In brief

  • Vitalik Buterin drew attention to the comparison between World War 2 and the cryptocurrency landscape.
  • Buterin said that Ethereum is perceived as the “mortal enemy” of Bitcoin supporters, while some believe that Tron is a copycat of Ethereum.
  • Buterin referred to a post discussing the in-group/out-group dynamics of World War II.

Just as battle lines were drawn between 1939 and 1945, similar lines were drawn across the crypto landscape in the eleven years since Bitcoin’s creation in 2008.

The analogy comes from Ethereum (ETH) creator Vitalik Buterin, who drew attention to the comparison in a Twitter post on July 3, in which he tried to explain the alliances that have formed in the crypto industry.

Buterin said that Ethereum is often considered the “mortal enemy” of Bitcoin supporters, while Tron (TRX) is spared the same scrutiny. Some believe that Tron is a copycat of Ethereum; it allegedly copied & pasted some of Ethereum’s code during its construction.


Buterin tweeted: “Like, from any serious point of view, any flaw that ETH has from the perspective of BTC community values, Tron has 10x more. And yet, ETH is often a mortal enemy, and yet Tron, at least psychologically, is viewed as a distant crazy uncle it's cool to be kinda friends with.”

Nazis, Jews, and Japanese...

Buterin referred to a post posted on Slate Star Codex by philosopher and psychologist Scott Alexander. The post discusses the in-group/out-group dynamics of different peoples during World War 2. 

Seen below, it argues that, despite many shared biological, social and cultural features, the German Nazis chose to persecute German Jews, while they were only too willing to cooperate with the culturally different Japanese.

Nazis and German Jews comparison text.

The only explanation for such a partnership is a strategic alliance, argued the post. 


In Buterin’s wild analogy, fervent Bitcoin supporters are the German Nazis; Ethereum supporters are the German Jews, and Tron—Japan—appears to be forming a strategic alliance with Bitcoiners to take down a common enemy. After all, Tron CEO Justin Sun has spent the last few years referring to Tron as the “Ethereum Killer”.

Buterin co-founded Bitcoin Magazine in 2011, and originally planned to build Ethereum on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. With that in mind, one would expect some level of accord between Ethereum and Bitcoin. 

But alas, it was not to be. Could it be that “crazy uncle” Tron isn’t seen as a threat to Bitcoin, while Ethereum is?

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