For the Ethereum critics of the Bitcoin community, last month it was said that it caught the "handle" of Ethereum.
Joseph Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum, the world's second-largest cryptocurrency, acknowledged at the Ethereal conference in Tel Aviv that the original form of the Ethereum network was not suitable for large-scale use. The ConsenSys CEO said, "We know it will definitely not expand."
It is foreseeable that the "enthusiastic" bitcoiners immediately yelled at the Ethereum for "scams." But Lubin's statement is not shameful to Ethereum fans at least in Devcon (the largest and most influential annual gathering in the Ethereum community), with around 3,000 attendees gathered in Osaka, Japan this week.
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Even those who know that the first version of Ethereum is not scalable are not considered to be misleading in the early days of Ethereum. They see "technical iteration" as an inherent process of development.
“Bitcoiners is a bit like a hardcore fascist Catholic and thinks everything else is wrong,” said Dean Eigenmann, a researcher at Ethereum Ventures Status.
The optimistic atmosphere of this year's Devcon conference underscores the difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum, which has become Ethereum's own power that cannot be underestimated: Bitcoin is an individualistic monetary asset, and Ethereum, despite its The road to large-scale adoption may be complicated, but it is a common commitment to continue to jointly test smart contracts.
Summa's co-founder, James Prestwich, is one of the leaders responsible for creating cross-chain capital flows between Bitcoin and Ethereum. Even if a blockchain shows something different from the original white paper, it won't make it a scam.
"Some things will appear in 10 years. It may not have any similarities with the [Ethereum] that exists today. There may not be good continuity," Prestreet said. "But some things called Ethereum will appear in 10 years."
Speaking of the Ethereum Foundation, one of the leaders of Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, Eitman added:
"The foundation ran without taking the money."
So, after Vitalik sold more than 7 million tokens to retail investors in 2014 to start the network, what did they achieve?
First, they gave birth to a global lifestyle brand. There is a unique aesthetic that defines the activities of Ethereum, from rainbows and pastel palettes, to vegetarian-friendly snacks, to topical group discussions on inclusive finance.
Many Devcon attendees gathered on Tuesday have invested their money in a pool of public funds managed by open source software, including cryptocurrencies worth more than $537 million, locked into decentralized financial (DeFi) applications. If bitcoiners chattered and said that Bitcoin “freedom” was not censored, then Ethereum fans focused on creating “open” and “collaboration” platforms that were more equal in governance than traditional institutions.
Most importantly, the original Ethereum platform inspired billions of dollars in economic activity, from token sales to DeFi loans, and influenced regulators' perceptions of the “decentralized” cryptocurrency after financing. According to startup Dappros, the Ethereum platform also attracts more than 17,000 developers worldwide.
But whether this accrual value can be translated into the next version of the smart contract platform (Ethereum 2.0) is currently inconclusive.
"Lack of strategy"
Devcon's attendees were not ashamed to discuss the future and were not ashamed to discuss who will fund the work.
According to Peter Mauric, communications director at Ethereum client Parity, most of the funding projects related to Ethereum will now give priority to creating a new blockchain, Eth 2.0. Sources familiar with this type of development plan estimate that it will take at least two years to build the next version of Ethereum.
“No one really knows what Eth 1 will look like when Eth 2 was born,” Mauric told CoinDesk. "In the current blockchain client, there is not much new development. Most of the ongoing work is maintenance."
As Prestwich explained, this winter, the first phase of Eth 2 – called the 0 phase – is coming:
“The ETH moved to the 0-stage blockchain will be converted to a new token. These tokens cannot be moved around the chain. At least 6 months after the release, a hard fork will add the transfer function. Previously, the user was locked."
In the foreseeable future, how to migrate hundreds of Ethereum-based tokens and smart contracts (including DeFi projects) to the new chain, there is no clear plan yet.
Jamie Pitts, developer of the Ethereum Foundation, expressed his concerns at the opening ceremony of the Devcon conference on Tuesday.
"I think they lack strategy," Pitts said. "I think there are a lot of teams working on their own ideas, but there is a lack of coordination. ”
According to James Beck, nine teams are working on client development for the upcoming Eth 2 blockchain, including Procar Labs, Chainsafe and ConsenSys startup PegaSys.
However, according to several people at the Ethereum infrastructure project, most of the funds for the development of ETH 1 and ETH 2 are still from the Ethereum Foundation or ConsenSys, as well as smaller financing mechanisms (eg MolochDAO, Meta Cartel). These two also accept public donations to fund the development of Ethereum. Pitts said this has nothing to do with him because these funders cannot control development options.
Status's one-person ETH 2 team, Eigenmann, told CoinDesk that the job was not a priority for him because he did not receive funding from the above participants. Therefore, a Parity staff member stood up at the opening ceremony and said that “finding more ways to raise funds for the design of the agreement” is a top priority.
