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Lane Rettig @lrettig
, 15 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
In a nutshell:

- ETH is overvalued for what it's delivered. True. All cryptoassets, including BTC, are overvalued - but a lot less today than a year ago.
- ETH is a "science experiment." Mostly true, but a bit less true every day. Real apps like @MakerDAO are in production now.
- Ethereum won't scale. I don't buy this claim. One way or another, it will. There are many ways that can happen:…. I see no fundamental reason BTC will scale and ETH won't. What works for BTC (eg, lightning) will work for ETH too; ETH has more options.
- Proof of stake won't work. Maybe. The burden of proof is on us to demonstrate that it does. I think @VitalikButerin & co. are going about it in the right fashion, by first introducing Casper FFG as an overlay on top of POW.
- Ethereum has no world class researchers, and has poor peer review standards. I have mixed feelings about this one. We have one in @VitalikButerin, and @drakefjustin has contributed enormously recently. But I agree that ETH has been dismissive of prior scholarship & peer review.
- Utopianism, "sophistry and marketing hype" are a big part of ETH's success so far. Yes and no. Our community does tend a bit toward utopianism, of the rainbows-and-unicorns variety. But Ethereum has never spent a dollar on marketing, nor made any marketing effort...
Contrast this to BTC marketing, which has been a dumpster fire. BTC speaks to internecine war, big egos, bad people with money and power, stagnation. This is why I chose to work on Ethereum in 2017. How much talent & support has this cost Bitcoin?
If the public is excited by Ethereum's hopeful message, it only means Ethereum has done a better job of capturing hearts and minds. I consider this a good thing and in any case I doubt it was by design. You cannot dismiss genuine excitement as mere "hype." Believe me, it's real.
- On the difficulty bomb, to call this a "broken promise" is to fundamentally misunderstand it and its role in Ethereum governance. It's a coordination mechanism and it's working exactly as designed. It's intended to prevent stagnation of the BTC variety. Different values.
- Your criticism of scaling and of "putting everything on the blockchain" is valid and it has become a real burden recently. A lot of effort is being invested in understanding, designing around, and addressing this issue:…
- "with ETH you could program smart contract as easily as javascript": with Ewasm, writing smart contracts gets a heck of a lot easier and more flexible. See e.g. the talk on AssemblyScript at ~20:00.…. This is obviously still WIP, but exciting.
- On meetings with Russians, and semi-closed developer meetings: these are red herrings, more media hype than substance. There was one flirtation with a semi-closed meeting, as an experiment, and it was abandoned. ETH is extremely open. How open is BTC governance, by comparison?
- I won't debate ETH having been a securities offering since the SEC and others have done that rather convincingly. I do think the ICO could have been done more thoughtfully and responsibly than it was, but hindsight is 20/20 and we know a lot more now than we did in 2014...
To me, the point of token generation is 1. to fund a project and 2. to get the token into the hands of developers and other stakeholders to give them meaningful skin in the game. Ethereum pretty clearly succeeded on both of these points.
BTC-style "virgin birth" is idealistic, unrealistic today, and as much as I'd like to believe otherwise, will probably never happen again. It's an unfair ideal to hold Ethereum and other projects to. Also, selling a message of hope is what every startup in history has done.
In conclusion, I appreciate the critical analysis, esp. the objectively valid criticism about scaling and PoS. There are absolutely things here that we should take to heart. But I also agree with @nicksdjohnson. BTC and ETH have different values and goals:
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