Exclusive dialogue V God! Where is the Ethereum Road under question?

“When I conceived the Ethereum project, the original idea was 'If it could make it too sloppy'. When Ethereum really landed, it proved that my idea was right. Ethereum is from inside to outside. Great project!"

– Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum

Six years ago, in this wonderful and noisy world, a lot of things happened.

  • In January, Armstrong changed his attitude of denying it for years, acknowledging that he won seven Tour de France championships for taking a large amount of illegal drugs;
  • In March, Princess Kate of the United Kingdom gave birth to a baby boy in the world's most famous royal family, named George (note: this George, not the battalion's younger brother George);
  • In June, Snowden was forced to flee to Moscow for leaking US surveillance activities and received temporary asylum;
  • In October, the US Congress was deadlocked on the budget. The US government closed for the first time in 17 years, and 800,000 federal government employees were "family" for 16 days;
  • In November, the super typhoon “Haiyan” ravaged the Philippines, killing more than 5,200 people and leaving 1,600 missing;
  • In December, South African hero Nelson Mandela died in Johannesburg at the age of 95.

At that time, another corner of the world, Israel, a former Internet addiction teenager, 19-year-old Russian-born Canadian genius programmer Vitalik Buterin , sent a white paper to his friends detailing his attempt to "subvert the world." Dreams – Ethereum .

“When I presented the concept of “Ethereum” in my mind, my first thought was, 'Is this concept a little to be unrealistic? '"

As the "next-generation cryptocurrency and decentralization application platform" after Bitcoin, V God wants to make Ethereum a world computer, creating a world of decentralization, absolute equality, efficiency and trust. Ethereum has attracted the attention of too many people, and it has also carried many people's hopes. Of course, it has also suffered from many people's dissatisfaction and criticism.

A year ago, when the blockchain base reporter interviewed Vitalik for the first time, Vitalik introduced the latest developments in Casper's proof of entitlement and sharding technology to Chinese developers, and detailed how to become Casper PoS + Sharding (sharding). The verifier's steps, vowed to describe the wonderful vision of Ethereum 2.0 to the world, let people think, 'Well, this is what I want to follow! '.

But the truth is that in the past year, the ICO boom, the departure of core developers, the slow progress of overall development, the hard fork of Constantinople, the rise and challenge of other public chains…

Ethereum began to see decline, was considered inefficient, unsafe, slow progress and no innovation…

In the first interview, when asked " What is the biggest change if there is an opportunity to redesign Ethereum ," Vitalik said:

“One of the biggest mistakes I made was that I once owned a large founding team, but many of them were non-technical, and many people left the team after 1-2 years, which slowed our progress.
Another mistake is that we put too much energy into the amateur project, instead of focusing on a specific module and carefully polishing it, then working through the authorization mechanism or working with other teams to complete the remaining modules.

So, how does Vitalik respond to the outside world now? How to judge the true value of the community? How will the future position itself in the Ethereum ecosystem? How do you view the big factory's entry and the recent hot DeFi?

After a year, Vitalik once again accepted an interview with the reporters of the blockchain base camp, detailing the latest developments of Ethereum and his thoughts on this ecology, economics and sociology.

Being questioned makes sense


Campmaster: At present, the development of Ethereum seems to be very slow. It has encountered many problems and is seriously sung in this round of bear market. The outside world believes that the main reason is the low performance and low scalability of Ethereum. Later generations such as EOS and wave field seem to be more optimistic. What do you think about this point of view? What do you think is the most important indicator for evaluating the quality of a public chain project?

Vitalik: Indeed, the development of Ethereum was slow in the whole year of 2018, but the recent development speed has been very fast. Many developers are studying the Ethereum 2.0 technical specifications as well as Plasma, State Channels and SNARKs. Layer 2 expansion solution such as /STARKs.

In 2018, the Ethereum Foundation took many steps to improve overall growth, such as funding client development teams such as Prysmatic, Lighthouse and Nimbus, funding the Stanford Blockchain Research Center, expanding research teams and other funding projects. The scale. After a long temper, today's teams have reached the highest level of productivity.

