Ethereum V Ethereum Classic
Round 1 : Silbert v Seaman and the Ongoing Ethereum Divide
“Ethereum has the potential to completely change our concept of society.”
Every so often a big idea comes along. Ethereum is one such idea. Building on and extending Bitcoin’s original blockchain implementation, Ethereum has the potential to completely change our concept of society.
Ethereum promises to do this through Smart Contracts. These decentralised pieces of software, running on the Ethereum ‘world computer’, have far reaching implications.
With a monumental change upon us, things are getting divisive.
The Ethereum community is now split over the DAO and decision to hard fork the protocol. The split is real and is manifested in two separate networks and tokens.
Some believe that the hard fork shows a weakness in the governance structure. Others see the ability to hard fork away a theft as a demonstration of strength; an appeal to a type of ‘high court’ in the community.
Despite the best efforts of community leaders to end the vitriol, there is still visible animosity between both camps. Ethereum can be stifled. But it can never really be stopped. Such is the nature of blockchains.
As it continues to spread, the debate continues to intensify.
Silbert v Seaman
This is best demonstrated in the ongoing and very public tussle between David Seaman and Barry Silbert.
Both are public figures and both have taken strong opposing positions. They have been pitted against each other as a result of circumstance.
Barry Silbert is a well renowned financier. He is notable for his work at Second Market. This organisation has considerable standing in the world of mainstream finance.
Barry is somewhat of a bitcoin maximalist and has been pushing bitcoin and its blockchain for some time now. His ventures in the space are Digital Currency Group and Bitcoin Investment Trust. He is directly linked to investments in numerous bitcoin and blockchain companies.
Barry Silbert has not made any effort to hide his scepticism of the Ethereum platform and its utility. Yet, despite his previously negative attitudes, he has thrown his standing and weight behind Ethereum classic.
This surprised a lot of people, considering that both are exactly the same code. It left some to conclude that his support was based only on ideology. Either that or a strategic move against the Ethereum itself. He has also been uncharacteristically vocal about his own stake and position in ETC tokens.
This has bought him in direct challenge with David Seaman. A journalist and digital currency prognosticator, Seaman writes for leading mainstream news publications such as the Huffington Post.
Concerned with Bitcoin’s slowing pace of development, he started championing Ethereum some time ago. He has a sizeable position in ETH which is no secret.
David Seaman has used his personal platform and journalistic standing to openly declare his belief that ETC is actually a scam.
He has suggested that the ETC chain might be in violation of SEC rules. And has taken the battle personally to Barry Silbert on social media platforms like twitter, accusing Silbert of unprofessional conduct and using his position to push an illegitimate and possibly illegal implementation of Ethereum.
Round one goes to…
There is a place for both sides is a free and thinking community. Technique is purely individual. It is a personal means of expression. So long as the intention is good.
Regardless of where you stand it is always important to remember that the greater promise of Ethereum has not changed.
ETC shows by example that we are free to cooperate and collaborate in any way we so choose. If we do this, in the spirit of decentralised organisation, there will be no single monolithic entity exercising too much control.
Therefore round one in this epic battle between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic goes to Ethereum Classic . This is because it has not only survived the hard fork but has risen significantly in value and remains to be an ongoing concern. This is further exemplified by the resurrection of Charles Hoskinson, an Ethereum founder, who has now come out and spoken of his support for Ethereum Classic . Stay tuned for the latest on Charles Hoskinson in round 2..
BlockChain Capital completes 10 million USD ICO.
A more traditional style Venture Capital fund has been launched by Blockchain Capital and has raised over the 10 million USD maximum in its first day and will invest all of this in anything but traditional ventures.
In what BlockChain Capital itself dubs a world first they have launched the First Digital Liquid Venture Fund which they say “will disrupt the traditional VC market and create the first of its kind “Digital LP” investment vehicle”.
The difference with this fund, and why it can disrupt, is that it will not only invest in companies associated with Blockchain technologies, such as Bitcoin, Ripple and Ethereum but it will issue a liquid tradeable token, representing value in the fund, that can be bought and sold on an exchange. This means that investors can essentially cash in their investment at any time as opposed to waiting many years like in a more established Venture Capital fund.
This Blockchain Capital token will be issued on the Ethereum Blockchain, and joins an increasing number of ICOs using Ethereum’s easy and straightforward deployment of secure tokens on its network.
Time will tell
We shall certainly see over time whether this fund is able to return value to its investors but with some big names backing it, and a massive treasure trove to pick the best investments from, it certainly has a great chance of retuning investors multiple times their original investment in 5-10 years.
The fund has essentially underwritten the value of the token at 1USD and thus creating a floor at its original par value. This is achieved trough their intent to buy up any tokens in the event that it falls below this base value.
With the ICO raising finishing so quickly, it would have meant many would-be investors potential missing out on the initial offering. This will create a pent up demand and when the tokens are finally issued on Ethereum and listed for exchange you could see an initial explosion in price built around the hype and opportunity of a more regulated type token, of sorts, amidst a largely speculative and unregulated space.
Of course now they have created a honey Pot for new and more established Blockchain type companies to request funding from. This makes Blockchain Capital the current ‘Belle of the Bitcoin Ball’ and thus creating an opportunity to pick and choose from the most alluring suitors. This should at least mean the Fund managers being able to decide on more quality investments and not just any old Blockchain company with a great idea. With this space developing so fast, and there starting to be a number of well established players likley looking to expand their offerings, there will certainly be no shortage of suitors.
Open Blockchain not Permissioned database
If they use the mantra that the word ‘Blockchain’ cannot be replaced by the word ‘Database’ when looking at company pitches then it is likely to be a better type business investment. Many new startups and advisors are creating new closed access, permissioned style databases and calling it ‘Blockchain’ or ‘Distributed Ledger Technology’ and are really suggesting nothing better than an open SharePoint. Unless a company is building technology that resembles all of the main characteristics of Bitcoin such as having an open and permission-less innovation & security model then it will inevitably find it hard to differentiate itself. Any Blockchain investment needs to be disruptive and not just offering small efficiency gains here and there.
It will be fascinating to see how the token trades when it is listed on exchanges and how they will restrict Non-Accredited US investors from buying the tokens. I suspect it will be listed only on a limited number of exchanges who conduct thorough KYC before allowing investors to buy. One such exchange could be the fairly new NYCEX, which looks fairly quiet but well designed and part of the Argon Group that helped launch the ICO on Tokenhub .
Watch this space…