Endgame with Vitalik Buterin

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Key Takeaways

  • Vitalik Buterin sees Ethereum as 50% complete now, 60% after the merge, and 80% after a full sharding implementation. He approximates 6 more years until it’s complete.
  • As the scalability goes up, the systemic risks go up. We don’t know how far we can scale until there is an accident.
  • None of these roadmaps are final. They are a reflection of the current research.
  • Layer 2 solutions are the future for Ethereum.

Intro

  • Ryan Sean Adams and David Hoffman interview Vitalik Buterin (@VitalikButerin) about all things Ethereum. The conversation is technical at times but is summarized nicely in a way that most crypto people will understand.
  • VItalik has an amazing blog and this podcast focuses mostly on his post “Endgame” Roadmap for Ethereum development here

Vitalik’s Thoughts on 2021

  • Blockchains are about creating new innovative ways to organize societies. NFTs are giving new business models to artists. He’s also stoked to see the increase of DAOs
  • Layer 2 solutions are going from theory to practice.
  • The Beacon chain proved itself and had its first hardfork. Testnets for “The Merge” are now available.
  • Maximalism is something that is unhealthy. It’s important to check out other ecosystems.

The Merge

  • The Merge is the transition from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake (POS). No more miners.
  • The test nets have been running and solutions have been found for foreseeable edge cases.
  • The most important feature is enabling withdrawals for beacon chain validators after the post-merge hardfork. There will be a queue for withdrawal.
  • The typical user will need to update their Metamask

The Surge

  • Scalability increases for rollups through sharding. Rollups – computation and storage are off-chain, but data stays on-chain. This allows for cheaper transactions.
  • Bandwidth will increase from 15-40 transactions per second (tps). Rollups will increase tps to 1500-4000 tps, rollups with sharding will increase to 100,000 tps
  • Eventually, all activity will transition to Layer 2.
  • If only the Merge and the Surge happen, Eth can last generations

The Verge

  • The implementation of Merkle trees that enable stateless clients.
  • Stateless clients – don’t need the entire history of the blockchain to verify blocks. There will be proofs that verify the data. This allows validators to be much lighter, which is great for decentralization.
  • It democratizes access to everybody to be able to verify the validity of the chain.

The Purge

  • In theory, this eliminates the need to store the dead weight of Ethereums history.
  • History vs state. State is like the countries record of who the citizens are. History is the citizen’s birth and death records.
  • There will be a state expiry implementation.
  • The core Idea is to simplify the past and remove the complexities of the code. Make it easier to run a node and debug.
  • Removes gas stipends, precompiles, simplifies logs, removes RLP, and finds solutions for dust accounts.
  • One may need to provide Merkle proofs to recover old data through more centralized services that have the historical data. Services like Portal.

The Splurge

  • ZKsnark everything! The EVM, beacon chain transition, signature verification. This makes it extremely easy for everyone to run a node.
  • Make smart contract wallets more like a first-class citizen
  • Proposer Builder Separation. (PBS)
  • Account Abstraction

The Endgame

  • The entire space is based on decentralization and it’s Ethereum’s core value. . Ethereum started by compromising on scale, not decentralization. Other Layer 1s are trying the opposite.
  • The roadmaps are not completely final, but if everything on this roadmap is done, Vitalik would be happy.
  • Blockchains need to be cheap in order to foster main adoption
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Notes By Paul Keating

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