Jeremy Rubin's Blog

Here you'll find an assorted mix of content from yours truly. I post about a lot of things, but primarily Bitcoin.

categories: Bitcoin, Shenzhen Journey.

Censorship by Ethereum Maintainers

The Ethereum Maintainers and Moderators inexplicably took actions to censor the Fuck Nazis Virtual Lapel Pin.

When I posted the project to the Ethereum subreddit on August 26th (here) it faced an immediate barrage of negative attention from the Ethereum community. I can tolerate negative reception, but I can’t tolerate censorship.

One of the negative response I noticed a few days after posting was Vitalik Buterin (the infamous founder and lead maintainer of Ethereum) liking a libelous tweet which called my project “a shameless attempt at scamming people”. I typically interpret a like on Twitter as at least a weak endorsement (the twitter-meme “RT not endorsement” can be taken to imply that while retweeting is not endorsement, maybe liking is).

Vitalik likes a libelous tweet

From my perspective, Vitalik’s implicit endorsement of a libelous message claiming that I am perpetrating fraud with Fuck Nazis is the only shame-worthy action! From day one Fuck Nazis’ course of action has been focused on many charitable causes, including:

  1. Donations to organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.
  2. Sponsoring guards for synagogues who are denied publicly funded police details.
  3. Workshops on how to non-violently oppose Nazis in cities where they are staging demonstrations.

After Vitalik liked the above tweet, I noticed that my post was censored from /r/ethereum by the moderators (Vitalik is also the lead moderator of /r/ethereum). This censorship occured days after it had been on the front page, leading me to believe it was removed for no logical reason other than distaste for the issue involved.

Removed from /r/ethereum

I met Vitalik back in 2014, in the very early days of Ethereum, so I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on the post removal. I shot him an email on August 29th and again on the 31st but he is yet to respond.

No Response

His lack of response to me signals, but does not confirm, that it was him who censored Fuck Nazis and he is unwilling to justify his actions to me directly.

The Ethereum Foundation and affiliated contributors have no legal requirement to grant me free speech as a private organization.

That said, they do have a moral responsibility to protect free speech and to be inclusive of many different kinds of people within their community. By actively censoring my post on Fuck Nazis, they have chosen to signal their alignment with a racist agenda and cause a chilling effect on future social impact projects on Ethereum.

Their attempted censorship runs counter to the philosophy stated on

Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference.

While certainly Reddit doesn’t attempt to make the same censorship guarantees as Ethereum, it’s difficult to imagine that if the leader of the development team behind Ethereum is engaged in censoring causes spitefully on Reddit that he will lead the team to fulfill the promises laid out in their statement.

Vitalik (and others in the Ethereum Foundation) must make clear their strong intention for building inclusive and tolerant community with explicit actions to improve the situation. Until sufficiently addressed, the entire community must continually push leaders of the Ethereum community for more information on how they plan to treat similar issues in the future.

This isn’t about getting an apology for censoring the Fuck Nazis thread, it’s about not building technologies that put power into the hands of hateful people who will use their power to infringe on your human rights.

Overall, this is the least of my worries currently: the Fuck Nazis Virtual Lapel Pin project is currently facing ongoing censorship from the U.S. Goverment as well. But I figured it was worthwhile for me to write up this post so that the Ethereum community can respond accordingly.

Drawing the Blockchain

This is correct

One of my major pet peeves in presentations about the blockchain is that most people seem to draw the arrows/pointers in the incorrect direction.

Pointers should point from newer blocks to older blocks. This is because in a blockchain, each block is immutable so it would be impossible to update older blocks to point to newer ones. This is also in line with most singly linked list representations. Because it can be confusing, it’s always best to include reference heights for extra clarity.

Kansai Trip

This post got backlogged, so just putting it up unfinished. Will backfill pictures when I find them later.

I took a few day reprieve from Tokyo to visit the Kansai prefecture.

While there, I visited Osaka and Nara. I was feeling a little bit unwell so I skipped Kyoto/Kobe, but will be looking forward to visiting when I’m next in Japan!

Getting to Kansai

I decided to take an early morning Shinkansen (i.e. a bullet train) from Tokyo to Osaka on Tuesday morning. Because my hotel stay was officially over, I stayed the night in a “Manga Kissaten”. For the uninitiated, a Manga Kissa is basically a somewhat skeevy 24/7 pay-per-hour library with free drinks and private booths. I had heard that they were a reasonable place to stay – I think I had a particularly bad one, the air was smoke filled, the drinks were just OK, there was no shower in the morning, and they didn’t dim the lights past midnight (these are all problems I’ve heard higher-end Manga Kissaten do not suffer). Blearly eyed, I made my way to the train station and purchased a ticket, and boarded the first train to Osaka.

Shinkansen! Shinkansen!


Upon arriving in Osaka I made my way down to a place called Spa World in an area called Dotonbori-Mae. Unfortunately, they were overbooked/expensive so I looked elsewhere nearby. After comparing the offerings across the street, I found a really nice backpacker’s hostel where I was able to secure a private room (Japanese style) for about $13 USD a night.

Selfie in the hostel

From the hostel I decided to just walk the length of the city, starting from the hostel all the way to Umeda. As a straight shot, this is about 4 miles, but I wandered around so it was longer.

For lunch I ate okonomiyaki (a Japanese “pizza” that’s a little closer to a omelette). It is served on a hot griddle, yum!

Later that night I went to the Don Quixote. DQ is like a wacky Walmart/Spencer’s Gifts hybrid. It has everything from groceries to a sex shop. A few floors up there was an (unrelated?) arcade/casino. I bought some chips and started playing games. After playing for about an hour (and not doing very well), I went to cash out my remaining tokens. I found out that tokens are not actually exchangeable for anything. I asked some other players if they could help me exchange, and they agreed because they thought you could cash out too. When they found out they couldn’t, they seemed to be a little off put, but I gave them my tokens so they were happy. What was weird is they even had a bank for the tokens…

Token bank


I really enjoyed my visit to Nara. The deer are so kawaii!

In Nara you can find the Tōdai-ji, or a temple featuring a huge bronze Buddha (the largest bronze statue in the world and the largest Buddha in Japan). The Tōdai-ji temple is also one of the largest wooden buildings in the world.

Visiting Japan

I’m visiting Japan for two weeks to help teach BC-2 at Digital Garage.

I’m very excited to have the chance to explore Tokyo and hope to make many new friends while out here!

Hopefully I can fill in a few details about my trip as I go…

tail -f /var/log/life

I’m hoping to start blogging more frequently – consider this the first post. I’m going to fill in some back-dated posts though.

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