Then, in the afternoon session on the transition from Eth 1 to Eth 2, Buterin said that “finally” would have a road map to transition the tokens to the new system, “nearly without any disruption”. The audience raised several questions about the price of the new token on Eth 2, what would happen to the price changes in the open market between these assets, and how the exchange would support liquidity during the transition period. The Ethereum core developers, including Buterin, did not give a clear answer.
Josh Cincinnati, director of the Zcash Foundation, said that in addition to relying on the founder's funds, Ethereum still has many unsolved problems in how to diversify, but it has achieved bottom-up, highly decentralized participation.
“It turns out that the real strength of Ethereum is that it allows developers to access novel financial contracts.”
Eth2.0 is not the first time that the Ethereum community has created a new ecological chain. Many fans believe that the Ethereum ecosystem may remain healthy at the same time.
As early as 2016, due to different opinions on how to solve the DAO attack, the community was finally divided into the Ethereum Classic (ETC, the true "original" Ethereum) and what we now call "Ethereum (ETH 1). Today, CoinMarketCap shows that ETC has a market capitalization of more than $525 million, while Ethereum has reached $19.5 billion.
Similarly, Nethermind founder Tomasz Kajetan Stańczak said his team plans to continue to maintain the current version of the Ethereum client as long as people use it.
“We believe that, to a certain extent, this will be forever,” he said, adding that his startup has received $150,000 in funding since 2017, at least one-third of which came directly from Ethereum. Foundation (Ethereum Foundation). “Currently, we are showing to the community (future) investors that we have provided an important and high quality product that will benefit Ethereum and DeFi for a long time.”
Stańczak said his company also plans to build an ETH 2.0 infrastructure because he believes the community understands that ETH 1.0 cannot scale to meet user needs.
“Like the bandwidth of the Internet connection, I don’t expect Ethereum users to be satisfied with the capacity,” he said. “I think Ethereum is a limited resource…. There are many ideas that can greatly optimize the usability of the platform.”
In fact, the blockchain space of Ethereum is a limited resource. Due to the congestion bottleneck of the system, transaction fees soared to $350,000 per day in late September. As pointed out in a Coin Metrics report, these blocks have almost been filled with 94% due to the lack of sufficient capacity to meet growing demand.
In addition, this overloaded system has relied on enterprise infrastructure providers such as Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services.
According to a survey by blockchain startup Chainstack, more than 57% of Ethereum nodes are running on such cloud hosting providers. Therefore, if any of these companies stop supporting professional node operators, the blockchain will lose a lot of capacity.
However, fans of Ethereum are not worried about this. They are less focused on minimizing trust than bitcoiners.
Mauric told CoinDesk that individuals "have almost no reason to" run their own archive nodes. He expects that most of the work will continue to be outsourced to service providers, such as the Infura project of ConsenSys. In addition, he believes that in the rare case where a transaction needs to be verified, a streamlined Ethereum node with limited functionality can still verify the transaction.
Vitalik's point of view
From Buterin's point of view, Eth 1 is a successful experiment that paves the way for Eth 2, which needs to focus on motivation through PoS before real-time trading.
“I think Ethereum has done a lot of good things. The ICO boom is almost a funded study of all these universal cryptography,” Buterin told CoinDesk, referring to the explosive growth of ICO in 2017, many of which were used. Ethereum's tokens.
As for the second-tier solution, which allows a large number of transactions to be carried out under the chain, and retains Ethereum's books as final settlement, Buterin said that some programs are progressing "slower than expected." The Raiden and Plasma plasmas have not developed too fast. But people are still trying repeatedly and working hard for it. ”
However, he also mentioned the pressure from business people who did not encourage him to openly talk about these expansion challenges.
"They told me that you shouldn't say that your own platform has limitations," Buterin said.
Buterin said that the Ethereum Foundation, a non-profit foundation headed by Aya Miyaguchi for its day-to-day work, can at least fund the development and continued development of the community for six years.
“There are many new faces,” he added.
“Most Eth 2 R&D teams have not been established until 2018.”
Once Phase 0 activates the "Beacon Chain" this winter and starts the first phase of building Eth 2, the holders will be able to cash their original ETH and "bet" them to run the new chain. In theory, this will motivate the community to work on the new chain until it is available.
Mauric estimates that it takes "a few years" to build a cross-chain tool. Porcaro of the MakerDAO Foundation told CoinDesk that his project leaders are interested in learning more about the migration to Eth 2. But his foundation declined to make any statement about the future of the EFI-supported DeFi system, at least at this stage.
Similarly, many symbolic fans expect that the current Ethereum system will continue to exist even after its main source of funding, the Ethere Foundation and ConsenSys, has focused resources on building a new platform.
“I believe that for a long time, Ethereum will remain the main platform for DeFi and many other blockchain solutions,” said Stańczak.
"It will grow and become stronger."