Vitalik Devon Lecture: How PoS Makes Ethereum Network Safer

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said yesterday that in the next few years, Ethereum will begin to adopt a more secure consensus mechanism PoS than Bitcoin. In a keynote address at Devon 5, he said that the new consensus mechanism would make cyberattacks more expensive to operate, making the network more secure.


Ethereum is one of the most ambitious blockchain platforms, and it will undergo tremendous changes in the coming years, which will make it scalable and support more users. In order to do this, Ethereum is shifting from PoW (the miners use the power to create new blocks) to PoS (the holders take out tokens as collateral while keeping the network running).

Completing this roadmap will take years, which is as long as a lifetime in the cryptocurrency field that is capricious and fast-moving. However, Buterin believes that this is worthwhile – not only for scalability, but also for security.

Buterin talked about Bitcoin in the first five minutes of the speech and paid tribute to his inventor, Nakamoto. Nakamoto has created a “cryptographic economics” to inspire people around the world to keep the blockchain running. The genius of Nakamoto is that he believes that if someone wants to crash the system, they must pay a high price for it. Rational participants always choose to protect their own funds, so this plan is very meaningful.

But there is a problem, Buterin said.

"If the attacker has a very strong, extra agreement incentive, or just wants to watch the world be destroyed, what should I do? This may be a government, or a hacker who wants to have some fun. Ignore a bit, We assume that these perpetrators will only be out of economic factors (attacks), and if anyone is desperate to destroy it?"

So how does PoS increase the cost of an attack?

The network is run by "validators" instead of creating new blocks by miners. These certifiers use smart contracts to lock funds at their own discretion, a process known as staking. The more Ethereums that are locked, the more blocks they can create and the more rewards they get. But they may lose more.

This is where the blockchain needs to block the behavior of creating blocks with fake transactions. Buterin called such a perpetrator a "evil smiley person."

PoS introduces a system that can challenge verifiers. After the verifier creates a new block on the chain, anyone can “challenge” it for a specific period of time. If the challenger can prove that a block is illegal, then the evil smiley person will lose his mortgage money – some of which will be sent to the challenger.

Buterin said:

“The challenger can submit a transaction that points to the (problem block). The process of this calculation runs on the blockchain. The 'inner activity' of the blockchain will be: 'The correct answer is 256. This person submits 250. So this person is wrong. 'The funds of the original block were confiscated and some were given to the challenger."

The ETS of Ethereum is to increase the cost of blockchain attacks. If someone really wants to smash the network, they have to create a lot of malicious blocks. To do this, they must use a large number of Ethereum as collateral, and if they are challenged, they will lose these collateral. This has led to a significant increase in the cost of running large attacks, and Buterin claims that this will be an improvement to PoW.

A more powerful encryption economy model will benefit Ethereum in multiple ways – making the layer 2 solution (building a more scalable protocol layer in Ethereum) safer and enabling lightweight clients (on mobile devices) It is safer to run Ethereum.

Buterin said:

“Sakamoto has created a very interesting and powerful thing, and now we can build powerful things on this basis.”