Coinbase Co-Founder Fred Ehrsam Endorses Ethereum

In an extensive blog post, Fred Ehrsam the Co-Founder of Coinbase described the company’s motivations for adding Ethereum into their platform. The article features strong words against Bitcoin’s core developers and praises Ethereum’s vibrant development community. 

Fred Ehrsam present an extensive overview of the current state of things, along with some reasoning behind Coinbase’s decision to incorporate Ethereum into its platform.

My theory has been that the scripting language in Bitcoin — the piece of every Bitcoin transaction that lets you run a little software program along with it — is too restrictive.

The article outlines the recent milestone set by TheDAO project which has raised more than 11 million eth, Ehrsam states that the level of app development in Ethereum is already faster than Bitcoin’s, Coinbase is looking to strongly support both platforms for the advancement of digital currency as a whole, Ehrsam doesn’t deny the obvious overlap between the two, so he believes that there is room for competition.

However, we also stand here 7 years into Bitcoin with few apps and no “killer apps” beyond store of value and speculation. The scripting language in Bitcoin has barely expanded and remains very restrictive.

Ethereum offers the possibility of creating applications more easily, on this Ehrsam said:

Developers at Coinbase have written simple Ethereum apps in a day or two.People are doing things in Ethereum that are not possible right now in Bitcoin. It has created a new generation of developers which never worked with Bitcoin but are interested in Ethereum.

Bitcoin has been dormant for some time, the biggest announcements in Bitcoin protocol upgrades in the past months have been the launch of the test phase of Segregated Witness, and Thunder -an implementation of the Lightning network-. Erhsam blames this stagnation to the dysfunctionality of Bitcoin’s development team.

Beyond a leadership vacuum, Bitcoin’s “leadership” is less clear and toxic. Greg Maxwell, technical leader of Blockstream which employs a solid chunk of core developers, recently referred to other core developers who were working with miners on a block size compromise as “well meaning dips***s.”

Ehrsam has good words for Ethereum’s development team:

The core development team in Ethereum is focused. This is evident from the Ethereum blog. When I started reading it, it was everything I found myself thinking about for the present and future of Bitcoin but didn’t see being discussed much.

The article concludes with a list of counterarguments and platform’s risks, like the immaturity of Ethereum, the increased regulatory risk associated with specific applications of Ethereum (like TheDAO), among others.

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