Vitalik Buterin Casts Doubt on Jack Dorsey & Mark Zuckerberg’s Influence on Crypto


Vitalik Buterin, the Russian-Canadian co-founder of Ethereum, has never been shy of making his opinions on crypto heard – no matter how unpopular they are.

Now, the developer is turning his focus on a seemingly growing wave; the entrance of social media platforms – and their founders – into crypto.

Vitalik Bites Back at Dorsey

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Buterin shared doubts about the plans that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg have for the crypto space. Speaking with the news medium, Buterin was especially skeptical of Dorsey, who has stated that he plans to make Bitcoin more applicable to decentralized finance (DeFi).

Last month, Dorsey announced on Twitter that Square – his payment processor – plans to build a division that will focus on building DeFi infrastructure on the Bitcoin blockchain. In his tweet, Dorsey explained that the division’s objective will be to make it easier to create “non-custodial, permissionless, and decentralized financial services” on Bitcoin’s blockchain.

Since it doesn’t support smart contracts, the Bitcoin network is unable to compete with blockchains like Ethereum. Building DeFi on Bitcoin will need additional tools like sidechains and bridges to initiate smart contracts. But, Square hopes to break this barrier, further bringing Bitcoin to DeFi.

Buterin, whose work and company will be affected by this, is somewhat not a fan. As he explained to Bloomberg, the Bitcoin blockchain can work similarly to Ehereum for DeFi. But, it will have a much weaker trust model overall.

The Ethereum co-founder added that Ethereum already allows users to directly put Ether or an ERC token into smart contracts. To bring that into Bitcoin, Dorsey, and Square will have to create their dedicated system.

Dorsey has risen to be one of the harshest Ethereum critics. The billionaire has reiterated that he and Square will not invest in Ether, even though Twitter still just released 140 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Rarible – an Ethreum-based platform.

Dorsey further criticized Ethereum last week, claiming that the network is unable to “disrupt Big Tech” on its own. He did follow up by saying that his singular focus on Bitcoin isn’t necessarily a sign that he hates Ethereum; he just believes Bitcoin to have a stronger network and more potential for the type of disruption he envisions.

Facebook’s Trust Issues Still Haunts It

As for Zuckerberg, Buterin criticized the tech mogul and Facebook’s planned digital currency, Diem. Launched as “Libra” in June 2019, Diem works as a stablecoin whose value will be tied to a basket of fiat currencies. But, it has so far been met with significant pushback from regulators and policymakers.

Even after changing its name and making concessions, Diem is yet to see the light of day. As Buterin explained, there is a great deal of mistrust for Facebook, given the company’s many privacy indiscretions. So, building a currency is somewhat ill-timed at the moment.

Buterin further added that Facebook could build Diem on an existing blockchain. Of course, there’s little chance that Facebook will do so.

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