HomeBlockchainDonald McIntyre on Ethereum Classic’s Solidity, Barry Silbert, and Price

Donald McIntyre on Ethereum Classic’s Solidity, Barry Silbert, and Price

During his interview with Crypto Insider, ETCDEV’s head marketer and vocal spokesperson Donald McIntyre talked about the solidity of Ethereum Classic (to be read and understood as “robustness”, as there wasn’t a discussion about the programming language) in relation to the story Giacomo Zucco told about the tale of the three little pigs and their houses, the involvement of Barry Silbert as an investor, and why the price matters in order to encourage development of the project.

Though these topics aren’t as inherently interesting or fascinating as the part where Mr. McIntyre spoke about the roadmap and all the Orbita sidechains, it’s still paramount to understand the ETC project, why it’s different from its sibling Ethereum chain, and why the intellectual and financial efforts behind the Classic place it in a unique position on the market (Turing complete, but immutable and Proof of Work).

No cryptocurrency project is viable without proper programmers and a solid financial backing, so it makes a lot of sense to talk about the coding philosophy and the most prolific figures who entrust the team of developers with the required amounts of money. Barry Silbert seems to be interested in quite a few cryptocurrency projects, and he has always been on the Ethereum Classic side in terms of picking a Turing-complete blockchain. Therefore, getting an insider’s view from Donald McIntyre is paramount to understand the phenomena and properly evaluate the long-term prospects of ETC.

For more information, watch the video attached or read the full Donald McIntyre transcript below.

Vlad Costea: I recall Giacomo Zucco who told me that cryptocurrencies and blockchains are just like the “Three Little Pigs” and their story. Some pigs like to build their houses out of hay and they just burn down when the big bad wolf comes, others just use wood and that’s also easy to destroy, but those who really care about their security use bricks, stone, and materials that last throughout time. And maybe that to some people it’s much more fun to go to the short-term solution. I believe, personally, and this is not the opinion of my boss, I guess. A lot of people at Crypto Insider seem to be enthusiastic about TRON, and about Tezos, Cardano… but I think these are just short-term solutions. They just bring a solution which appeals to a need which exists now. But they didn’t have the patience, I guess, to build it on top of an immutable blockchain.

Donald McIntyre: Yeah, I think that at the social layer… you mentioned before good people and bad people, as some are born good and those philosophies. I think that we are governed by our biology, and in general if you observe biology and human nature we sometimes lie, sometimes we are good or we are honest. We are a Turing-complete machine and we are mostly honest and cooperative. But sometimes we also cheat, and in these systems that means that we need to have the freedom to defend our individuality all the time. We don’t need somebody else to tell us how our lives have to be governed, because that somebody else is very likely to be acting in his own behalf, not ours.

So it’s okay to be the pig who wants to build the hay house, and it’s fine to be the pig who builds the brick house – strong and always concerned with security. And it’s also okay to apply those philosophies or lifestyles where they fit well. In the case of blockchains like Ethereum Classic and Bitcoin, they are specifically systems of very high security. Therefore, the only philosophy that fits is the philosophy of bricks and high security. And it’s perfect that other people want to build a hay house if they build those systems on top or somewhere else. But these systems specifically have to be highly secure.

Vlad Costea: I have two more questions and I see that we also have one from Twitter. I’m not sure if I should read it because it’s about price prediction. But anyway, I wanted to ask you about the involvement of Barry Silbert and his company. A lot of people observed that he was very much involved when Ethereum Classic was about to get listed on Coinbase. He was very vocal in promoting the coin, and then he just vanished.

Donald McIntyre: Barry Silbert’s participation in Ethereum Classic and Bitcoin are exactly what you see: he’s a very honest person and he’s an incredible advocate for these technologies and I think that he has been… I think that I send him an e-mail once because he is very criticized by people, and I told him that he’s a “net positive” (laughs). And when I tell someone or myself that I’m a net positive or net negative… when everything you do, some things are not really good but they’re mostly good – and I think that describes Barry.

All his investments, the risk he’s taking, he has skin in the game, really. He has all his capital in crypto, he has made incredible connections between Wall Street and crypto, and things like that. I think he already acknowledges that he wanted to help Bitcoin when he created or helped organize the New York Agreement. He wanted to put everybody together and come to an agreement because he really wanted to implement some solution to scalability, so it was a good intention. But, as we see, it wasn’t a very good idea for a blockchain. In the case of Ethereum Classic, he has been very vocal since the beginning. At first, he and I used to debate and quarrel on Twitter… or discuss, I don’t know how to say it in English, I’m a Spanish speaker.

Vlad Costea: I noticed.

Donald McIntyre: We used to discuss on Twitter because he was always asking, I would say rhetorically, what is the investment thesis for Ethereum. He was really saying that he didn’t agree with Ethereum. And I was always trying to tell him that Ethereum is gas and Bitcoin is gold. Ethereum is Turing-complete, Bitcoin is only for money transfers. Ethereum is like a full-service computer, Bitcoin is like a pocket calculator. I would tell him all these things and he was always not agreeing. And when Ethereum Classic came, he liked the philosophy of immutability of the smaller chain, and I think that he also liked the fact that it was low value, so it was a good investment. And I think that he really agrees with the concept of Turing-completeness on a blockchain. So he was very supportive and the most visible person there. And he created the ETC ETF, so again a connection between Wall Street and Ethereum Classic.