When it comes to the Ethereum ecology of 2018, the community has been criticized for some reason, but in the past few months, I think the situation has improved a lot. For example, in some scenarios, technologies such as ZK Rollup, Plasma, and State Channels that enable Ethereum's high scalability have been run on the main network. Now that Ethereum 2.0 is also on the test network, it has added a lot of reasons for being optimistic about Ethereum. Those relatively more centralized projects also face many challenges, such as building and maintaining some of the difficulties at the community level.

I think measuring the size and quality of the community is not only reflected in the number of people, but more importantly, the ability of community members to independently build projects that benefit the ecosystem. This is very important. In this regard, Bitcoin and Ethereum have very healthy communities, but other projects rarely do.

Campmaster: What is the biggest challenge facing Ethereum today? If there is an opportunity to redesign Ethereum, what are the different designs?

Vitalik: Ethereum 's biggest challenge at the two levels of scalability and consensus algorithms, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to redesign an Ethereum platform, which is Ethereum 2.0. We redesigned the security and scalability of the platform through PoS consensus algorithms and Sharding.

In addition, we have made some decisions at other technical levels, such as 256 bit registers (256 bit registers).

) and the 16-way hexary Patricia Merkle tree. As it turns out, some are not a good idea, and we are currently revisiting some of the designs in Ethereum 2.0. If we know the "pits" we know today from the beginning, then there are certainly many effective ways to make this platform even simpler.

Battalion commander: From a non-technical point of view, what are the reasons for the hard fork of Constantinople?

Vitalik: One of the important reasons is that the research focus has shifted to the Ethereum 2.0 and Layer 2 agreements, and we have not worked hard to coordinate and promote the addition of new features to the existing Ethereum 1.0 after the Byzantine hard fork. So it took us a long time to decide what to include, and then we implemented and wrote tests for it. Since then, we have worked hard to formalize and simplify the process of upgrading existing chains, so we hope that Istanbul will upgrade faster. Occurs and contains more features.

Ethereum 2.0 is accelerating

Campmaster : Is the development of eWASM progressing smoothly? If it is successfully deployed, what changes will the existing Ethereum developers need to make?

Vitalik: eWASM is rapidly evolving and the main work currently underway is to optimize and check the security of interpreters and compilers. We hope that existing developers will not need to make many changes when using eWASM, Solidity and The Vyper compiler will compile to eWASM locally. But if developers want to fully experience the greater scalability of Ethereum 2.0, they will need to make the necessary changes to their applications.

Campmaster: You can propose that the three phases of Ethereum 2.0 can be paralleled. How do you plan to deploy now? What conditions or factors do you need to rely on at each stage?

Vitalik: We are currently working on three phases of specs (technical specifications) in parallel. We expect that Phase 0 will be completed immediately, and Phase 1 and Phase 2 will be implemented shortly. Once we are confident that a phase can be deployed securely, we will launch it immediately.

Campmaster : Can PoW move to PoS to go online as scheduled and avoid forks? Will the security drop after the PoS goes online?

Vitalik: We are taking a slow transition to PoS, which starts as a stand-alone system. After a while (during phase 2), it gradually moves from PoW to PoS, but a full transition to PoS still requires a hard fork. We certainly hope that the security risk of the PoS chain will decrease, but over time, I believe it will gradually prove itself.

Note: More details will be revealed at the Ethereum conference

Blockchain embraces economics, social sciences

Campmaster: The design and development of Ethereum combines multiple subject areas, not only related to computer technology, but also economic, social and even anthropological theories. How do you apply different theories spanning so much to the design of Ethereum? What have you tried in this regard over the past year?

Vitalik: Various areas of economics and social sciences are having a huge impact on blockchain in many ways. One of them is their impact on the basic blockchain protocol, such as the analysis and comparison of PoW and PoS at the economic level; in the analysis of blockchain governance, the more "humanistic" social science has the greatest impact, such as the blockchain agreement. How to upgrade, when the blockchain community runs smoothly, when to generate debates, and when to split.

