Ethereum has been in existence for five years since its birth, and Vitalik has always been like an 18-year-old child.
V God is the "honor" given to him by the community, but I have never liked this title. Because, like many fans who are silently fighting in the blockchain world, he is not a god, nor should he be a god, but a node in the centralized world.
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(still a baby's Vitalik)
On the afternoon of September 21st, I met Eitafang co-founder Vitalik Buterin at the joint event hosted by the Babbitt Accelerator and ETHPLANT. This 18-year-old boy seems to introduce the planning and progress of Ethereum 2.0 to the audience.
After the opening of a "secondary B" Chinese, Vitalik's speech began with the origin of Ethereum.
1. Where does Ethereum come from?
Blockchain technology has been around for 10 years. In Vitalik's view, the blockchain is a decentralized computer network. In this network, the role of the computer is to hold the data and calculate it. Finally, through a specific consensus mechanism to help the network reach a consensus, after reaching a consensus, the final result is unchangeable.
The earliest blockchain network began with bitcoin. The development of Bitcoin to this day has been difficult to shake, so how was the Ethereum born?
Vitalik said that the blockchain can build applications that require credit and defense against attacks, ensuring that the system can operate for a long time. Bitcoin, which was born in 2009, is the first example. But after two years of development, people began to realize that the blockchain should be more than just a single-function bitcoin, so the domain name currency (the decentralized domain name system) is the initial exploration of blockchain applications.
By 2012, people wanted to explore more blockchain applications, such as issuing tokens, trading tokens, executing financial contracts, or using tokens for domain names, and the typical representative of this period was Mastercoin. He likened the agreement like Mastercoin to the Swiss Army Knife – a tool that combines multiple functions, but the problem is that there are too many applications to support.
In 2013, Vitalik joined the Mastercoin team, which is why he found problems with such agreements. Therefore, he hopes to create a platform similar to a smartphone – a general-purpose computer, everything can be programmed to run here.
With Ethereum, everything is turned into code, and the code here is available to everyone. Vitalik said:
“The concept of Ethereum is not to support more applications, but to support a blockchain of programming languages that users can use to write applications and programs. Blockchains can handle these programs, and blockchain processing. And the published transactions can accept and run these programs."
Compared with four years ago, in addition to improvements in scalability and efficiency, the basic philosophy of Ethereum has never changed.
2. The journey from PoW to PoS
In the past few years, the most important research in Ethereum has been the switch from PoW to PoS.
Vitalik said that the blockchain is a voting system to determine which transactions can be recorded. The most ideal state is one computer one vote, but such a state is basically impossible to implement, because a single computer can run multiple virtual machines or software at the same time, other computers in the network are difficult to find. this problem. Therefore, we cannot measure the number of computers, but we measure the power.
He said that PoW was relatively democratic in the early days and had the right to vote as long as there was a computer. But as the value of Bitcoin grows, the rewards for selling and processing transactions are getting higher and higher, so more and more people are starting to open large mines, only to gain an advantage in the block.
“Therefore, the PoW system will only become more expensive and less efficient.”
This is also the main reason why Ethereum chose to switch to PoS. PoS shifts the way in which voting rights are measured from the size of the calculation power to the size of the currency. PoS's algorithms are diverse, and Ethereum uses the Casper FFG released by Vitalik in 2017, inspired by PBFT.
3. The best technology – zero knowledge proof
Vitalik has always had a soft spot for zero-knowledge proof technology. He divides the advantages of universal zero-knowledge proof into two aspects. One is privacy. You can verify data while not making public data. The second is scalability. The program you verify may be large, but it is verified. The process can be very fast.
Academic research on zero-knowledge proof technology has existed for nearly 30 years, and it was not until 2016 that a breakthrough was achieved. Zero-knowledge proof began to appear in multiple technical versions, and Zcash was born.
With zero-knowledge proof, Ethereum's new technology, Rollup, is able to increase the transaction volume per second from 30 to 4,000.
4. Ethereum application: not limited to payment
In the speech, Vitalik listed some of the simple applications of the Ethereum Foundation for the blockchain.
The first is cryptocurrency payment. This is the earliest and most widely used application, and the Ethereum Foundation usually pays member salaries with ETH. The second application is the decentralized domain name system ENS (Ethernet Domain Name System), in which Vitalik holds the domain name of vitalik.eth. The last example is “using digital tokens to represent various assets”, but digital tokens represent not just financial assets. The Ethereum Foundation has sold tickets for the conference and some medals through smart contracts.
In addition, DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) Ethereum's earliest exploration of smart contracts is also the ideal that it still adheres to today. This mechanism will lock certain funds into smart contracts, and members will decide how funds are allocated and used.
5. Future blockchain: thinking about the expansion of Ethereum
Vitalik said that scalability is a major issue that needs to be addressed by blockchains, including Ethereum. Ethereum has two options for solving the scalability problem. The first is the layer 1 solution, which aims to improve the design of the blockchain to improve its operational efficiency. Sharding Ethereum's layer 1 expansion option.
Fragmentation divides the blockchain into sections, each of which requires only a subset of computers on the network for transaction verification. As for who will verify which blocks, the system will randomly choose. Since only partial transaction verification is required at a time, the fragmentation help blockchain achieves a breakthrough in scalability issues.