But he’s not the only person with a lot of money in the system. There is also ETC Lab, a separate investment group from San Francisco. They are funding start-ups, they have a pilot program with six Ethereum Classic start-ups. In 2019, they are aiming to fund between 20 and 24 projects. And ETC Dev, in a few days we’re about to announce a grant from another person. So there’s a lot of people with money supporting many other projects. So even though he was the main big whale in the system originally, now Ethereum Classic is much more diverse. And Barry has a net positive influence in the whole system.

Vlad Costea: And now that we’re talking about money, I saw a tweet by you in which you dismissed a donation from the Ethereum Foundation to Ethereum Classic.

Donald McIntyre: Yeah, you want to know why?

Vlad Costea: You could maybe explain, maybe people who listen to this will not know what it’s about, so you can give a back story.

Donald McIntyre: My personal opinion is that we are still… I mean, there are 2000 blockchains if you go on CoinMarketCap. And on top of that there are many thousands of dApps and other stuff happening on blockchains. But on the base layer there is a lot of competition and I think that in the future there are going to be very few base layer blockchains. It could be between 4 and 5, though some people were saying 10. It doesn’t matter, 10 is still a small amount.

That means that many of the blockchains that we see today, in the future they are going to cease to exist or become insignificant. And for 5 to 10 are going to be the chosen ones by the world. That means that we are today, like any system that needs network effects and standards, we are in the standards war. It has happened in the past with many other technologies, and whoever are advocates for each standard basically competes for their standard to be the one that wins. So, in this scenario, in terms of Turing completeness I don’t think that there are going to be 1000 blockchains. There are going to be maybe 2 or 3 Turing-complete blockchains, which means that other Turing-complete blockchains are very competitive.

So when you have the action of the advocate of one, especially when they are 30 times and they have millions of dollars or hundreds of millions of dollars to support their project, coming and making a press release to donate to you an insignificant amount, not only for them, but also for the receiver, I see it as a marketing ploy to virtue signal and show to the world that they are the dominant standard. And the world, because of the coordination problem, needs a dominant standard. That’s why these standard wars exist, it’s because people or organizations need to choose a platform or a standard to communicate and do their business. That’s why I thought it was a bad decision from the Ethereum Classic side to accept the money. It’s not Ethereum Classic, but the ETC Cooperative – which is another non-profit. But the signal to the market is that of confusion, and I think that it’s the opposite of the message that we’re trying to convey.

Vlad Costea: Okay, so right now it’s fair that I should ask the question of Aldo Romeo Grimaldi on Twitter. And he said “Price prediction!” with like five exclamation points.

Donald McIntyre: I think that speculators are very good for any ecosystem in the stock market, in the bond market, in the currency market, and also in the crypto market. So I would say it has to be respected that many people are interested in the short-term price, but also long-term investment. Those are key because they are the ones who fund the core projects and bring the big money.

However, at ETC Dev and Ethereum Classic we try to be low-profile in terms of talking about price because we don’t want to call out these people doing ICOs and speculating and bring all this activity that in its majority is very likely to be scammy. So we want to focus on the technologies and to keep building. It doesn’t matter what happens outside, we are going to keep building and ETC Dev is here to support Ethereum Classic on the long term. That is a very important guarantee to developers.

In terms of market, even though I don’t price predictions, I can say that I think that in the market Ethereum Classic is uniquely positioned as the only Turing-complete Proof of Work fixed monetary policy non on-chain voting blockchain. Which means that it’s the most secure Turing-complete blockchain on the market today, in the whole ecosystem. Why? Because if you see Bitcoin, Litecoin and Monero, which are big, they are positioned in the Proof of Work, so they are not Turing-complete. So they are highly secure and very good for what they do, but they aren’t Turing-complete. And if you go to the other side of Turing-complete ones, and you have Ethereum, Tezos, EOS, Cardano, et cetera. They are Turing-complete, but Proof of Stake, so not highly secure. Ethereum Classic is specifically Turing-complete and Proof of Work, which is highly secure. So I think that, if we stick to our principles and our technology, and keep building the best technology, in the long terms it’s going to be reflected in the price.

Vlad Costea: Muchas gracias, señor!

Donald McIntyre: Mucha gracias a vos! Thanks to you!

Vlad Costea: I understand, “vos” is also in French, I speak of bit of French. But they don’t pronounce it like that, and I think that “vos” is the polite term.

Donald McIntyre: “Vos” is the Argentinian-Portuguese way. In Spain it’s “Gracias a ti”.

Vlad Costea: A ti? Okay. This is going to get posted on Crypto Insider in a few days. And I hope you’re happy with how it went.

Donald McIntyre: Yes, thank you very much for the questions. They were very good questions and you gave me an opportunity to explain things that people maybe have questions about. This was an opportunity to clarify.

Vlad Costea: Okay, I’ll talk to you on Twitter. Bye!

Donald McIntyre: Thank you Vlad, bye!

Written by

Vlad is a political science graduate who got a little tired and disillusioned with the old highly-hierarchical and centralized world and decided to give this anarchistic blockchain invention a little try. He found out about Bitcoin in 2014, had to do a presentation about it at Sciences Po Paris in 2015, but was too foolish to buy any. Now that he’ll never be a crypto millionaire and hasn’t acquired his golden ticket to lifelong financial independence, he’ll just write op-eds on various topics.

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