Not even crypto is safe from the divide of cultures waging war on society. But are these top tokens – Bitcoin and Ethereum really all that different?
2020, perhaps more so than any other year in our lifetimes, has brought with it a staunchly divided culture.
Left and Right, Black and White, Science and… well, not science.
We live in a world divided. Each standing on ground that is pretty much even keel with whomever it is we’re fighting against.
Even Bitcoiners and Etherians have gotten into the divisive battle arena.
Twitter crusades play out between big names on either side of the crypto sphere, mostly as investors.
New users turn a blind eye and stick to their safe havens in the form of trade platforms like Bitvavo. Eschewing political affiliations and focusing on the crypto itself.
However, that hasn’t stopped many of the major players from jumping on the Left vs. Right bandwagon, attempting to skew the decentralized foundations of either coin.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin, developed in 2008 and released into the wild early 2009, seemingly came out as a response to the wildly irresponsible speculation that happened within the central banking sphere that led to one of the most devastating economic crashes most of us have ever seen.
Creator Satoshi Nakamoto, an unknown, unaffiliated entity, wrote a white paper that scorched the political and financial sabotage happening within our traditional financial systems.
Creating a call for a world of finance that was neither discriminatory nor overseen by any, one power.
What bitcoin modeled was a fully fungible, pseudoanonymous, borderless, and fully decentralized financial structure that could be used by anyone, anywhere, at anytime.
No skimming, no inflationary practice.
Just a type of currency that was powered through the democratic practice of disseminated power. Maintained by those that use it.
Some would call this a socialist approach to finance.
Some would suggest near Marxist undertones.
But really, the bitcoin white paper seemed to care about one thing and one thing only – the creation of a financial system that was designed to serve only those that used it.
So how have we gotten to the point where bitcoin is considered “conservative”?
What is Ethereum?
Ethereum was one of the first “hard forks” of bitcoin. Sort of.
Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin had some issues with the functionality of bitcoin early on.
In 2013, he created Ethereum, a blockchain-powered, decentralized currency that functioned similarly to bitcoin, but with the intention of being a platform that would promote the creation of decentralized applications (DApps).
Quite notably, smart contracts.
Taking the idea of decentralized currency to the next level, by giving it decentralized infrastructure.
Essentially, putting the ideas that Satoshi Nakamoto had proposed to work. While at the same time, creating a better type of validation, as a rebuttal to the contentious practice of bitcoin mining and proof-of-work systems.
Ethereum continues to push the boundaries of decentralized technologies as the platform continues shifting to proof-of-stake validation, has been a major contributor to the popular DeFi movement, and continues to produce more useful DApps.
So, it could be easy to see why ethereum often gets painted as the socialist’s utopic currency, it still makes little sense as to why political ideologies have been brought into the world of decentralized financial structures at all.
Are They Really So Different?
However, despite the widespread and fairly ubiquitous similarities between the two tokens, for some it’s easily understandable how we got into this debate in the first place.
Where bitcoin was built on foundations of removing government from finance, and Ethereum seemingly sticks to a more “free market, free people” approach to the humanitarian application of technology, the libertarian-conservative and socialist agendas are respectively seen.
But when looking at hard numbers, either coin is just barely populated by half of their assumed political affiliations.
According to sources pointing out a recent CoinDesk survey, 55% of bitcoiners identify as conservative, and 55% of etherians say they’re liberal.
Despite this self-reported divide in ideology, most cryptocurrency enthusiasts agree on one thing- they’re happy to see gains.
So while it may be easy to apply these polarizing political lenses to cryptocurrencies, the bottom line is much more simple and much less of a dichotomy.