Vitalik Buterin’s unstoppable berzerk trolling frenzy has continued unabated this month, with a highlight reel that has included the Ethereum creator referring to Bitcoin Cash proponent Craig Wright as a fraud, mercilessly roasting Tron’s Justin Sun, and shredding HODLers in a recent Vice interview. Market observer and crypto-tweeter Kevin Pham, however, appears to have decided to step into the ring with Buterin, firing an opening salvo earlier today and making a pointed implication that the Russian programmer is working in collusion with the Russian government: Engaging the Ethereum overlord in a direct one-on-one Twitter slugfest resulted in an immediate response from Buterin, who promptly flexed his cadaverous fingers and unleashed the following riposte: Kevin Pham’s comments regarding Buterin’s potential collusion with the Russian government stem from a meeting between the Ethereum founder and the Russian state-owned development bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) in August last year, which resulted in the creation of a blockchain research center at the National University of Science and Technology in Moscow.

While Russian interest in blockchain technology is arguably more likely to be primarily focused on control rather than integration and innovation, the state is largely considered pro-crypto as a whole, with Russian President Vladimir Putin stating that “the digital economy isn’t a separate industry, it’s essentially the foundation for creating brand new business models.” Pham, a self-described “Bitcoiner, Truth Seeker, and First Principles Thinker” who “works to protect BTC and free speech” supports his market commentary primarily through donations sent by supporters. Pham does appear to be a staunch opponent of Ethereum — and Buterin in particular — as the majority of his posts over the last year have been anti-ETH in nature.

Buterin’s response to Pham’s tweets may have desultory, but the impact on Pham is palpable. Subsequent to the exchange, Pham took to Twitter to post a series of Tweets to accuse Vitalik of corruption, criminal behavior, and racism, all of which were ignored by Buterin.

It’s not clear why Pham chose to engage Buterin on Twitter, but the accusations leveled at the Russian programmer are clearly somewhat ridiculous. Buterin may be many things — programmer savant, vehement philanthropist, decentralization proponent, and possible undead lich lord, but in collusion with the Russian government, he most likely is not.

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