Vitalik issued an article in support of Bitcoin maximalism (with full text)

On April 1, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin published an article on his personal blog “In Defense of Bitcoin Maximalism” in support of Bitcoin Maximalism.

“We live in a dangerous world and protecting freedom is a serious matter,” he said. “At its core, blockchain is a security technology — one that fundamentally protects people and helps them in such an unfriendly world. Survival technology. Bitcoin has two key elements to do this task brilliantly: (i) a robust and defensible technology stack (1 MB block size, 21 million total token supply and a simple Satoshi PoW consensus mechanism) and (ii) a robust and defensible culture (uncompromising, determined maximalist culture). Cryptoassets like Bitcoin have real cultural and structural advantages that make them powerful assets worth holding and using.

He believes that currency is not just the “first application” of blockchain, but one of the most successful to date. Cryptocurrencies have so far been most successful in storing wealth and making payments.

It is worth noting that although Vitalik published this article on April Fool’s Day on April 1, it is very serious, full of introspection and insight, and is not a fool’s work.

For the sake of readers, the full text compiled by Golden Finance is as follows:

For years, we’ve been hearing “the future is blockchain, not Bitcoin”. The future of the world will not be one major cryptocurrency, or even a few, but many — the winner will have strong leadership under one central roof to quickly adapt to users’ demands for scale. Bitcoin is a nascent cryptocurrency, and Ethereum will soon follow; it will be a newer, more dynamic asset, attracting a new wave of mass users who don’t care about weird libertarian ideologies or “self-sovereign verification” ”, don’t care about toxic side effects and anti-government mentality, just want blockchain Defi and fast and effective games.

But what if this narrative is completely false, and the ideas, habits, and practices of Bitcoin maximalism are actually very close to being correct? What if Bitcoin wasn’t just an outdated pet rock tied to network effects? If Bitcoin maximalists truly understand deeply that they operate in a world of hostility and uncertainty, they need to fight for it, and their behavior, personalities, and perceptions of protocol design profoundly reflect this. What about the facts? What if we lived in a world of honest cryptocurrencies (very few) and scammer cryptocurrencies (very much), and too much tolerance? Is it actually necessary to prevent the former from sliding into the latter? That’s the argument this article will make.

We live in a dangerous world and protecting freedom is a serious business
Hopefully this is more evident now than it was six weeks ago, when many still seriously believed that Vladimir Putin was a misunderstood good character who was simply trying to protect Russia and save Western civilization from the gay world. But it’s still worth repeating. We live in a dangerous world where there are many actors with bad beliefs who cannot be sympathetic and rational .

At its core, blockchain is a security technology — a technology that fundamentally protects people and helps them survive in such an unfriendly world. It’s like Galadriel’s Phial of Galadriel. Gift of Doe Baggins.) Same, “Give you a light in a dark place when all other lights are out”. It’s not a low-cost lamp, it’s not a fluorescent hippie energy-saving lamp, and it’s not a high-performance lamp. It’s a lamp that sacrifices all those dimensions, optimized for just one thing and one thing: being the one that illuminates you when you’re facing the toughest challenges of your life and have a terrifying twenty-foot spider lamp.


Blockchain is used every day by the unbanked and underbanked, activists, sex workers, refugees and many other groups. Many people use them as a primary lifeline to pay and store savings.

To this end, public blockchains sacrifice a lot for security:

Blockchain requires every transaction to be independently verified thousands of times before it can be accepted.

Unlike centralized systems where transactions are confirmed within a few hundred milliseconds, blockchain requires users to wait anywhere from 10 seconds to 10 minutes for confirmation.

Blockchain requires users to be fully responsible for authenticating themselves: if you lose your keys, you lose your tokens.

Blockchain sacrifices privacy and requires crazier, more expensive technology to get it back.

What are these sacrifices for? Create a system that can survive in an unfriendly world and truly “be a light in the dark when all other lights go out”.

