And Then There Was FUD - The Daily Gwei #258

If you're trying to win a narrative war then you've already lost.

EIP-1559 is everyone’s favorite Ethereum upgrade which is scheduled to go live on mainnet sometime in July. Everyone best knows EIP-1559 as a mechanism to burn ETH but there are many other benefits coming along with it too. Though one thing that EIP-1559 doesn’t do is materially reduce gas fees (it may have some marginal impact but this was never touted as a main feature). Over the last few days, certain actors have been trying to rewrite history and claim that EIP-1559 was sold as a solution to reduce gas fees - this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Narrative/information wars are incredibly hard to “win” - be it outside of crypto or within it - because most people are always just going to believe whatever they want to believe. When it comes to EIP-1559, the detractors will use anything they can find to cast doubt on EIP-1559’s effectiveness in order to push their own agenda. The real problem here is that bullshit narratives spread far quicker than the truthful ones which makes it incredibly hard to combat the lies with the truth. On top of that, if you already have an extremely biased cohort of people who don’t care about your “truth”, then you’ve already lost the narrative war.

Alright let’s get back to how this ties directly into EIP-1559. Well, EIP-1559 was first pitched as a usability (UX) upgrade to the Ethereum gas/fee market - it was never pitched as a way to materially reduce gas fees. No one that I personally know within the community has ever stated that it would reduce gas fees and most people really have just focused on the fee burn or UX benefits of 1559 as the main selling points (even though it has other benefits too). Of course, the fee burn aspect is enticing to many people because “burning ETH” is synonymous with “ETH’s price goes up” to the casual observer. If you want to learn more about EIP-1559 (particularly its history and what benefits it actually brings), you can head to this resource section.

It’s not just EIP-1559 that has come under intense FUD and scrutiny in the Ethereum ecosystem over the years - it’s literally every major upgrade since Ethereum launched. Plenty of people spread misinformation (and disinformation) about upgrades like Proof of Stake, use-cases such as DeFi, and even spread lies/rumours about key community members. This is all done in an effort to discredit Ethereum in as many people’s eyes as possible in order to perpetuate a narrative (such as some other smart contract platform being “better”).

I believe that the only real way to ever “win” a narrative war in this ecosystem is to simply let the technology do the talking over the long run. Think about it - due to the explosion of DeFi, most of the crappy Ethereum narratives from 2018/2019 have disappeared and now Ethereum is too hard to ignore for everyone except the most ardent haters. As more of the traditional skeptics/detractors come onboard, it acts as a flywheel of legitimacy for Ethereum which works to bring even more people and institutions into the fold. Eventually, the misinformation and lies are relegated to the views of a quiet minority who just end up looking like old men yelling at clouds.

Have a great day everyone,
Anthony Sassano

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All information presented above is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice.