Crypto Twitter is abuzz following some crudely crafted bait left by Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk. The man, who often likes to joust around the topic, has once again fanned the crypto fire by tweeting a concise one-word tweet… “Ethereum”.
Within seconds the Tweet garnered hundreds of responses, with offers inviting Elon to join various crypto podcasts or – in the case of Etheruem co-founder, Vitalik Buterin – an invitation for Musk to attend Ethereum’s DevCon in October later this year. Buterin’s response led to the first public dialogue between the two tech giants. While Musk quickly confirmed the facetious nature of his “Ethereum” Tweet by posting the letters “jk” (joking) a few minutes later, Buterin’s involvement clearly piqued the entrepreneur’s interest, leading him to ask “What should be developed on Ethereum?”
Spotting the opportunity to curry favor with Musk, Buterin gave his top list of Ethereum use-cases under development today with suggestions ranging from decentralized insurance through to the use of cryptoeconomic incentives to tackle social media spam.
My top picks (1):
* A globally accessible financial system, including payments, store of value, also more advanced stuff like insurance https://t.co/AGoMt6r2wK
* Identity: "sign in with Facebook" -> "sign in with an ethereum account, no intermediaries". Also web of trust…
— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) April 30, 2019
Buterin also referenced his past Tweetstorm in which he discussed non-financial applications for Ethereum late last year, citing the possibility of “token curated registries” which would allow for the creation, signing and revokation of certificates on-chain.
3. A simple example is a blockchain university degree verification app I saw recently. A degree is certified with just a digital signature, but *revocations* are put on chain. With cryptography alone you can't check that a revocation was *not* signed; but with a blockchain….
— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) December 10, 2018
The Ethereum founder went on to talk about using the blockchain for “experimenting with new forms of human organizational structure,” as well as enabling micropayments via Ethereum payment channels.
At the end of his response to Musk’s jibe, Buterin wrapped up by pointing out Ethereum’s potential as a testing ground for “new market designs” such as decentralized exchange and radically different auction formats, closing with his interest in blockchain-powered identity, reputation and credit systems to help support disenfranchised social groups.
Twitter quickly went ablaze with various users commenting to and fro with a number of prominent Bitcoiners seemingly frustrated that the influential tech giant had not Tweeted “Bitcoin” instead… All the while, Musk himself remained quiet, only to Tweet a second quip targeted at Buterin: “Stop giving away free ETH!” – a reference to last year’s Twitter scamming epidemic.
This isn’t the first time that Musk has been caught up – intentionally or otherwise – in Crypto Twitter. Last year Musk was the target of a hundreds of fraudsters who attempted to use his profile image and name to “give away” cryptocurrency; promising users that they would be rewarded with a multiple of any funds that were sent to the fraudulent account. A more lighthearted exchange took place earlier this month when Musk was ceremoniously appointed the CEO of Dogecoin before declaring the meme coin his favorite cryptocurrency. Given Musk’s laid-back take on the crypto space as a whole, it seems unlikely that he has plans to work with blockchain tech… despite Crypto Twitter’s best efforts to convince him otherwise.