Gavin Wood is the co-founder of Ethereum, former CTO of the Ethereum Foundation and the person behind Solidity, the programming language responsible for the revolutionary smart contracts. However, despite this stellar history with the platform, he left Ethereum in 2016 to create Polkadot, what some might call a serious competitor to the yet-to-be-released Ethereum 2.0.
Wood visited China last month to promote Polkadot, which received substantial financial support from Chinese investors during its private token sale, through which it raised a massive $1.2 billion. Polkadot has thus received substantial development funding through the pre-sale of its DOT tokens, and the platform is slated to have its mainnet launch later this year.
An interview with Wood was published on Chinese website ‘The Orange Book’ yesterday to discuss Polkadot, and what it wishes to do differently than Ethereum.
The Ethereum Twitter community was quick to point out that the Google-Translated version of the article is critical of Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, and even takes some “cheap shots”. It describes him as a young man who doesn’t know how to cover up, and who seems to be “embarrassed” when on stage. They then go on to compare him to Wood, who they state, can speak as many languages as Buterin, has great charisma when addressing a large audience, and has a wide range of interests and experiences such as Taekwondo, snowboarding and music.
During the interview, Gavin speaks about the many issues he has with Ethereum’s design and what he wishes to change through Polkadot. One issue he addresses is Ethereum’s governance. He believes it lacks the ability to improve the system through governance. This is also seen in its attitude towards hardforks, which in Gavin’s opinion, are not a good thing, but which Ethereum implements with rough social consensus outside the blockchain.
A major criticism he finds is the use of ETH as a necessary component to use the platform. Ethers do not need to be the medium of transaction on the platform, and this, he states, is where Buterin disagrees with him. Wood believes that this design makes developers and users of the Ethereum blockchain “slaves” to the ETH token.
Eric Conner, a Twitter user, disagrees with this sentiment. What Ethereum is doing is creating a “monetary premium on the underlying asset (ETH) in order to best secure the chain in the future and open up endless possibilities in doing so.”