Dubbed as the “SXSW of blockchain” by its organizers, the Ethereal Summit 2019 kick-started on Friday in Brooklyn, New York. The week-long event seeks to bring futurists, entrepreneurs, investors, media icons, and government officials on a single platform.
All this to discuss issues related to blockchain technology, especially the role of the world’s second largest blockchain, Ethereum.
Ethereal Summit 2019: Bitcoin vs Ethereum
On the first day of the Ethereal Summit, much of the debate focussed on Ethereum’s position as the leading smart contract platform in the nascent blockchain industry, and whether it could maintain it. Although the panel was largely in agreement that Ethereum has a clear first-mover advantage in terms of smart contracts.
There was a divergence of opinions on whether Ethereum should be all-encompassing or have a more focused path. By the end of it, however, much of the debate devolved into how well Ethereum stacks up against the reigning crypto king, Bitcoin.
Focus on DeFi
Bitcoin vs Ethereum has been dubbed as the PC vs Apple of this generation and it was no surprise that the discussion veered toward the topic. Some of the panellists, however, were of the opinion that Ethereum need not concern itself with catching up to Bitcoin as a crypto asset.
Ryan Selkis, Cofounder and CEO of Messari, was one such panellist who advocated a singular focus on DeFi for Ethereum. The goal, he said, is “to become the DeFi Chain”.
“If you think about Ethereum as programmable money and decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, that’s probably good enough,” Selkis argued.
On the other hand, Ethereum’s creators and most ardent adherents were all too bullish about its prospects to reinvent the web as we know it. Tom Shaughnessy, co-founder and principal at Delphi Digital said,
“It’s Ethereum’s race to lose”.
Ameen Soleimani, SpankChain founder and summoner of the MolochDAO, said during one panel,
“Ethereum’s going to eat everything”.