What’s the Difference Between Bitcoin and Tezos?

After the in-person TQuorum
Global Summit last year, Brady Dale wrote a piece in CoinDesk
about what Bitcoin and Tezos have in common. Obviously I think there are
some improvements that Tezos was hoping to make as pertains to
the technology. I think that, in terms of the animating principles and values, both communities tend to have very strong
ones and that tends to be one of the things that attracted people
to the project early on. So maybe instead of talking about
the technological differentiators, maybe kick off by
talking about some of the animating principles or values that
you think attracted people to Tezos and continue to attract people to Tezos. Yeah. So, I mean, what I liked about the Brady Dale piece
is that the temptation is to compare Tezos to Ethereum because they're
both smart contract platforms.

But I tend to disagree, right? So the Tezos position paper
came around the same time as the Ethereum fundraiser, and a little bit
after the Ethereum position paper. But fundamentally, Tezos is very much made in reference to Bitcoin. So the position paper, the white paper are all kind of assuming
a knowledge of Bitcoin and then trying to build off of that tradition. So
fundamentally the observation that led to Bitcoin lacks a native mechanism to upgrade itself. And so, if you think about it as stepping
stones towards better digital money, we're trying to steward that tradition. So, that's the 2014 perspective. Then, you
know, you asked about 2017 and onwards, when the project became more of a thing
and more of a living organism. What was in vogue at the time, was to say like: "Oh, you know, these are all just projects that
live around each other," and the less competitive language you
invoked the happier people were with you, because they kind of saw you as not a
threat to their preferred hobby horse or project.

And so in the realm of, you're constantly trying to appeal and
reason with people who already know about this stuff — the stuff being
cryptocurrencies broadly construed — the more milquetoast your pitch was, the more people kind of were nice to
you on the internet, for better or worse. Arthur and me in particular kind
of didn't shy away from saying, no, we're absolutely competing with Bitcoin
and Ethereum and everyone's competing with each other. And so, I mean,
that's kind of a Bitcoin e-cultural thing to hearken to and very much out
of line of what Ethereum people or supporters were saying at the time. And so I think we've kind
of carried that tradition, which looks very antagonistic in this
sense that there's Bitcoin maximalists, and there are Ethereum maximalists,
but it's not as much of a thing.

Ethereum is meant to be
the world's computer, which sounds kind of
like a hunky-dory idea, whereas Bitcoin wants to be digital
gold or a store of value or whatever you want to frame it as. But the point
is like it's trying to be money, and the Ethereum folks for better or worse have kind of shied away from that moniker. But it's something that I think the Tezos
project is more directly situated to do based on its fundamental philosophy. And then also kind of the culture of
people who came to the project at least weren't put off by the language
that was cased around it, which was a lot less hunky-dory
than Cosmos, for example, which very much wanted to be something
that interoperates with other blockchains. We're like, "No,
screw that, we're all trying to beat each other." So, cards up on the table. Fundamentally, I think that's more of like a Bitcoin
cultural thing than any other smart contract project for better or for worse.

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