The ethereum world is in a tizzy over Deepak Chopra. The author and spiritual leader, who is also widely mocked for making pseudo-scientific claims, was promoted on Twitter yesterday as a speaker at a big crypto conference called Ethereal that will be held in New York next month.
Bigwigs in the ethereum world immediately vented their spleen at the conference organizers—a unit of ConsenSys, a company started by ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin—for giving a “fraud” such a prominent platform. Ethereal expects 2,000 attendees this year, double last year’s event. Here’s ethereum inventor Vitalik Buterin:
Well-known Ethereum Foundation designer Alex Van de Sande also piled on:
Recently departed JP Morgan blockchain lead Amber Baldet gave her two cents, noting that it’s usually the crypto people who are seen as snake-oil salesmen:
And finally, this tweet captures the prevailing sentiment pretty well:
One of Ethereal’s founders, Amanda Gutterman, shared with Quartz a Reddit comment she planned to post (now posted) that explained the conference and ConsenSys don’t endorse Chopra’s views, nor the views of any specific speaker. Chopra wasn’t invited to speak on stage but to lead a meditation in the event’s “Zen Zone,” where attendees can do yoga and meditate.
Had the ethereum community’s outrage—and calls to disinvite Chopra—tipped into intolerance? Gutterman doesn’t think so. “Platforms are what they are, I’m not into censorship, and I love the dynamism of the blockchain space,” she said. Besides, she added, the conference is giving a platform to others, including 15 female speakers, comprising over half of the lineup.
Subscribe to the Quartz Crypto Calendar to stay ahead of the crypto world’s most important and interesting happenings