In a lengthy number of tweets, Johnathan Corgan—a Core developer—took aim at Coindesk’s Consensus 2018 event, pointing out the clique-like environment it nurtured.
He accused Coindesk of running a club for all the “popular kids” to bash the “geeks and nerds” who developed Bitcoin.
“The amount of fluff and cargo-cult engineering is astounding. Unrestrained incantation of buzzwords and feel-good hype does not a successful business plan make. Unless, of course, the business plan is really just a means of separating clueless people (customers and VCs alike) from their money,” Corgan continued.
He also said that there has been “exactly one successful use case” for blockchain technology, pointing at Bitcoin.
“‘Blockchain not Bitcoin’ companies, with a variety of motivations, see Bitcoin’s success and think the underlying blockchain data structure is the magic ingredient. A historical ledger secure from manipulation and censorship is indeed valuable, but has only been accomplished in Bitcoin by making it *financially infeasible* for anyone to attempt to deviate from the rules everyone else accepts… None of these other ‘blockchain not Bitcoin’ proposals, attempting to replicate Bitcoin’s success but in some other application domain, captures these dynamics. They merely invoke the twin magic words ‘blockchain’ and ‘decentralized’ instead,” he said.
Corgan also predicted that most of these “blockchain not Bitcoin” companies would go bankrupt or make their infrastructures reliant on Bitcoin within the next five years.
His reasoning behind this is that blockchains are “nothing more than […] expensive and slow [databases],” and because of their inefficiency in processing data quickly, many companies will be frustrated with trying to decentralize their work.
Not everyone agrees with his assessment in that blockchains do not necessarily have to use proof of work algorithms to verify their blocks. Cadastral services, for example, don’t require mining of property records. Then again, zero-trust without proof of work is a very difficult thing to implement and might not be as decentralized as many would hope. Proof of stake has previously been criticized as something that centralizes networks.
Meanwhile, Corgan wasn’t the only individual who criticized the Consensus 2018 event. Vitalik Buterin also spoke out against Coindesk for its reporting policies for the conference, which he said, “are designed to trap you with gotchas.”
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