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Vitalik Buterin – co-founder of Ethereum – labeled MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor a “total clown” over Twitter on Saturday.
The developer’s comment was in response to a clip of Saylor discussing Ethereum, securities laws, and the latter’s supposedly “biblical” basis.
Saylor and Bitcoin Maximalists
Chatting with the Not Investment Advice podcast in mid-July, Saylor spoke at length about Ethereum’s relationship with securities law. In one segment, he suggested that securities laws are rooted in biblical commandments, such as “thou shall not lie, cheat, or steal.”
“Saying these are antiquated laws from 1933 that don’t apply to crypto… that’s kind of a dead-on-arrival argument,” the CEO continued.
This particular comment was later circulated online through a clip posted by “DZack23” on Twitter on July 30th. Vitalik caught wind of the clip just hours later, and wrote a derisive quote tweet in response:
“Why do maximalists keep picking heroes that turn out to be total clowns?” he asked.
Saylor’s company MicroStrategy is one of the world’s largest corporate holders of Bitcoin, possessing nearly 130,000 coins in total. The CEO has personally identified as a “Bitcoin Maximalist” – someone solely enamored with Bitcoin over all other cryptocurrencies.
As Vitalik suggests, Saylor has grown immensely popular among Bitcoiners for his devotion to and public defense of the protocol. In recent interviews, he’s begun making a more targeted case against other cryptos like Ethereum. Specifically, the CEO believes that Ethereum is security – one yet to prove that it is a truly “decentralized” cryptocurrency.
Is Ethereum a Security?
Securities are investment contracts that include an expectation of profits based on the efforts of another party. Such offerings are subject to disclosure and registration requirements by law.
During his July interview, Saylor maintained that Ethereum is a security rather than a currency, based on its origins and development.
“This was something that was sold as an ICO to the public,” he said. “The Ethereum Foundation controls it. It’s an investment contract.”
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is yet to offer a definitive answer on Ethereum’s security status. SEC chairman Gary Gensler last commented on the matter in 2018, saying that Ethereum’s ICO met the criteria of a securities offering.
By contrast, the chairman publicly clarified in June that he views Bitcoin as a commodity.