bitcoin and Ethereum. Ethereum, on the other hand, is migrating to proof of stake via a long-awaited upgrade known as “the Merge.”

Buterin’s justification of evidence of stake included a tongue-in-cheek “grammatical” fix for the editor.

“In English, when talking about things like proof of stake, we don’t say “It’s a security,” we say “it’s secure.” I know these suffixes are hard though, so I forgive the error,” Buterin added.

Although Bankless creator Ryan Sean Adams described the response as “the spiciest Vitalik tweet I’ve ever seen,” this is not the first time Buterin has engaged in online debates with anti-Ethereum Bitcoiners.

Buterin reacted earlier this month to Bitcoin maximalist Jimmy Song, who stated that proof of stake “does not guarantee decentralized consensus” because, in Song’s perspective, it does not address The Byzantine Generals Problem. The song pointed to the difficulty of obtaining consensus without trustworthy single-party centralization. Multiple organizations can reach a consensus in crypto when they can agree on the same data without the involvement of a central authority; this permits blockchain transactions.

Song’s thesis rests on a “technicality” for Vitalik.

“If there’s a long-established tradition of people debating A vs B based on deep arguments touching on math, economics and moral philosophy, and you come along saying “B is dumb because of a one-line technicality involving definitions,” you’re probably wrong,” Buterin added.

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