The truth about ETH founders split and ‘Crypto Google’ – Cointelegraph Magazine

There’s a narrative that’s grown up around Ethereum’s two most important co-founders, Joe Lubin and Vitalik Buterin, to explain how they went in different directions almost a decade ago.

It suggests the pair fell out over the blockchain’s future direction, with the idealistic 20-year-old Buterin determined to turn Ethereum into a nonprofit foundation, while Lubin and others wanted to commercialize the technology via a for-profit company.

“That wasn’t really what happened,” the billionaire founder of Ethereum infrastructure and software firm ConsenSys tells Magazine during an in-depth interview in Tel Aviv.

“What happened was people were looking for a way to explain why these two people were bumped out of the project. And that was a convenient way to label it. But that wasn’t the reason they were moved.”

Lubin’s referring to Ethereum’s infamous “Red Wedding” in 2014 when the eight co-founders and the team gathered to incorporate Ethereum as a company.

Former Ethereum CEO Charles Hoskinson (right) with creator Vitalik Buterin (left) from back in the day. (Flickr)

The meeting descended into bickering and infighting over internal politics that saw a devastated CEO Charles Hoskinson pushed out of the team, along with underperforming co-founder Amir Chetrit.

“I think it’s true that I and several people on the team — like maybe everybody else — believed that you need to draw businesses in, you needed economic, commercial validation in order to build better things, even open-source software,” the 58-year-old says in his slow, measured tones.

“But that wasn’t the root of why I started ConsenSys or why two people were bumped off the project.”

Red Wedding and Crypto Google

As documented in Camilla Russo’s history of Ethereum, The Infinite Machine, the co-founders had gathered in Zug, Switzerland on June 7, 2014, to sign a document transforming Ethereum into a for-profit company. But instead of signing the contract, tensions boiled over…


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