Ethereum's Future - The Daily Gwei #464
Let's ensure that Ethereum thrives for years to come.
The next few years in the Ethereum ecosystem are absolutely critical and I would argue that they are going to be more important than the previous 7 years. From major changes coming to the core protocol to layer 2 scaling being at the front of everyone’s minds - Ethereum is going to be evolving so fast that no one person will be able to keep up with it anymore. Given these facts, Tim Beiko asks the very important question below that received a bunch of great responses.
Tim’s tweets got a lot of good replies and I want to focus on my favorite ones in today’s piece. First up is a reply from everyone’s favorite modular blockchain maximalist ‘Polynya’. In their reply, Polynya chooses to focus on the most important technical changes coming to Ethereum including The Merge, Danksharding/PBS and Verkle trees. Obviously a smooth merge transition is critical for Ethereum as if there are any issues it will strike a pretty big blow against Ethereum and shatter confidence in the short to medium term. Danksharding/PBS and Verkle trees are quite a bit more technical but are rather critical for Ethereum’s long-term scalability and sustainability goals. You can read more about danksharding here, PBS here, and Verkle trees here.
Next up we have a tweet from ‘foobar’ pointing out 3 things that we need to get right - light clients, ensuring no single staking provider has massive stake dominance, and base layer (“layer 1”) privacy by default. The reason light clients are so important (and exciting) is that they will give people the ability to only verify a small part of what needs to be verified during a transaction rather than having to run a complete full node (this means better security for users). Ensuring that no single staking provider (such as a CEX) achieves a large share of the validator share is obviously important for the decentralization and security of the Ethereum network as a whole - though I personally have a bit of a different/nuanced view on this. Last up is having base layer privacy by default but I actually disagree with this - I don’t believe it’s desirable (due to the possibility of inflation bugs) and I’m fine with layer 1 being totally public/transparent - we can easily just do privacy by default at layer 2.
Finally, I replied to Tim’s tweet by stating that I believe maintaining Ethereum’s strong social layer is more important than any of the technical stuff - and I explain why in this piece. Though just to add a few more things - the reason I think the social layer is more important than the technical one is because blockchains are not just a technology - they are living and breathing ecosystems that are only as strong as the people behind them. If the social layer is poor then that will be reflected in the network - there will be less builders, core protocol upgrades will take much longer (or just never happen), the protocol becomes very susceptible to being co-opted by special interest groups and so much more. It quite literally all starts from the social layer and scales up from there.
As you can see, Ethereum has a lot of things ahead of it and we need to get them as right as possible if the ecosystem is to continue thriving. I have full faith that the Ethereum community can achieve all of its goals and more in a healthy and sustainable way due to it’s strong social layer. Though of course, doing something revolutionary will always come with risk, but I hope you’ll all stick around with me to watch the revolution happen!
Have a great day everyone,
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All information presented above is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice.