Ethereum ETH/USD co-creator Vitalik Buterin jumped on a Twitter thread discussing nuclear weapons and "network weapons" on Sunday, saying that the asymmetry prevalent in the latter made it hard to reduce conflict “by agreeing on limiting principles.”
What Happened: Buterin’s comments came in response to a Twitter thread from former Coinbase Global Inc COIN Chief Technology Officer Balaji Srinivasan.
Srinivasan said network technology, much like nuclear, found "dual use" during peacetime and wartime.
What recent events make clear to all is that digital technology, like nuclear enrichment, is very much dual use.— Balaji Srinivasan (@balajis) March 20, 2022
There is a legitimate, important peacetime use. And then there is a second use as a weapon of war. pic.twitter.com/U3hbKv79Rt
Srinivasan, a former general partner at Andreessen Horowitz and founder of 21.co, noted that network weapons, unlike nuclear weapons, have an “intrinsic asymmetry.”
He cited the example of South Korea, where many people use Alphabet Inc's GOOGL GOOG Google as a search engine, but few Americans use the Korean web portal Naver in comparison.
This, according to Srinivasan, means that Google “can exercise more digital power over Koreans than Naver can over Americans.”
Buterin said that asymmetry makes it “hard to reduce conflict by agreeing on any limiting principles.”
One big reason why this is a problem is that asymmetry makes it hard to reduce conflict by agreeing on any limiting principles.— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) March 20, 2022
"X seems bad, how about we all stop doing X"
"That's easy to say coming from YOU, you benefit more than anyone else from X being as rare as it is!"
See Also: How To Buy Ethereum (ETH)
Why It Matters: Earlier this month, Buterin urged compassion for Russians and Belarusians resisting the war and President Vladimir Putin’s “Z-ombie Regime.”
Ethereum co-creator Joe Lubin last week said that the Russia-Ukraine conflict had pushed cryptocurrency adoption to a point of “no return.”
Benzinga’s Take: The global asymmetry in network weapons is readily apparent.
Google accounts for 92% of global web searches, according to Statcounter data.
Of the nearly 4 billion email users worldwide, more than 1.8 billion use Gmail alone, according to Statista data from 2020.
American companies dominate the internet, be it email and search or social networking and mobile technology companies. Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc FB or Apple Inc AAPL are prominent examples.
Srinivasan's words that “digital power is much cheaper to project abroad than analog hard power" resonate.
If foreigners are on your servers, digital power is much cheaper to project abroad than analog hard power. No aircraft carriers needed, just hit a key and it’s everywhere.— Balaji Srinivasan (@balajis) March 20, 2022
It’s much more surgical than analog hard power too. Target specific users with exact penalties.
Decentralization could thus act as an antidote to network technology’s weaponization in the future, provided it gets an adoption rate similar to today’s highly centralized internet services.
Price Action: At press time, Ethereum spiked 10.1% to $2,843.23 over 24 hours.
© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on Bankrate.com. The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.
All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the Bankrate.com rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.
Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.
Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.