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Wintermute CEO questions Ethereum's leadership paradox amid celebrity memecoin controversy

Ethereum leaders faces criticism for trying to merge capitalist and social goals.

Wintermute CEO questions Ethereum's leadership paradox

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Evgeny Gaevoy, CEO of Wintermute, said if Ethereum fails in the future, it will not be because of technical shortcomings compared to competitors like Solana. Instead, the core issue is the contradiction in Ethereum’s leadership.

“If ETH fails in the future it [won’t] be because ‘Solana is faster’, it will be because the [ETH] ‘elite’ is still stuck in a massive contradiction,” Gaevoy stated in a recent post on X.

His remarks come as a response to the controversy that erupted following Vitalik Buterin’s critique of celebrity memecoins. According to Buterin, projects should aim to deliver societal value and leave participants content, rather than focus on enriching celebrities and early investors.

Buterin’s stance drew a sharp rebuke from hip-hop artist Iggy Azalea, who recently launched her own memecoin, MOTHER. She posted a meme showing her holding a baby that resembled Buterin.

Azalea’s photo prompted Uniswap Labs co-founder Hayden Adams to defend Buterin’s role.

He criticized Azalea for downplaying Buterin’s contributions to the crypto community, expressing disappointment that instead of reacting positively and using profits to support social causes, the singer chose to mock Buterin.

That was when the Wintermute CEO jumped into the debate and criticized Ethereum’s leadership. He argued that Ethereum leaders are attempting to create a capitalist blockchain system while simultaneously addressing social issues—a stance he sees as inherently contradictory.

“You are either building capitalism or planned socialism. I’m sorry, you really [can’t] have both,” Gaevoy added.

Gaevoy’s comments sparked controversy among crypto members. Many disagreed with his view, saying that being against celeb memecoins does not equate to building a socialist system.

In response to these disagreements, Gaevoy said it all came down to the underlying principle.

According to him, if capitalism is the foundation, integrating features to mitigate its negative impacts is beneficial. However, if the primary goal is “social justice” or creating “only good things,” capitalism should not be an afterthought.

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