Ethereum lead Vitalik Buterin details ‘endgame’ roadmap for ETH 2.0
Ethereum’s Co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, has recently outlined his vision for a “plausible roadmap” for Eth2, where he talks about a future where the largest smart-contract platform could increase its scalability while simultaneously meeting high standards for trustlessness and censorship resistance.
In a December 6 post titled “Endgame,” Buterin has presented a thought experiment about how the average big blockchain that is defined by very high block frequency, huge block size and thousands of transactions per second, could be considered still trustless and censorship-resistant.
The very predictable trade-off for this level of scalability has been the centralization of block production. Buterin’s solutions, as reflected in the blog post, however, have not addressed the centralization issue, although it did provide a roadmap for implementation.
With cognizance to solutions, Buterin has suggested “a second tier of staking, with low resource requirements,” to conduct distributed block validation; introduce either fraud-proof or ZK-SNARKS for letting users directly and cheaply check the block validity directly; and to initiate data availability sampling for enabling users to check block availability [and] also add secondary transaction channels for preventing censorship.
With these updates, Buterin explained that they could get a chain where block production can still be centralized. Still, block validation would become trustless and highly decentralized, as well as “specialized anti-censorship magic” would lend prevention to the block producers from censoring.
Buterin detailed how block production would still be centralized even after the implementation of “rollups” that are layer-two solutions that can perform transactions outside of the main Ethereum chain. It is noteworthy here to point that Buterin had presented “a rollup-centric roadmap for Ethereum” back in October 2020.
The blog continued that no single rollup could be successful at holding even slightly close to the majority of the Ethereum activity. Instead, they all would top out at a few hundred transactions per second. While it might appear that rollups have the ability to contribute to distributed block production, the decentralization thus resulting may not last because of the potential possibility of cross-domain maximal extractable revenue, or MEV. (MEV stands for the maximum amount of value that could be earned from block production when there is an excess of standard block rewards and gas fees).
Buterin thus concluded the blog by saying that there is “a high probability” that block production would end up centralized regardless of its path to scalability, which the network would take. He said that the benefit of Ethereum’s rollup-centric roadmap has been that “it’s open to all futures.”
Major excitement surrounding Ethereum had been building up since November 2020, when the protocol recorded its first embarking on its long transition to proof-of-stake. The highly anticipated London hard fork, that has put ETH on track to become a deflationary asset, had been implemented in August 2021.
The hard fork has introduced EIP-1559, aiming to reform the network’s fee market. Since it came into effect, 1 million ETH has been burnt already.