Binance CEO Fires Back at ‘King’ Vitalik Buterin Over ‘Burn in Hell’ Comment

Jul 10, 2018

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ, took to Twitter Tuesday to respond to Vitalik Buterin’s much publicized comments telling centralized exchanges to “burn in hell”. 

CZ’s response begins with a general plea for civility in the cryptocurrency industry but quickly heads for more controversial territory.

“Let’s not wish others to ‘burn in hell’. Let’s have a bigger heart, and appreciate the fact that we are part of an eco-system, not independent projects,” said CZ.

CZ then points out the benefits of centralized exchanges like Binance:

“Realized [sic] that, if it was [sic] not for fiat (and centralized) exchanges:

  1. All coins will have far less liquidity (and market cap/price/influence/impact/etc).
  2. The industry will be smaller
  3. The industry will develop slower.

Probably all by more than 10x. Just because someone else is doing the lowly grunt work, doesn’t make them dirty.”

CZ goes on to discuss the benefits and problems associated with decentralization, while taking the chance to fire back at Buterin:

  1. “Decentralization is a means, not an end. The goal is to increase freedom, and choice. Let people choose what they want. At the moment, more people seems [sic] to choose centralized exchanges over decentralized one [sic], and there are good reasons for it
  2. There is no absolute decentralization. Projects with core teams still have centralization. Today, Vitalik probably has more king-like powers than anyone else in the industry, and has used it, by serving as advisors for projects, therefore helped [sic] to decide their fate, at least fate of their ICOs to a large extent.
  3. ‘Decentralization’ is not safer by default. Why do we have ETC vs ETH today?
  4. Effectiveness and adoptability is a consideration. A smalls tep towards decentralization/freedom that can be adopted by 1.2 billion people is more impactful than a big step that can only be adopted by a dozen people.”

CZ rounds out the post by returning to the idea of being “nice” to other members of the cryptocurrency “eco-system.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I am all for blockchain/decentralization/freedom. But I would not wish “burn in hell” [sic] on anyone or anything. That’s just not a nice thing to say, even if it was said by Vitalik.”

The comments are sure to be controversial for a number of reasons, not least of which because of the personal jabs toward Buterin. 

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Matthew Godshall is the editor in chief at A graduate of Wesleyan University, Matthew hopes to turn Unhashed into the Internet’s premiere site for cryptocurrency resources.

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