Vitalik Buterin deemed the link between Adam Back and deceased billionaire Jeffrey Epstein as tenuous at best. But social media posters noted potential flows of funds between MIT Media Lab and Blockstream, a company for Bitcoin-related services.
Vitalik Comes to Adam Back’s Aid
Adam Back, the co-founder of Blockstream, was the next in line to receive bad publicity from an alleged connection to the funding of billionaire Epstein. Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin tweeted in his defense, stating that the connection was too far-fetched. Buterin found too many degrees of separation between the billionaire’s money and the actual activity of Blockstream.
Ashamed to see anti-BTC people trying so hard (also https://t.co/Yapd63U27Q) to focus on this third degree connection (JE➜Joi➜DG➜BS and JE➜Joi➜DCI➜core devs) to argue BTC dev is horribly corrupt.
Let’s stop abusing tragedies to push agendas and focus on substance please. https://t.co/JVjXKr3ZCw
— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) September 9, 2019
The link between Bitcoin Core, it turns out, started with a mention of Bitcoin (BTC) and its features of scarcity, in an old interview for TheNextWeb from 2017. Epstein mimicked some of the tenets of Bitcoin Core, in that BTC is not a currency, but a scarce store of value, even superior to gold. However, many so-called “Bitcoin maximalists” have shared a similar sentiment.
At that time, Epstein was already convicted for his predatorial ways and soliciting prostitution from underage women.
MIT Media Lab Linked to Crypto Projects
But Redditors also dug up a deeper connection, through the now-reviled Joi Ito, the recently resigned head of the MIT Media Lab. Ito, a proponent of cutting-edge technology, apparently led funding rounds for Blockstream through his venture capital firm, Digital Garage. Ito himself only kept a materially insignificant share of Blockstream, based on the investment of Digital Garage.
MIT Media Lab also spawned the Digital Currency Initiative, which is another potential link of Epstein’s funds to the crypto space. One of the beneficiaries of the Initiative was Wladimir Van der Laan, a Bitcoin Core developer. Van der Laan was at the helm of the merge process for writing any new Bitcoin Core code.
MIT Media Lab became notorious after Ito continued to accept funding from Epstein. For years even after his crimes were known, Ito even covered up the actual source of financing.
Ethereum’s co-founder, Buterin, receives credit for the term “Bitcoin maximalist”. Initially, the term worked as an insult, as ETH was rather competitive back in 2017, with the potential to take over BTC still seen as a viable possibility. But more recently, “Bitcoin maximalist” became a positive expression for supporting BTC before altcoins.
What are your thoughts on Epstein’s links to Bitcoin? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images via Bitsonline, Twitter @Vitalikbuterin