Vitalik Slams Bitcoin Community & El Salvador: “They Love The Rich and Powerful”

Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, recently shared some strong words against Bitcoin maximalists.

Buterin mentioned the “maximalist” community that supports the Bitcoin project by El Salvador president Nayib Bukele.

According to him, many cryptocurrency supporters ignore the fact that Bukele “is not really democratic.”

“This is one of my criticisms of the bitcoin community,” Vitalik said in an interview with Straits Times. “They simply love all of the wealthy and powerful people who support Bitcoin.”

El Salvador president Nayib Bukele with 2 Bitcoin tokens in hand
El Salvador president Nayib Bukele with 2 Bitcoin tokens in hand

According to the developer, bitcoin users ignore the reality that Bukele’s government is not particularly democratic, and has numerous flaws, including not respecting human rights.

El Salvador became known as the first country to fully adopt Bitcoin. In the country, businesses are obligated by law to accept payment in BTC.

The country’s Bitcoin law went into effect in the midst of the cryptocurrency boom in mid-2021. At the time, bitcoin’s price was over $60,000.

However, with the start of crypto winter, Bitcoin has since harshly devalued. Today the cryptocurrency trades at around $16,000.

Buterin believes that El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption strategy was based on the expectation that prices would continue to go up. But when BTC fell, the country entered a harsh recession.

With only one year into a statewide crypto experiment, El Salvador lost about $60 million on its bitcoin investment.

El Salvador’s Human Rights Crisis

Perhaps Buterin has some weight to his claims.

According to reports from Amnesty International, El Salvador’s government is guilty of “massive human rights violations”. The organization accuses Bukele of overly violent security measures, that resulted in over 36,000 arrests in just over two months.

In fact, over 2% of El Salvadorian adults ended up in jail due to the policy.

At the time, Bukele ordered the crackdown following a particularly violent weekend that resulted in 87 murders.

“On the pretext of punishing gangs, the Salvadoran authorities are committing widespread and flagrant violations of human rights and criminalizing people living in poverty.” Amnesty’s report wrote. “Victims of gang violence urgently deserve justice, but this can only be achieved through robust investigations and fair trials that ensure due process and effective sentencing.”

Beyond Vitalik Buterin Criticism of El Salvador

This is also not the first time Vitalik has openly criticized El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption. In October 2021, Ethereum’s main figure stated that the obligatory adoption of the cryptocurrency is “contrary to the ideals of crypto”.

During the TOKEN2049 conference in London, Vitalik stated that President Bukele manipulated the cryptocurrency in order to personally profit off of the alleged scheme.

“He pushed it because he bought at a cheaper price and knew a country adopting a crypto would alone take the price high enough to make him rich,” Buterin said.

Buterin continued to bash El Salvador’s leader by saying that he loves “loves being praised by people he considers powerful.”

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