It was July 2018 when Vitalik Buterin had wished for centralized exchanges to burn in hell. At that time Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) had rebuked his remarks in a subtle-yet-punching way. However, fast forward to this day and Vitalik is defending centralized exchanges in their #DelistBSV campaign. And what a wonderful coincidence that the fire of this campaign was also ignited by none other than CZ himself!
Yep. Vitalik Buterin, whose disdain of Craig Wright is famous worldwide, today defended the Delist BSV campaign started by Binance. This is an interesting development because while actions of Craig Wright are subject to debate, the power exercised in this case by a single exchange (Binance) on the entire crypto community is not. I personally do not support what Craig is doing, but at the same time, there’s also no denying the fact that this whole episode couldn’t have unfolded this way if a centralized exchange wouldn’t have been so powerful.
So for Vitalik, who hates Craig Wright and also hates centralization, it was a close call to determine whether he should support or not support the movement. And he has also admitted the same in a recent blog post on the matter. He said:
“I personally have been a critic of the power wielded by centralized exchanges. Should I oppose #DelistBSV on free speech grounds? I would argue no, it’s ok to support it, but this is definitely a much closer call.”
Explaining the rationale behind his decision, he further said that centralized exchanges are still not ‘anything-goes’ platforms like Craig Wright. So, in this case, he would definitely support them over Craig. He said:
“Many #DelistBSV participants like Kraken are definitely not “anything-goes” platforms; they already make many editorial decisions about which currencies they accept and refuse. Kraken only accepts about a dozen currencies, so they are passively “censoring” almost everyone. Shapeshift supports more currencies but it does not support SPANK, or even KNC. So in these two cases, delisting BSV is more like reallocation of a scarce resource (attention/legitimacy) than it is censorship.”
Now after reading this you will be wondering what about Binance? It certainly is an anything-goes platform. And Vitalik also agrees with that to a large extent, but for Binance his rationale is a bit different:
“Binance is a bit different; it does accept a very large array of cryptocurrencies, adopting a philosophy much closer to anything-goes, and it does have a unique position as market leader with a lot of liquidity.
That said, one can argue two things in Binance’s favor. First of all, censorship is retaliating against a truly malicious exercise of censorship on the part of core BSV community members when they threatened critics like Peter McCormack with legal letters (see Peter’s response); in “anarchic” environments with large disagreements on what the norms are, “an eye for an eye” in-kind retaliation is one of the better social norms to have because it ensures that people only face punishments that they in some sense have through their own actions demonstrated they believe are legitimate.”
In short, Buterin would rather see Craig Wright burn in hell over his other nemesis called ‘centralized exchanges’. Peace out!