Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin has formally proposed implementing a currency cap into the cryptocurrency network’s next hard fork that alters block reward distributions — well, sort of.
Writing on GitHub, Buterin laid out an argument for phasing out Ethereum’s inflation rate by capping the max ETH supply at 120,204,432 — exactly double the amount of ether sold in the original sale.
“In order to ensure the economic sustainability of the platform under the widest possible variety of circumstances, and in light of the fact that issuing new coins to proof of work miners is no longer an effective way of promoting an egalitarian coin distribution or any other significant policy goal, I propose that we agree on a hard cap for the total quantity of ETH,” Buterin wrote.
Noting that the motion was published on April 1, many readers questioned whether it was a serious proposal or a joke — though some chose to debate its merits anyway.
Buterin revealed on Monday that it was indeed an April Fool’s Day prank — a ‘meta-joke’ to get people to argue not about the proposal’s specifics but rather whether it was a serious proposal.
However, he argued, whether or not the proposal was made in jest should not matter, as the arguments themselves should be judged on their own merits.
Indeed, Buterin himself later said that a fixed supply is “worth considering” because Ethereum’s transition to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm will eventually eliminate the need for Proof-of-Work (PoW) mining and will allow the protocol to issue rewards without creating new coins.
“Crypto can avoid being too inegalitarian through emergence of new coins, not through any single coin being super-inflationary,” he said.
Notably, Buterin’s “meta-joke” was not the only prank that Buterin pulled off on Sunday.
Writing on the official Ethereum Foundation blog, he “proposed” an “official Ethereum stablecoin” called World Trade Francs.
Though this post was far more obvious a prank than the GitHub proposal, it did include a more subtle jab that most people missed. As Buterin revealed, 20 percent of the post was plagiarized from the Tron website, a clear play on the accusations that much of Tron’s whitepaper was plagiarized from other projects.
Featured image from Flickr/TechCrunch.