Ethereum Price Drops to $179; Vitalik Buterin Fights Back on Twitter

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Ethereum is down another 9.5% for Tuesday, September 11th, as ETH’s 2018’s lows just keep getting lower. The coin had been defending the $190 position for the last couple days, but in the past twenty-four hours has plunged straight down through the $180s en route to a valuation of $179.71, recorded on Bitfinex at around 19:00 UTC.

That marks a new 2018 low for ETH/USD, and a fourteen month low overall. The price movement comes amid a testy week for Vitalik Buterin, in which several criticisms have been levelled at Ethereum without suitable reply.

ETH ‘Intrinsically Worthless’

Today Buterin fought back against further criticisms on Twitter relating to Ethereum’s lack of worth. An excerpt by cryptocurrency reporter Matthew De Silva was retweeted by Coindesk’s managing director for Europe and Asia, Wong Joon Ian. The excerpt stated:

“Still, Buterin was the one who helped launch a network with tokens that he admitted are intrinsically worthless, at least for now. Why didn’t he wait to devise a platform with an equitable distribution model and a proven use case, aside for speculation?”

The criticism follows on from last week’s discussion on economic abstraction, sparked by a Jeremy Rubin article on TechCrunch. Buterin’s response to the Rubin article was deemed a mis-step by many, although Buterin has always displayed a tendency for being blunt rather than diplomatic.

The latest critique from Da Silva continues:

“We’re almost a year removed from Buterin stressing the need to ‘differentiate between getting hundreds of billions of dollars of digital paper sloshing around, and actually achieving something meaningful for society.’ It’s hard to see how his invention has made any difference beyond inflating the crypto bubble. Non-state virtual currency is interesting, but wasn’t Ethereum supposed to be something even greater?”

Buterin Responds

After some apparent contemplation, Buterin tweeted earlier today:

“So I realized that the argument that “there’s no value for ETH in ethereum as of today” is even wronger than I thought.”

Buterin continued, responding to claims that the ETH token itself is an irrelevance on the Ethereum network. He tweeted:

“The reason is that as of today, abstraction is not even implemented in ethereum. There are clear efficiency advantages to using ETH as a means of paying for gas: it’s already baked into the protocol, zero gas cost to pay for gas (so no “tax tax”), network protocol supports it…”

And in a statement which perhaps cuts to the core of this ‘abstraction’ issue, Buterin ended with:

“It’s not fair to rely on hypothetical future features to argue against something, and not admit *planned* future features as arguments in its favor.”

Tempers are starting to flare as we enter into the worst period of the year for Ethereum, and the crypto market in general, so far. Sentiment appears to have turned slightly against Ethereum in the past week or so, no doubt fuelled by the failure of its coin on the open market.

But let’s wait and see how Ethereum’s ‘planned future features’ work out, before we dismiss the entire enterprise just yet.



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