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Crypto Billionaire Zhu Su ‘Abandons’ Ethereum, Backtracks Amid Backlash

Crypto billionaire Zhu Su said he had abandoned Ethereum hours before backtracking on his statements.

On Sunday, the CEO of Three Arrows Capital, a Singaporean hedge fund, stated that, despite supporting Ethereum in the past, he would no longer do so in the future.

He claimed that Ethereum had abandoned its users, especially newcomers to the network.

Su called out the founders of Ethereum specifically. He stated they are “already too rich to remember what they originally set out to do”. Furthermore, he wondered whether a bear market may remind them of the priorities or that maybe “we must build elsewhere.”

He also said that “Ethereum culture suffers massively from the Founders Dilemma”. The term refers to the conflict of interest between the founders of a project and the users and investors that come after them. Su emphasized the purity tests and the condescending attitude to new users, which according to him, is prevalent on the network.

Specifically, he cited high gas fees as the main issue with the platform. Paying “$100 – $1k” per transaction may not be much for users that bought ETH early. However, new users can’t afford that, says Su.

Backlash From ETH Devs

What followed the tweets was an intense backlash from the ETH community.

David Hoffman, CEO of Bankless, even tweeted that his abandonment was the “biggest sin that you can commit in this space.”

Even the Ethereum developer Tim Beiko fired back at Su’s tweets. He stated that Ethereum has the best people working on it and that “the vast majority of them aren’t on Twitter arguing.”

“A lot of smart people working on Ethereum are aware of this and spending their time trying to fix it,” he said. However, Beiko did agree that the fees were too high and that the network was not growing fast enough.

Facing the backlash, Su walked back his tweets in just three hours. He said that he loved Ethereum and what it stands for but wanted it available for all users. He said that he works for the same goal as Ethereum supporters.

One of the solutions he sees is users building so-called layer two solutions. These solve the network’s high fees by performing transactions off the Ethereum Mainnet.

“Great teams are working on scaling Eth on L2. I would’ve preferred to see eth1x roadmap,” he said. He further tweeted that he would have “preferred focusing on users rather than holders welfare in upgrades”.

He added that it should not shame users for going to other platforms, including layer two solutions. Likewise, developers should also not be shamed for building on them, he added.

$50 Gas Fees

Gas fees on Ethereum have drawn a lot of debate on the network’s feasibility. The prices fluctuate over time, and currently, they are at about $50 per transaction.

The high gas fees have opened up the field for other DeFi tokens, including Cardano, Solana and Algorand.

Su’s Three Arrows invested heavily into the Avalanche crypto, another Ethereum alternative. Significantly, one of the hedge funds led the private sale of $230 million in AVAX tokens. Zhu Su’s tweet sent AVAX to the top 10 by market cap.

Despite the criticism, some have agreed with Su’s sentiment. dYdX derivatives exchange founder Antonio Juliano said that he somewhat agreed with the comments.

While “much harsher than I would put it”, he agreed that Ethereum has not executed.

“I can’t think of a single 10x useful improvement Ethereum has made in the past *4 years*,” he added. However, he still believes that Ethereum is “still the most likely” network to win long term.

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“I 100% don’t care what chain dYdX is built on. All I care about are the technical tradeoffs: decentralization, security, scalability, UX etc.,” he said. Networks that don’t offer the best tradeoffs will be left behind, said Juliano.

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