Iggy Azalea Reignites Feud with Vitalik Buterin Over Crypto ‘Gas Tax’ After Breastfeeding Meme Jab

June 8, 2024
AI Image/Dall-E

Iggy Azalea, the renowned female rapper and composer behind the MOTHER token, has taken aim at Vitalik Buterin, the crypto genius and co-founder of Ethereum. In a recent podcast, Azalea didn’t mince words, launching a scathing attack on Buterin’s stance regarding celebrity meme coins—a trend that has gained significant traction in recent times. 

Azalea’s fiery rhetoric centered on what she perceived as Buterin’s hypocrisy in critiquing the financialization of projects like MOTHER while imposing what she dubbed a “gas tax” through transaction fees. “It’s so rich of you to have an opinion on charities and hospitals, whatever, but let’s talk about the gas fees…the gas tax,” Azalea exclaimed, her frustration palpable.

The term “gas fees” refers to the costs incurred when executing transactions on blockchain networks—an ubiquitous aspect of the crypto landscape that has drawn criticism for its impact on users. Azalea’s accusation of Buterin imposing a “gas tax” struck a chord with many, resonating with those who have felt the pinch of escalating transaction costs. 

But Azalea didn’t stop there. She also called into question Buterin’s philanthropic endeavors, linking them to the contentious gas fees.

Buterin’s track record of donating over $1 billion in crypto, including a substantial sum from the Shiba Inu token, has earned him accolades within the crypto community. A well-known philanthropist, the crypto genius has donated over $1 billion in crypto. A significant portion of this came from Shiba Inu donations, of which 90% were permanently destroyed and 10% were given to India during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Buterin has previously expressed his discontent with the celebrity meme coin trend, stating: “I’m feeling quite unhappy about ‘this cycle’s celebrity experimentation’ so far. ‘Financialization as a means toward an end’, I can respect if the end is worthy (healthcare, open source software, art, etc). Financialization as the final product.”

It’s important to note that gas fees are paid to miners who validate transactions on a blockchain, not to Buterin directly. Technically, gas fees are like the fuel that powers the blockchain engine. These fees are paid to validators or miners responsible for verifying and adding transactions to the blockchain. Gas fees exist to incentivize these validators to keep the network secure and running smoothly. 

The amount of gas needed for a transaction varies depending on the complexity of the operation and the network congestion. However, not all blockchains have gas fees. For example, Solana, the blockchain where Azalea’s MOTHER token is based, utilizes a different mechanism for transaction fees. Instead of gas fees, Solana uses a system called “rent,” which is a fee paid to store data on the blockchain.

Prior to this podcast, Azalea tweeted a provocative meme shared on social media. Depicting the celebrity cradling a baby adorned with Buterin’s face in a scene reminiscent of breastfeeding. The meme sparked controversy and further fueled the ongoing feud between the two crypto personalities. Azalea’s caption accompanying the image—”he was just hangry (sic)”—served as a pointed jab at Buterin’s perceived disposition.

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