Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin does not believe Australian cryptocurrency entrepreneur Craig Wright is bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto and called him a “fraud.” Wright responded by dissing Buterin, calling him a “twig.”
Buterin made the comments after a panel called “Bitcoin, Controversy over Principle” (which featured Wright) had wrapped at the 2018 Deconomy Blockchain Conference in Seoul, South Korea, on April 3.
Buterin stood up and asked event organizers, “Given that [Craig Wright] makes so many non-sequiturs and mistakes, why is this fraud allowed to speak at this conference?” The audience erupted into applause at the fiery jab (see video below).
‘Craig Wright Is Crazy’
In response, Wright, the chief scientist at blockchain firm nChain, tweeted, “Oh well…looks like I broke Vitalek…He is a twig. must remember to be gentle next time.”
Wright also tweeted a snapshot of a character from the animated sitcom Beavis and Butt-head, writing, “Sorry Bevis [sic]…Oh, I mean Vitalek.”
Buterin responded by tweeting, “Craig Wright *is* crazy.” Both cryptocurrency experts had been invited to speak at Deconomy, making for an awkward conference given their mutual dislike.
At the heart of their conflict today is Buterin’s skepticism that Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto, the alias for the mysterious creator of bitcoin, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap.
Nakamoto’s true identity has never been confirmed, but Craig Wright made headlines in 2016 when he claimed he was Satoshi.
Wright has never fully proven those claims, and obviously, Buterin doesn’t believe him.
In 2017, there was rampant speculation that Tesla billionaire Elon Musk was Satoshi Nakamoto after a former SpaceX intern, Sahil Gupta, wrote in a blog post on Medium that “Satoshi is probably Elon.”
SpaceX Intern: Elon Musk Is Satoshi Nakamoto
Gupta reasoned, “Elon is a self-taught polymath. He’s repeatedly innovated across fields by reading books on a subject and applying the knowledge. It’s how he built rockets, invented the Hyperloop (which he released to the world as a paper), and could have invented Bitcoin.”
Musk denied the rumors and recently revealed he’s not a big fan of bitcoin. “I literally own zero cryptocurrency, apart from 0.25 BTC that a friend sent me many years ago,” Musk confessed on Twitter. Using today’s bitcoin price of about $7,400 a coin, that translates to about $1,850.
Not sure. I let @jack know, but it’s still going. I literally own zero cryptocurrency, apart from.25 BTC that a friend sent me many years ago.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 22, 2018
While Vitalik Buterin may look like a teenage computer whiz, his vast knowledge and expertise in the growing cryptocurrency market are undeniable.
The boyish-looking co-founder of Ethereum recently made Forbes first-ever list of cryptocurrency billionaires. And Buterin, 24, landed at No. 17 in the rankings, with an estimated net worth topping $400 million.
Forbes 2018 List of the Richest People in Crypto (Net Worth)
- Chris Larsen, co-founder of Ripple: $7.5 to $8 billion
- Joseph Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum: $1 billion to $1.5 billion
- Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance: $1.1 billion to $2 billion
- Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, co-founders of Gemini: $900 million to $1.1 billion
- Matthew Mellon, Individual investor: $900 million to $1 billion
- Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase: $900 million to $1 billion
- Matthew Roszak, co-founder of Bloq: $900 million to $1 billion
- Anthony Di Iorio, co-founder of Ethereum: $750 million to $1 billion
- Brock Pierce, chairman of Bitcoin Foundation: $700 million to $1 billion
- Michael Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital: $700 million to $1 billion
- Brendan Blumer, CEO of Block.one: $600 million to $700 million
- Dan Larimer, CTO of Block.one: $600 million to $700 million
- Valery Vavilov, CEO of Bitfury: $500 million to $700 million
- Charles Hoskinson, co-founder of Ethereum and IOHK (Cardano): $500 million to $600 million
- Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple: $400 million to $500 million
- Barry Silbert, CEO of Digital Currency Group: $400 million to $500 million
- Vitalik Buterin, creator of Ethereum: $400 million to $500 million