In the past month alone, bitcoin (BTC) price has increased by approximately 48% while ethereum (ETH) has seen its value balloon by 52%. So it would seem that all of these profits would put everybody in a good mood, especially both camps of diehards of the two largest and most popular cryptoassets. Nonetheless, as new investors are bringing fresh capital into the crypto space, the age-old debate between the Bitcoin maximalists and Ethereum communities returns with a new force.
The arguments have occurred on the full range of the spectrum, from Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin ironically joining other Bitcoiners in bashing BTC’s stock-to-flow model to Blockstream CEO and Bitcoin maximalist Adam Back taking shots at Ethereum for its lack of capacity for such a model. For all intents and purposes, Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto has yet to weigh in.
This week, market leaders proved once again that they are not going to give it a break, with Messari’s Ryan Selkis adding fuel to the fire by defending Ethereum against Bitcoiners in a Twitter thread that drew in popular industry players like Jameson Lopp, Chief Technology Officer of US-based crypto security specialist Casa, Pierre Rochard, Bitcoin evangelist at crypto exchange Kraken, and, of course, Buterin, among many others.
“Bitcoiners should stop bashing [ETH 2.0] since bitcoin’s either ending up in Grayscale ETFs, getting [rehypothecated] by [Wall Street] in 2-3 years or ending up wrapped on Ethereum. At least Ethereum keeps it on a blockchain,” Selkis said.
Responses were quick:
For a bit of history, Ethereum’s Buterin laid out the origins of the argument in a blog post from six years ago. He described the phenomenon of Bitcoin maximalism, saying it is “the idea that an environment of multiple competing cryptocurrencies is undesirable, that it is wrong to launch ‘yet another coin,’ and that it is both righteous and inevitable that the bitcoin currency comes to take a monopoly position in the cryptocurrency scene.”
Not everybody is a fan of the theory.
While rivalries in the crypto community are nothing new, they escalated during the bear market of 2018, when prices were tanking and tempers were flaring.
Now that the bulls have wrestled back control of the market, however, the infighting has not disappeared. If anything, it has only gotten worse. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that new money — from MicroStrategy and PayPal to billionaires Paul Tudor Jones and Mexico’s Ricardo Salinas Pliego — is entering this space once again, fueling competition for the fresh capital. Plus there is more to prove with the prices of both coins barreling toward new highs.
Some might say the feud between the BTC and ETH camps is reminiscent of what is going on in politics in the United States, which in most cases is akin to banging one’s head against the wall. Here is another example of the rivalry:
Meanwhile, Messari co-founder Dann McArdle gets the win for the most level-headed argument, pointing out that the use cases for Bitcoin and Ethereum are completely different and suggesting that there is room at the table for both:
At the time of writing (18:34 UTC), BTC trades at USD 19,097 and is unchanged in a day. The price is up by 7% in a week and 168% in a year. ETH changes hands at USD 592 and is down by 2% in a day, trimming its weekly gains to less than 25%. It rallied by 305% in a year.
To reach its all-time high, BTC needs to go up by around 5%, ETH – by 142%.