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Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin criticizes El Salvador’s Bitcoin experiment

  • Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin called El Salvador’s forced Bitcoin adoption “reckless” and unethical.
  • Buterin says having an untrained population operate with Bitcoin will increase hacks and scams.
  • The Bitcoin community is divided on EL Salvador’s approach. 

El Salvador’s Bitcoin experiment has been described as “reckless” by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. Buterin shared his opinion on the biggest cryptocurrency-related subreddit, r/CryptoCurrency, where he also said that forcing businesses to accept any cryptocurrency goes against the ethical grounds of this industry. 

Bitcoin, like every other cryptocurrency, was developed for uninterrupted decentralized transactions. Forced adoption of crypto certainly goes against this conventional thought of a “free uncontrolled market.” 

Vitalik also said that this forced adoption of crypto is being influenced without proper education or knowledge to the Salvadorans. This will increase the risks of hacks and scams. 

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Bitcoin is like a ticking time bomb

Over the years, Bitcoin has been a significant target of hackers and scammers. Last month, hackers stole 277 Bitcoin worth $12.6m from a cross-chain DeFi protocol. In the same month, hackers hit the world’s first and oldest Bitcoin website (Bitcoin.org). 

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So, the Ethereum co-founders’ concerns are legitimate. Having an untrained mass population work with the most valuable digital currency globally is like a ticking time bomb. 

In a follow-up standard, Buterin further criticized El Salvador’s strategy by referring it to as a ‘maximalist’ or political approach influenced by powerful allies. 

Buterin has always been very vocal about specific cryptocurrency strategies that go against the traditional principles of decentralized finance. Last month, he criticized Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for re-creating DeFi on Bitcoin with a different and weaker trust model. 

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However, members of the Bitcoin community aren’t always on board with the Ethereum co-founder’s “pessimistic” perceptions. In his recent comments, several members of the Bitcoin community have accused Buterin of being hypocritical. 

El Salvador’s Bitcoin experiment

El Salvador recently became the first country to adopt cryptocurrency as its official currency. The government has made it compulsory for businesses to accept Bitcoin as payment and announced financial and legal punishments for those who don’t. 

Almost everyone associated with cryptocurrency always looked forward to countries and businesses accepting crypto as a form of official payments. However, no one expected to see this move from a developing nation like El Salvador. 

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Vitalik Buterin isn’t the only one questioning or criticizing El Salvador’s so-called ‘experiment.’ Many people say that the massive budget allocated to this Bitcoin experiment could have improved the country’s education system and healthcare. 

The decision also came at a time of extreme economic hardship. It is not a surprise that El Salvador, like the rest of the world, is experiencing a massive economic impact on Covid-19. 

Is a compulsory model a positive direction for crypto?

The country’s poverty rate is excepted to go up by 5.9% by the end of this year. So, spending $150m on Bitcoin adoption at such as critical time might not have been the best idea. 

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Also, there was a lot of confusion surrounding the country’s Bitcoin adoption. Two weeks before the law came into effect, the President of El Salvador publicly announced that it would be a willing adoption. So, businesses will have the option to refuse or approve Bitcoin payments.  But it was quickly changed to a forced and compulsory adoption model. 

However, plenty of Bitcoiners out there believe that El Salvador’s Bitcoin experiment is a step in the positive direction for crypto, as it will lead to more international corporations accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payments. 

What’s your perspective on El Salvador’s Bitcoin experiment? Please tell us to know in your comments below.

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