Doing this well requires two key elements: (i) a strong and defensible technology stack and (ii) a strong and defensible culture . The key features of a robust and defensible tech stack are a focus on simplicity and deep mathematical purity: 1 MB block size, a total supply of 21 million tokens, and a simple Satoshi Nakamoto PoW consensus mechanism that even high school students can understand. Protocol design must be sound for decades and centuries; technology and parameter selection must be a work of art.

The second element is an uncompromising, determined minimalist culture. It must be a culture that defends itself relentlessly from bad actors trying to absorb companies and government actors from outside the crypto industry into the ecosystem, as well as those within the crypto industry who try to exploit it for personal gain, of which there are many.

Now, what does Bitcoin and Ethereum culture actually look like? Well, let’s ask Kevin Pham:


Don’t believe this is representative? Well, let’s ask Kevin Pham again:


Now, you might say, it’s just ethereum people playing and eventually they’ll figure out what they have to do and what they’re dealing with. But what about them? Let’s see who Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin is with:


Vitalik meets tech CEOs in Beijing, China, meets Putin in Russia, meets Jerusalem mayor Nir Bakrat, shakes hands with former Argentine president, greets former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, meets Taiwan’s digital minister Audrey Tang

Now, maybe he’s just an idealist who believes in talking to people to help bring peace to the world, and the Frederick Douglass dictum “Unite any The right people, and don’t unite with the wrong people” followers. But there’s an even simpler assumption: Vitalik is a hippie globetrotter and status seeker who thoroughly enjoys meeting important people and feeling respected. It’s not just Vitalik; companies like Consensys are more than happy to work with Saudi Arabia, and the entire ecosystem has been struggling to find mainstream data to validate. And that’s just a small option. The immediate question anyone looking at this should be asking is: What’s the point of meeting all these people in public? Some of them are very decent entrepreneurs and politicians, but others are not necessarily. Does Vitalik not realize how many of these people are geopolitically down each other’s throats?

Now ask yourself a question: When the time comes, and the really important things are going on on the blockchain—actually important things that offend the powerful—which ecosystem would be more willing to put their feet down and refuse to censor them, No matter how much pressure is put on them? Is it an ecosystem of global nomads who truly become friends with everyone, or an ecosystem of people who have AR15s and axes as hobbies?

Currency is not just “the first app”. Still one of the most successful so far.
Many people who believe in “blockchain, not bitcoin” believe that cryptocurrency is the first application of blockchain, but it is a very boring application, and the real potential of blockchain is bigger and more exciting exciting thing. Let’s go through the list of applications in the Ethereum white paper:

Issuing tokens

Financial derivatives


Identity and Reputation Systems

Decentralized file storage

Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)

peer-to-peer gaming

prediction market

Many of these categories of applications have been launched and have at least some users. That said, crypto folks really take the empowerment of unbanked people in the developing world of the “Southern World” seriously. Which of these apps actually have a large number of users in Southworld?

It turns out that by far the most successful ones are storing wealth and making payments. 3% of Argentines, 6% of Nigerians and 12% of Ukrainians own cryptocurrencies. By far the biggest example of a government using blockchain to accomplish something is the donation of cryptocurrency to the Ukrainian government, which has raised over $100 million if you include donations to Ukraine-related NGOs.


What other applications come close to this actual, true level of adoption today? Perhaps the closest is ENS. DAOs are real and growing, but these days, they are too much to attract wealthy rich people whose main interest is having fun and using cartoon characters to satisfy their first world needs for self-expression, not building schools and hospitals and solving other real world problems.

So we can clearly see two sides: the “blockchain” team, mostly privileged people in rich countries, who love to advertise virtues like “beyond money and capitalism”, can’t help but to “experiment in decentralized governance” ‘ and excited. And “Bitcoin” hobbyists and teams are a highly diverse group, including rich and poor in many countries, including the southern world, who are actually using free self-sovereign currency as a capitalist tool for humanity today Provide real value.

Focusing on being a currency can be a better currency
A common misconception about why Bitcoin does not support “rich state” smart contracts is as follows. Bitcoin really values ​​simplicity, especially low technical complexity, to reduce the chance of things going wrong. Therefore, it does not want to add more complex functions and opcodes necessary to be able to support more complex smart contracts in Ethereum.

