Encrypted World in the Eyes of Ethereum Co-Founder Gavin Wood

The author of this article is Emily Parker, from Longhash, translated by the "Leo" of the "Blue Fox Notes" community.

Foreword: Gavin Wood is the founder of Boca and the former CTO and co-founder of Ethereum. How does he view the current state of the encrypted world, how to understand decentralization, how to understand the potential of the blockchain, and why build a Boka project? This article helps to understand these issues.

Gavin Wood is the co-founder and former CTO of Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. At least in theory, cryptocurrencies should break boundaries and bring people together. But now, Gavin Wood believes that most encryption communities have betrayed this ideal .

"My biggest disappointment is that the field is full of toxicity," but when I met him in Tokyo, Gavin Wood told me.

"This is very nationalism, maximism, or whatever you want to call it. There are tribes here, some people are no longer concerned about the technical level, they just set a banner on the sand, and now it has almost become a religion."

Someone has always believed that one of the coins is better than the other. “When we opened Ethereum, we were outsiders at the time. At that time, more about Bitcoin.” Poca founder Gavin Wood recalled that people thought Ethereum was a waste of time and effort. But now Ethereum has grown up and entered a complete cycle, and there have also been Ethereum maximists .

“Some people now refuse to accept that there may be good and reliable technology. Why do you want to go beyond the Ethereum blockchain?” Gavin Wood said that he has now crossed Ethereum and he continues to create Polkadot, the goal of this project is Bringing unity to the fragmented blockchain world.

Polkadot is hard to describe, even in the standards of an already confusing industry. I asked Gavin Wood to explain as simple as possible what Polkadot is?

"It's like a police force," he said. "This is a security framework. It is almost like NATO. It is the NATO of the blockchain."

I said that I think the key to Polkadot is to let different blockchains communicate with each other.

"Yes, this is part of it." He admitted, "So, maybe it is more like the blockchain of the United Nations." Why do we need a blockchain of the United Nations?

“In general, an island is not good,” he said. “This is not good for innovation.”

Decentralized myth

You may not agree with Gavin Wood's worldview, but at least he seems to have one. (Note: But who in this world has no world view? The only difference is the difference.)

In the course of our conversations, certain themes continue to emerge: the power of interconnection, the danger of fragmentation, and the need for rules . These concepts also shape Gavin Wood's products. Polkadot describes itself as “a bet on the future of multiple chains, and there may be hundreds of blockchains linked together in a series of economic activities.”

In other words, Polkadot aims to create a framework for different blockchains, allowing these different blockchains to communicate and trust each other.

In order to achieve this communication, you need a "shared security" umbrella. This is almost like the states of the United States. Gavin Wood explained, “They all follow the same rules and they have the same court.” Of course, there are differences between states, “but there is only one single source of authority.”

The idea of ​​a single authoritative source seems to contradict the decentralization that the blockchain admires. If you follow the "only a set of strictly defined rules", Polkadot seems to be centralized. Gavin Wood explained, but it is economically decentralized. “The single actor can arbitrarily decide what the rule is.” (Note: It is centralized at the basic rules level, but decentralized at the specific level of economic behavior.)

In addition, Gavin Wood believes that the decentralization of the encryption world is only a myth. He said that bitcoin is basically controlled by a few people.

"At least in theory, Bitcoin is determined by Bitcoin Core, which is a GitHub repository. Anyone with what they call push access basically has the ability to change the Bitcoin core repository, and they control Bitcoin."

(Note: The development of Bitcoin's network to today has actually formed a network of multi-stakeholders, not only developers, but also miners, investors, exchanges and wallets, etc., which have a certain balance.)

In Gavin Wood's view, Ethereum is not decentralized. He explained that the Ethereum Foundation owns the trademark of Ethereum and has reason to believe that they will use it against the competitor chain once they attempt to use the Ethereum name. If the Ethereum Foundation wants to upgrade and assumes that people in the community are against upgrades, they will continue to upgrade anyway.

Gavin Wood said,

“The Ethereum Foundation controls the content of Ethereum. If we are honest, then it is central. Why do we say it is decentralized or more inclined to this concept, the only reason is that Vitalik is not a dictatorship. By."

He admits that the current Polkadot is ruled by a "good dictator", at least until the release of the Polkadot project. The Polkadot project may be released later this year. After that, power will become more decentralized. “Now I am the person responsible for the actual delivery of the Boca project,” Gavin Wood said. “But once delivered, I will withdraw from this position because Polkadot has a clear and transparent governance mechanism in the white paper.”

In any case, in Gavin Wood's view, the whole idea of ​​decentralization is overestimated. As he said, "If there is no such thing as old things or inertia, there is no real decentralization."

This is not to say that Polkadot has not tried to avoid situations where a few people have too much power. Longhash analyzed the crowdfunding of Polkadot and found that 60% of token holders are more likely to be individual investors than to encrypt "whales." Although Gavin Wood refers to this result as the “happy side effect” of the auction, the data still implies that the Polkadot token distribution is relatively concentrated, although its crowdfunding is more friendly to ordinary investors than many other projects. .

Gavin Wood said that the next sale may be launched at the end of this year, probably shortly after its network launch. "Whether it's an auction, a fixed-price sale, or a trade-off, we haven't really thought about it yet. But we really want to give you considerable support."

Polkadot will also use the PoS model, which allows blockchains to reach consensus based on their token ownership. This is very different from PoW mining. PoW requires hardware to solve complex mathematical problems, which leads to monopoly, because mining competition is fierce, the threshold is high, and there are plenty of resources to have the opportunity to play this game.

“By mining, you get the minimum amount of money you can recover. You have to invest enough money to buy enough efficient hardware to get a return. So you have to buy the same hardware as the top miners.” If you try to get through the laptop Mining, you may lose money.

As a result, mining is concentrated in the hands of a few wealthy companies, and individuals are largely rejected. In the PoS model, the entry threshold can be lower. “A small amount of tokens will get a smaller return, but it still pays off,” explains Gavin Wood. “It will get the same percentage of return as a larger token holder.”

Rules make the world successful

What Gavin Wood is most interested in seems to be the potential of blockchain to change cross-border trade and cross-border interaction. This includes supply chain networks, such as the process of tracking goods from origin to point of sale.

But the blockchain can do much more than just reduce costs. "Civilization, once it is called civilization, is about the certainty that rules and rules can be maintained. Blockchain is creating a complete set of rules with rules," he said. Currently, rules are often enforced by leaders, governments, courts, security forces, and regulatory agencies. "Basically, the blockchain is doing the same thing, it's just that it's done digitally."

This will lead to greater efficiency – and many people will lose their jobs. In general, the use of digital methods to enforce rules undermines the power of national actors and also reduces the importance of borders. Gavin Wood thinks this is a good thing.

“Although nationalism still has no substantial changes, the growth of trade capacity may lead to a reduction in the possibility of war.”

So while Gavin Wood is frustrated by the disagreement in the encryption community, he is generally optimistic. Blockchain has the potential to increase connectivity, which helps to avoid maximism.

He says:

"The underlying technology won't go away, and it's not something that can be easily subverted."