Bitcoin maxis are going all in on their Tron joke – but is the anti-Ethereum campaign a sign they’re worried about Eth2?
Over the weekend Blockstream and various Bitcoin maximalists flipped the switch to vaudeville.
The joke started with a picture of Blockstream CEO Adam Back with Tron founder Justin Sun at The Satoshi Roundtable, talking up the project’s ‘superiority’ to Ethereum.
“We have a plan. #Ethereum is over. Tron moving to #liquidnetwork on #bitcoin.”
— NVK (@nvk) February 8, 2020
Bitcoiner Udi Wertheimer later explained that Sun had sponsored the event, which appears to be as much a party as a conference.
Given the tribal nature of the crypto space, a lot of people didn’t see the joke though and got upset for various reasons including the supposed ‘hypocrisy’ of Bitcoin maximalists promoting a ‘shitcoin’.
Bruce Fenton, CEO Chainstone Labs (who changed his Twitter handle to FenTron to extend the gag) was also at the event.
He played down claims it was some sort of anti-Ethereum post.
I think the photo was taken in the spirit of it being surprising that Adam NVK & Justin where in the same photo – just sort of a laugh at that
— Bruce FenTron (@brucefenton) February 9, 2020
So it probably was just a gag post … but as the saga went on it developed an unpleasant edge.
In a video made by British podcaster Peter McCormack a seemingly worse for wear Justin Sun, agreed that Tron is a ‘shitcoin’ and told viewers to ‘buy my shitcoin’.
It was pretty embarrassing stuff – but all power to Sun though, who knows Tron can only benefit from the publicity.
My exclusive interview with @justinsuntron is now available.
Hot tip for a Pulitzer. pic.twitter.com/TZaedkezOX
— Peter McCormack (@PeterMcCormack) February 9, 2020
The joke about promoting Tron as superior to Ethereum also descended pretty quickly into an argument about whether Ethereum was failing.
Blockstream’s Samson Mow wrote that Tron is “more decentralised” than Ethereum and that “Ethereum plebs just can’t stand that Tron is a better world computer”
He also argued: “#Tron made acquisitions like @BitTorrent and @OfficialDLive in roughly the same time frame that #Ethereum had two rounds of layoffs (13% and then 14%).”
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend"-Udi Wertheimer 🤓
— Bitcoin Meme Hub 🔞 (@BitcoinMemeHub) February 9, 2020
Back also seriously raised the possibility on Feb 7 that Tron could take over Ethereum developer studio Consensys.
“Seems to me @Tronfoundation could just buy @Consensys and replace eth2.0 with TRON. Can’t be the only person to think that.”
“Tron is cash rich, eth is cash poor (layoffs, raising). Tron copied and depends on eth code apparently. And eth needs a rewrite for 2.0 + mix in @justinsuntron marketing.
Ethereum supporters hit back
Ethereum supporters claimed the trolling was due to Bitcoiners being terrified of the impending arrival of Phase 0 of Ethereum 2.
If Eth 2 ever happens, and it works, it’ll allow allow Bitcoin’s major competitor to scale massively to levels that could give it the advantage.
A Reddit post asking ‘Why is Blockstream promoting Tron?” was deleted by the r/Bitcoin mods while on the rival r/BTC a post claimed the whole thing showed Bitcoin maximalists “are starting to get spooked by ETH 2.0 and how much capital is really being poured into DeFi protocols.
Many suspected the real agenda was to equate Tron and Ethereum in people’s minds as equally deserving of contempt.
Why is @VitalikButerin enabling SCAMS?!?!
You think this is funny, Vitalik?! Underaged plebs might see this and get a SCAMMY @justinsuntron haircut!
Think of the children, you ANIMAL! pic.twitter.com/HcXc7nqhy1
— Udi Wertheimer (@udiWertheimer) February 9, 2020
ArminVanBitcoin lent weight to this theory, telling his 42,000 followers:
“The trolling of Tron has nothing to do with triggering Ethereum supporters and everything to do with educating people that all altcoins are shitcoins. Bottom line, Ethereum is a joke, Tron is a joke.”
Spencer Noon, head of investments at DTC Capital, didn’t see the funny side of any of it. He wrote: “So let me get this straight: DeFi breaks $1 billion and a day later Liquid attempts to onboard Tron USDT? Sorry but there is no other way to read this than Bitcoiners are threatened by Ethereum
So let me get this straight:
DeFi breaks $1 billion and a day later Liquid attempts to onboard Tron USDT?
Sorry but there is no other way to read this than Bitcoiners are threatened by Ethereum 🤷🏻♂️
BTC doesn’t even need DeFi to be valuable so there’s no reason to be insecure…
— Spencer Noon (@spencernoon) February 9, 2020