News - What Bitcoin can learn from Ethereum, according to Vitalik Buterin

By Ted Maas

What Bitcoin can learn from Ethereum, according to Vitalik Buterin

How can Bitcoin get better? Editor Vitalik Buterin has some advice: follow Ethereum and make Bitcoin scalable.

Bitcoin and Ethereum are polarizing: There are maximalists with entrenched values on both sides. But there is also room for mutual communication - as Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has now personally proven. He used a Twitterspace as a talking point in which he offered advice on how Bitcoin could become more than just a payment network. In particular, the Ordinals protocol should enable the turnaround.

The room was moderated by Bitcoin Wizards founders Udi Wertheimer and Eric Wall. They are considered pioneers of Ordinals and see themselves as an outspoken counter-movement against BTC maximalism. Vitalik Buterin shares this view: "The Ordinals are reviving a culture of actually doing things. I feel there is a real pushback against the so-called laser-eye movement."

Bitcoin: more useful through scaling?

The trio continued on one of Bitcoin’s biggest weaknesses: slow transactions on the main network. The solution: scaling. According to Vitalik, developments such as zk rollups are needed as "Bitcoin must be more than just a means of payment". As examples, the 29-year-old cited Optimism and Arbitrum - two successful Layer 2 projects on Ethereum.

Ethereum has experimented with various scaling solutions over the years. Currently, the network is on track to enable more than 100,000 transactions per second (TpS). By comparison, only 7 TpS are possible with Bitcoin. However, there is already a solution to low transaction throughput. About one million transactions per second could theoretically flow through the Lightning network. In addition to approval, Buterin also found criticism of Lightning, for example regarding opening a payment channel.

With Ordinals Against Maximalism?

In May, a Bitcoin transaction temporarily cost US$30. The reason for the high network usage: Bitcoin NFTs. In Bitcoin-Maxi circles, the Ordinals protocol is under scrutiny. Proof of Work was originally a system to prevent spam. Now, however, the blockchain is being "soiled" with random data packets that have little to do with financial transactions, the argument goes.

However, the new trend raises a fundamental question: What should Bitcoin be used for? Only as a payment network or also for creative applications? For Vitalik Buterin, at least, Ordinals represent a "return to building culture". For the future, he would like to see collaboration between the two communities, Bitcoin and Ethereum.

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