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Vitalik Buterin in Free Speech Battle Cry Defends #DelistBSV

Vitalik Buterin in Free Speech Battle Cry Defends #DelistBSV

Vitalik Buterin

Vitalik Buterin is no fan of centralized exchanges, but he likes Craig Wright even less. | Source: Flickr/TechCrunch

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By CCN: Vitalik Buterin is known first and foremost as the creator of Ethereum, but he’s also famous for his disdain of centralized exchanges. After previously wishing that centralized exchanges would all “burn in hell”, now Buterin is coming to their defense.

In an exposition reminding the crypto community about the pillars of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Buterin tackles one of the most controversial issue dominating crypto at the moment — Craig Wright and his brainchild Bitcoin SV.

“I personally have been a critic of the power wielded by centralized exchanges. Should I oppose #DelistBSV on free speech grounds? I would argue no, it’s ok to support it, but this is definitely a much closer call.”

An exposition of how I think about free-speech issues especially in the context of privately operated platforms:https://t.co/ypU5D88oLB

— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) April 17, 2019

Buterin is not a fan of centralized exchanges. He infamously stated at a Tech Crunch conference:

“I definitely hope centralized exchanges go burn in hell as much as possible.”

Buterin Grabs His Superman Cape

When it comes to Craig Wright, however, who has threatened members of the crypto ecosystem with lawsuits for calling him out as a fraud, all bets are off. Buterin would much rather watch Wright burn than his other nemesis – centralized exchanges.

The three major crypto exchanges that have delisted BSV so far include Binance, ShapeShift, and Kraken. Buterin explored the potential role of censorship in all of these cases, ultimately reaching various conclusions.

  • Kraken isn’t an “anything goes” platform and decides which coins to accept and deny. Considering they only support about a dozen cryptocurrencies they’re “passively censoring almost everyone.”
  • ShapeShift doesn’t support SPANK or KNC, so its decision to delist BSV is “more a reallocation of a scarce resource than it is censorship.”
  • Buterin’s defense of Binance is two-pronged, owing to 1.) an eye for an eye retaliation of Craig Wright is acceptable, and 2.) people can buy or sell BSV elsewhere.

Buterin comes to the conclusion that:

“So there’s a case to support all delistings so far, though on reflection Binance refusing to delist “because freedom” would have also been not as unreasonable as it seems at first glance.”

Wishy Washy Ramblings

After further reflection, however, Buterin is on the fence the role of exchanges “[sending] a strong message of social condemnation,” which is what he says they did by delisting BSV and which he further characterizes as “useful and needed.” It’s a “tough question,” one that he has more ambiguity about versus the role of BSV at conferences.

“I’m confidently in favor of my position that BSV should be delisted from conferences,” he said.

I agree it’s a tough question. I’m more confidently in favor of my position that BSV should be delisted from *conferences* than from *exchanges*; I hope I signalled my wishy-washyness on the latter question clearly enough.

— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) April 17, 2019

Not everyone was impressed.

@VitalikButerin asks the dumbest questions. Reading his philosophizing is like watching a cognitively deficient person decide what to get for breakfast. It’s feigned pedancy of the highest degree. And the worst of it, this is his best. https://t.co/cmqL81WUeU

— Joshua Unseth (@junseth) April 17, 2019

Buterin must have a thick skin and was seemingly amused by the response to the thread, which he “liked” on Twitter.

About The Author

Gerelyn Terzo

Gerelyn is a fintech and cryptocurrency journalist who started her career writing about traditional finance/Wall Street. She has been reporting on financial services for the past 15-plus years. In full disclosure, she holds bitcoin (BTC).

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