This misunderstanding is of course wrong. In fact, there are many ways to add rich state to Bitcoin; search the Bitcoin chat archives for the term “covenants” to see many proposals being discussed. Many of these suggestions are very simple. The reason for not adding covenants is not that Bitcoin developers don’t see the value of rich statefulness, but that they find the complexity of the protocol even a little more intolerable . Because Bitcoin developers worry about the risk that rich state could bring systemic complexity to the ecosystem!


A recent paper by Bitcoin researchers describes some of the ways in which covenants are introduced to add some degree of richness to Bitcoin.

Ethereum’s struggle with miner extractable value (MEV) is a good example of this problem emerging in practice. It’s easy to build applications in Ethereum that earn a handsome reward for the next person to interact with some contract, causing traders and miners to fight for it, and greatly increasing the risk of network centralization and requiring complex workarounds. Building such systemically risky applications is difficult in Bitcoin, in large part because Bitcoin lacks rich state and focuses on a simple (and MEV-free) use case, money.

Systemic corruption can also occur in non-technical ways. The fact that Bitcoin is only currency means that Bitcoin requires relatively few developers, which helps reduce the risk of developers starting to demand air coins for themselves to build new protocol features. Bitcoin is just currency, alleviating the pressure on core developers to keep adding features to “keep up with the competition” and “meet developers’ needs.”

In many ways, the systemic impact is real, and it is impossible for a currency to “enable” an ecosystem of highly complex and risk-distributed applications that are not somehow countered by this complexity. Bitcoin is the safe bet. If Ethereum continues its layer-2-centric approach, the ETH-the-currency may gain some protection from the ecosystem of applications it enables. On the other hand, so-called high-performance Tier 1 platforms have no chance.

Generally speaking, the earliest projects in an industry are the most “authentic”
Many industries and fields follow a similar pattern. First, some new and exciting technology has either been invented or improved so much that it can actually be used for something. In the beginning, the technology was clunky, barely accessible to anyone as an investment, too risky, and had no “social proof” that people could use it to succeed. So the first people to get involved will be idealists, tech geeks, and others who are genuinely excited about technology and its potential to improve society.

Once the technology has fully proven itself, however, the norm will emerge – an event often referred to in Internet culture as the Eternal September. Provide Usenet access to many new users). These are not just normal good-hearted norms, they want to feel part of something exciting, but business norms, in suits, they start scouring the ecosystem for ways to make money, off-market teams of venture capitalists Desire to support them with their own funds. In extreme cases, outright scammers come in and create blockchains with no social or technical value, which is basically a borderless scam. But the reality is that the line between “altruistic idealist” and “cheater” is indeed a spectrum. The longer the ecosystem continues to operate, the harder it will be to launch any new altruistic projects.

One proxy indicator of the blockchain industry’s gradual replacement of philosophical and idealistic values ​​with the pursuit of short-term profit is the growing size of pre-mining: the share that cryptocurrency developers are allocating to themselves .


Internal distribution source: Messari.

Which blockchain communities take self-sovereignty, privacy, and decentralization very seriously, and are making huge sacrifices to get it? Which blockchain communities are just trying to increase their market cap and make money for founders and investors? The graph above should be clear.

intolerance is good
The above explains why Bitcoin’s status as the first cryptocurrency gives it unique advantages that are difficult to replicate for any cryptocurrency created in the past five years. But now we have the biggest objection to Bitcoin’s maximalist culture: why is it so toxic?

Bitcoin’s toxic case stems from Conquest’s second law. In Robert Conquest’s original formulation, the law states that “any organization that is not constitutionally expressly right-wing will sooner or later become left-wing”. But in reality, it’s just a special case of a more general pattern that matters more than ever in the modern age of relentlessly homogenized and conformist social media:

If you want to maintain an identity different from the mainstream, then you need a really strong culture that actively resists and assimilates the mainstream every time it tries to assert its superiority.