The second area is the analysis of blockchain-based applications such as decentralized exchanges, ICO design, DAO design, and voting schemes. In the Ethereum ecosystem, many Ethereum community members are interested in Glen Weyl's ideas about Harberger taxes, quadratic voting, and quadratic funding. Decision making and a reasonable way to allocate resources to public goods.

The blockchain is so interesting, largely because the pioneers combined all of these humanities, mathematics, computer technology, and cryptography.

Campmaster: Recently, the Ethereum Foundation released the spring report of 2019. In the coming year, the Foundation plans to invest 30 million US dollars for key projects in the entire Ethereum ecosystem. Regardless of whether the ETH price rises or falls, this budget will be Not affected. According to official instructions, this budget is mainly used to support the development of Ethereum 2.0 and Ethereum 1.0 and the introduction and encouragement of talents. In the future, what role will the Ethereum Foundation play in the blockchain industry? how about you?

Vitalik: In the short term, in addition to key areas such as basic agreement research, the Ethereum Foundation will continue to reduce the focus on direct employment, and pay more attention to providing independent funding to social assistance and outreach, such as operations and publicity. Devcon meetings and maintenance of Ethereum related documents and websites.

In the long run, the Ethereum Foundation will try to become a non-profit organization like “fund of funds (FOF, also known as a parent fund, a fund that invests exclusively in other securities investment funds)” Funding is provided by donor agencies that focus on different directions and geographies and have more "local knowledge" in their respective fields. With the support of MolochDAO and Gitcoin Grants, we have done this to some extent. We also hope to focus more on education and outreach than on the present and find more ways to support local community groups in different parts of the world.

I will continue to actively participate in those areas that I believe are the most valuable to participate. At present, I am not only doing research on basic protocols, but also doing some research on the economics of Ethereum DApp. The article I recently published about "conspiracy" is a good example.

Large company entry, DeFi hot

Risk and opportunity coexist

Battalion commander: Nowadays, some giant companies have begun to vigorously lay out blockchains. For example, this year's JP Morgan Chase, Facebook and Telegram have entered and frequently have big moves. Are you optimistic about these giants' attempts? If it succeeds, what does it mean for the 7.6 billion people around the world ?

Vitalik: It is still too early to conclude. On the one hand, big companies' attempts in the blockchain are still at a disadvantage because they are often seen as risky and experimental attempts, and large companies lose more than start-ups when trying new things and failing. On the other hand, the advantages of large companies are also obvious, that is, there are a large number of existing active users.

But so far, we have heard relatively little news about the implementation plans of these big companies. For example, Facebook's Libra is still full of mystery. Too big to say that these majestic plans may improve our lives through greater economic connectivity and self-sovereign status; or, they may end up being projects with little influence; in the worst case, Like Kik, they are a project of money and fraud.

What makes me most happy is that HTC, Samsung and Opera have added relevant blockchain support on the mobile phone and browser; it provides users with a more convenient way to use blockchain applications in a secure way. Real value, not just relying on one application and rejecting all other applications. At this level, Microsoft has also successfully provided practical value to a large number of blockchain developers. I think some of these ideas are boring, while others can provide great value for the blockchain ecosystem.

Battalion commander: In the past year, DeFi fever of the decentralized financial project has increased dramatically. Nowadays, more and more people expect DeFi to become the next development line of Ethereum after ICO. How do you think about this? Are you optimistic about the current two tracks on the DeFi loan application and forecasting market? What is the reason?

Vitalik: DeFi is a very broad term. In theory, payment can be considered as DeFi, decentralized exchanges can be considered as DeFi, and even ICO and DAO and DAICO can be considered as DeFi. Considering the scope of the term DeFi is so large, I expect DeFi in the future. The scale will be very, very large.

