Vitalik Buterin. Source: a video screenshot.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin had to defend himself against allegations that he is leaving Ethereum. “I am not leaving. No plans to stop or reduce blog posts / ethresearch posts / github commits,” he tweeted in response to a tweet accusing him of “pulling a Dan Larimer.” For context, Dan Larimer was behind BitShares, Steem and EOS projects, having left the first two for newer projects.
At the annual “family reunion” in Prague, Devcon, organized by the nonprofit Ethereum Foundation, Buterin told MIT Technology Review that it’s time for him to start fading into the background as “a necessary part of the growth of the community.” His involvement in the project is now “a significantly smaller share of the work than I had two or three years ago,” adding that downsizing his influence is “something we are definitely making a lot of progress on.”
This has quickly been taken up by many on Ethereum as Buterin effectively saying that he is leaving the project. A popular crypto trader and analyst, Tone Vays was among those, tweeting, “Looks like @VitalikButerin is getting ready to pull a @DanLarimer. Exited!!" However,
Buterin was quick to reply to his tweet.
1. I am not leaving. No plans to stop or reduce blog posts / ethresearch posts / github commits.
2. Vitalik is "in charge": ETH is centralized! Vitalik is not "in charge": Vitalik is pulling a Dan Larimer! This is why BTC maximalists have zero credibility.
— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) November 2, 2018
Vitalik Buterin is often the target of naysayers. He has been called “dictator for life” by Nouriel Roubini, American economist. Earlier this year, the Ethereum team was also accused of “establishing a plutocratic government” and Buterin’s role in this was heavily debated. This all stems from the fact that Ethereum is politically centralized in a way, as many supporters of the technology rally behind the likes of Buterin as their leaders.
This brings the story back to Buterin’s fading involvement in the project, which is considered a step towards further decentralization. According to MIT Technology Review, Hudson Jameson of the Ethereum Foundation talked about ways the community could come together to make decisions collectively, adding, “That’s something that I think is really really important for the ecosystem to thrive and become more decentralized.”
And the community is mostly taking Buterin’s side in this issue, as well. “You know what’s funny? Satoshi actually did leave. But that’s good for Bitcoin™ so it doesn’t count,” writes Reddit user u/FrothySeepageCurdles.