Blockstream CEO Adam Back: Now-Defunct Theranos Was Similar to Ethereum (ETH)
Adam Back, the Bitcoin (BTC) pioneer and creator of the Proof-of-Work (PoW) system that was highly used in the Bitcoin mining algorithm, has launched a controversy by comparing Ethereum (ETH) with the no longer existing biotech startup Theranos.
In a tweet he published on November 26th, Back is saying that Ethereum’s promises of overweening are similar to Theranos’s failures. This is what he wrote:
This is really not at all true. Theranos had several generations of medical testing devices, and pushed their engineers extremely hard. The management just went too far into overselling what it could do and misrepresentation about the state of the tech. Uncannily ethereum-like.
— Adam Back (@adam3us) November 26, 2019
Theranos’ Journey to the SEC
Theranos’s tale is almost legendary, especially due to its precocious founder and the ups and downs it had. The company was founded by Elizabeth Holmes, a nineteen-year-old who dropped out of Stanford. Theranos was promising to revolutionize the biomedical industry by introducing a new blood testing using robotics and nanotechnology. Holmes ended up having a disgraceful public image from being the youngest self-made billionaire woman in the world, after her startup fell under the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation. The charges against Theranos were settled back in 2018, having the regulator identifying the once $9 billion valued enterprise as a secretive fraud.
Ex-Bitcoin Core Developer Peter Todd Agrees with Back
In a response to Back’s tweet, the former developer of Bitcoin Core Peter Todd also compared Ethereum with Theranos, saying:
“Theranos was a successful scam because they really were developing new technology. The scam was in lying about what that technology could actually do and covering up failures.So much of blockchain tech does this: ETH, Teechan, Tierion, Ripple, even Zcash to a degree.”
Some People Disagree with Back and Todd
Crypto community members have been set on fire by Back and Todd’s comments, and split into 2 camps, one of Bitcoin Maximalists and another of Ethereum’s supporters. Some other voices said they’re feeling uncomfortable to see fraud being compared with the project behind Ethereum. Many argued the Ethereum community is open-source and subjected to tests, which is against the infamous tactics used at Theranos.
Earlier in November, the lead for the Ethereum Foundation team Péter Szilágyi has confirmed the network will be upgraded on December 4. The development was channeled through many Ethereum Improvement Proposals that were published on GitHub.