In the short term, I do find it very interesting to resemble the synthetic financial products of the Rainbow Network; but in the long run, I am trying to use blockchain technology to create structures that are not currently available or more complex. Organizations are more excited, and we can do this using a "tool" similar to DAO.

Chinese developers need to actively participate

Campmaster: In the blockchain world, what do you think people still have misunderstandings about the blockchain? In this regard, what efforts have you made to eliminate these misunderstandings?

Vitalik: There are certainly many misunderstandings. A common example is that blockchain is a generic "trust machine" that solves any trust problem. In fact, blockchain can sometimes solve the problem of trust, but usually can not solve a key problem called "Oracle problem", that is, how to determine the authenticity of information in the external world.

Another misconception is that the bitcoin blockchain based on PoW (workload proof) is the only blockchain that can “live”, which makes many people think that blockchain is equivalent to inefficiency. But in reality, the above ideas are only established under the existing technical conditions. With the emergence of breakthrough technologies in the future, this view becomes incorrect.

When I talk to people in meetings or online discussions, I am often forced to correct these misconceptions. In areas where there are frequent misunderstandings, I have written some documents, such as PoS (Equity Proof Mechanism) and Sharding (Fragmentation) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Battalion commander: It has been a perfect year since the Ethereum conference last year. In the middle of the year, what layout did Ethereum do in China? In your opinion, what are the achievements and problems of China's blockchain industry this year? What are you most concerned about for the Ethereum community and developers in China?

Vitalik: In the past year, the Ethereum community in China has developed greatly, and more and more high-quality projects have emerged, such as Celer. I have also observed on WeChat group and other media platforms that the debate and understanding of Chinese developers on blockchain technology is also increasing year by year. Community groups such as Unitimes and Etherum.cn are getting better and better.

However, in terms of communication between Chinese developers and foreign Ethereum groups, I think there are still many things to do. This year we will hold the Devcon conference in Osaka, Japan. Japan is very close to China. I hope that more Chinese developers can come to the site to communicate.

Campmaster: Apart from Ethereum, what have you been paying attention to recently? Which books have you read? Still learning Chinese?

Vitalik: I have been paying attention to the progress of cryptography and zero-knowledge proof, and I am also working with Glen Weyl to develop an economic mechanism that stimulates the production of public goods. I think that the mechanism for stimulating the production of public goods is very valuable to humans, and I am happy to see that the blockchain is playing an important role in testing these mechanisms. Last year, I spent less time in Europe than in the past. I now think it is easy to speak Chinese, but I am still learning Chinese. At the same time, I am also learning French and German. Compared to books, I have recently read more blogs, and Slate Star Codex is still one of my favorites.

Campmaster: Finally, what do you want to say to Chinese developers? (Can I use Chinese? Hahaha)

Vitalik: This question is very broad. I have not been good at answering such a wide range of questions. I hope that Chinese developers can learn more about Ethereum and participate in and build our community. Now the blockchain is developing very fast and there are still many opportunities!


Reporter's postscript:

Ten years ago, when Bitcoin was only a few cents, few people were willing to buy this "strange" thing;

Ten years later, most people have a consensus in mind: Bitcoin is a better means of value storage.

Six years ago, when Vitalik’s Ethereum white paper project proposal was directly rejected by the founder of Mastercoin, Vitalik said “Go to you, I can do it myself”.

Six years later, although some people in China are no longer optimistic about Ethereum, they have turned their attention to other public chain projects such as EOS and Wave Field, but some people do not think so. I have consulted many senior blockchain developers and have benefited a lot. One of them is very impressive:

I personally think that Ethereum's innovation is more than the sum of other “public chains.” However, the real “innovation” is calculated in years . Everyone thinks that good Cosmos / Polkadot is online more than a year later than expected. A few months of "innovation" surpassed the "China speed" accumulated by others for a few years, there is only one possibility: to steal. "

Reflectively, are we too anxious about Ethereum?

Reporter | Page

Produced | Blockchain Base Camp (blockchain_camp)

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