As I mentioned above, blockchain is a very fundamental and unequivocal counter-cultural movement that tries to create and preserve something different from the mainstream. Blockchain is one of the few things that can remain global at a time when the world is divided into blocs of great powers that actively suppress social and economic interactions between them. At a time when more and more people are looking to censorship to defeat their short-term foes, blockchain steadfastly continues to censor nothing.


“Rational adults” trying to tell you to “become the mainstream” are actually asking you to compromise on “extreme” values. The only correct response is the picture above, refusing to compromise, because once you compromise once, you can’t stop.

The blockchain community must also fight internal bad actors. Bad actors include:

Scammers who make and sell projects that are ultimately worthless (or worse, harmful) but insist on “crypto” and “decentralized” brands (and highly abstract notions of humanism and friendship) for the sake of legitimacy.

Cooperativeists , who openly and loudly demonstrate that it is ethical to cooperate with the government and actively try to persuade the government to use coercive violence against its competitors.

Corporatists who seek to use their resources to take over the development of blockchains and often push protocol changes that enable centralization.

People can smile against all these actors and politely tell the world why they “disagree with their priorities.” But that’s not realistic: the bad guys will try to fit into your community, and by then, it becomes psychologically difficult to criticize them with enough disdain: the people you criticize are friends of your friends. Consequently, any culture that values ​​easy-going will easily give up in the face of challenges, leaving scammers free to roam the wallets of innocent newbies.

What kind of culture will not be eliminated? A culture that is willing and eager to tell internal crooks and powerful external opponents to go the way of Russian warships .

The Weird Crusade Against Vegetable Seed Oils Is Good
A powerful linking tool that helps communities maintain internal cohesion around their unique values ​​and avoid getting bogged down in the mainstream are bizarre beliefs and crusades with similar spirits, even if not directly related to the core mission. Ideally, these crusades should be at least partially correct, poking at real blind spots or inconsistencies in mainstream values.

The Bitcoin community is good at this. Their most recent crusade was a war against plant seed oils, which are rich in omega-6 fatty acids and harmful to human health.


The media has been skeptical about the discussion of the Bitcoin movement, but it’s far better on the topic when “respected” tech companies deal with it. This crusade serves to remind bitcoiners that the mainstream media is fundamentally ignorant and hypocritical, and thus the media’s sharp smearing of cryptocurrencies as primarily used for money laundering and terrorism should be treated with equal disdain.

be a bitcoin maximalist
Bitcoin maximalism is often derided by the media as a dangerous toxic right-wing cult, as well as a paper tiger, because it disappears once some other cryptocurrency comes in and replaces Bitcoin’s supremacy network effects. But the reality is that none of the maximalist arguments I described above rely on network effects at all. Network effects are indeed logarithmic, not quadratic: once a cryptocurrency is “big enough”, it has enough liquidity to function that multi-cryptocurrency payment processors can easily add it to their collections. But the claim that Bitcoin is an outdated pet rock whose value is derived entirely from the network effects of walking zombies that collapse with just a little push is just as completely false.

Cryptoassets like Bitcoin have real cultural and structural advantages that make them powerful assets worth holding and using. Bitcoin is a great example of this category, although it is certainly not the only one. Other respectable cryptocurrencies do exist, and maximalists are willing to support and use them. Bitcoin maximalism is not just bitcoin for bitcoin’s sake; rather, it’s a very real realization that most other crypto assets are scams and that a culture of intolerance is inevitable, as well as protecting newbies and securing the industry At least one of the corners is still necessary for a corner worth living.

Instead of letting one newbie go bankrupt by a scammer, mislead ten newbies to avoid an investment that turned out well.

It’s better to keep your protocol simple enough to serve ten low-value short-term attention gambling applications than to make it too complex to serve the core sound money use case that underpins everything else.

It’s better to actively stand up and offend millions for what you believe in than trying to make everyone happy and getting nothing at all.

Be brave. Fight for your values. Be a maximalist.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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