The $500,000 bet on ethereum’s future

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At Consensus 2019 Joe Lubin and Jimmy Song made a spectacular bet of $500,000 on the future of ethereum.

“It’s a maximum pain kind of bet,” Jimmy Song said during a session of CoinDesk Live at Consensus 2019. “Skin in the game.”

The story goes back to Consensus 2018 when Lubin told Song that he would bet “any amount of bitcoin” that ethereum’s decentralized apps would have a significant number of users in five years. The two have argued over the bet since, with Song accusing Lubin of trying to weasel out of the agreement, but now the terms of the bet have been agreed.

Coindesk says: “If ethereum is doing great four years from now, Song will pay Lubin (or his beneficiary) 810.8 ETH. If the Dapp economy is sputtering at that point, Lubin will send Song 69.74 BTC.

For Lubin to win, Ethereum needs to have 15 unique dapps achieving 10,000 or more daily active users and 100,000 monthly active users for any six calendar months in any 12-calendar-month period up to and including May 23, 2023.”

This is no small bet, the amount will hurt the loser, and as Coindesk points out, in 2023, paying out half a million dollars in crypto could mean they will pay more money than they would today. For example, when the bet was first made on May 14, 2018, BTC was trading at $8,577. So, Lubin had effectively bet $598,190 based on prices at the time. That’s $564,307 at today’s prices. Meanwhile, Song, who was betting ETH, effectively bet $586,095 at prices at the time — but only $168,030 at today’s prices.

Lubin told Coindesk: “Jimmy’s thesis was that there would be no significant applications on blockchain, and the only thing relevant in blockchain was bitcoin. My thesis is bitcoin is awesome, and there’s a narrow set of use cases built on bitcoin and that’s wonderful. We love that, but decentralized applications are also really useful.”

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