Another expansion scheme is based on layer 2. The layer 2 solution does not make any changes to the blockchain, but changes the way the application works, reducing the frequency of use of the blockchain, while enjoying the security of the blockchain. Plasma is the most typical layer 2 expansion solution. Data and transactions are run through the chain. Once participants are offline, cheated or evil, relevant data will be uploaded to the chain to find the perpetrators. .
There is also a scheme Rollup between layer 1 and layer 2 – storing data on the chain, performing calculations under the chain, and ensuring the feasibility of verification on the chain through zero-knowledge proof technology.
6. Ethereum 2.0 Quartet
The deployment of Ethereum 2.0 is divided into four phases:
Preparation stage: Casper FFG, which creates a PoS network. The algorithm used by this network is Casper FFG. At this stage, no fragmentation has been used, but the first step of Ethereum to move to PoS.
The first stage: data fragmentation, the fragmentation of this stage only supports data.
The second stage: calculation of the slice, at this stage can already support the complete application and the main functions of Ethereum 2.0.
The third stage: optimization, that is, optimization of the system, such as algorithm update: from Casper FFG to Casper CBC.
7. Soul torture time
(I know Vitalik baby who can't sit down in the AMA session)
After half an hour of speech, Vitalik began to accept the soul torture of the audience. The following is an excerpt from the wonderful question and answer:
One of the questions asked: How to ensure the security of the fragment?
Vitalik: "The operation of Ethereum 2.0 is based on the fact that some nodes are randomly selected to verify the fragmentation. Therefore, unless the attacker masters more than 40% of the nodes in the network, the chances of being selected or controlling the fragmentation are negligible. We also have anti-counterfeiting and data validity checking mechanisms, which means that even if the perpetrator tries to create an invalid block, its behavior can be detected."
Question 2: What do you think of DEX (centralized exchange)?
Vitalik: "Of course, I think DEX is very important. At this stage, we need to trade on a centralized platform. These platforms have some control and sometimes are attacked. These are not good things. I have always been DEX support. Dex, based on a single chain, has done a good job, but there is still a shortcoming that they can't do high-frequency trading, but I believe some recent programs have made some progress in this area. I think DEX faces One big problem is the trade between different blockchains. The process requires more technical requirements. There are already teams that are doing this, but it may take a little longer."
Do the third question: How does Ethereum 2.0 avoid a system that is central to it?
Vitalik: "I think there are two ways to expand. One is simple but bad. The other is good but difficult. The former only needs to increase the block capacity and the number of transactions. This is BSV. And the path of blockchain selection such as EOS. Because this road is very simple, even if you are not a good developer, you can do it. But the problem with this method is that when the block capacity rises to a certain height, the running node Need to deal with a large number of transactions, then the cost of running the node will increase, the number of people running the node will be less, more and more people will choose to merge nodes. EOS is like this, many nodes will not verify the transaction. Ethereum 2.0 The shards can avoid these problems because participating in the Ethereum 2.0 network does not require verification of all transactions. Assuming you are a validator and you have only 32 Ethereums, you may only need to verify a shard. The number of shards you verify will increase as the amount of money held increases. We hope to make this game more fair and let more people participate in it. High degree of decentralization. "
Do the three things to ask questions: Are you nervous when you see so many new projects? What do you think about the compliance of anonymous coins?
Vitalik: "The first question, the Ethereum community does not want to compete with zero-knowledge proof projects, but wants to work with them. I believe that a strong zero-knowledge proof ecology will be an important driving force for people to join the Ethereum community. As for the anonymous currency, it does cover up to some extent the information that the regulatory authorities may see, but for them, the impact of the anonymous currency is more positive. They can still supervise the corresponding infrastructure, exchanges, Users who trade a lot of cryptocurrencies. If you think you can hold a lot of anonymous coins, how to spend it and how to spend it, no one will find it, then it is wrong. In addition, privacy is also the pursuit of most regulators. Europe was promulgated last year. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations), in the United States, regulators expressed disappointment with Facebook's privacy performance, and governments want to hide some of their economic activities. Therefore, I believe that the privacy of blockchain applications is indeed enhanced. Many positive influences, beneficiaries include regulators. I think there are many aspects to the application of privacy technology, absolutely May cooperate with regulators in this regard."
Do things four: Polkadot friends or enemies in Ethereum?
Vitalik: “Polkadot's route is very different from Ethereum. Polkadot prefers governance and multi-chain interoperability; while Ethereum focuses on chain applications. Some applications may work in Ethereum, but not on Polkadot, and vice versa. The same is true. So I think the difference between the two is different."
Question 5: How does Ethereum stand out in many cryptocurrencies?
Vitalik: "I think bitcoin and Ethereum's 'pure cryptocurrency' have a unique position in the market and cannot be replaced by cryptocurrencies issued by institutions, whether they are central bank digital currencies or Libra. Because the decentralized cryptocurrency has the ability to convince the world that it is a neutral platform, it won't stand on anyone's side. In contrast, the currency issued by the organization cannot do this, so they will always face trust issues. However, the institutional currency will be more stable and has institutional support. This is not available in cryptocurrencies, so I think the two can coexist for a long time."
The sixth question to ask questions: Will the future be a single chain or a hundred flowers?
Vitalik: "I think there will be a large blockchain in the future, and there will be many small blockchains. I think these two blockchains will continue to exist. We see that many large companies are starting to do their own districts. Blockchain, they will not be a competitive state of smashing their heads, more of a cooperative state. There will be only one blockchain platform that will win in the future."