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Vitalik Buterin Says Applications Built Today Need To Keep “2020s Ethereum” In Mind

Last Updated March 29, 2024 10:48 AM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated March 29, 2024 10:48 AM

Key Takeaways

  • Ethereum’s focus is shifting from L1 growth to rollups and a more secure, decentralized ecosystem.
  • Buterin wants stricter standards for rollups, urging developers to focus on making them more decentralized.
  • Ethereum’s next upgrades target bigger data storage, smoother rollups, and tighter security.

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, has proposed  elevating the standards for what qualifies as a rollup within the Ethereum ecosystem, emphasizing that developers should prioritize their decentralization initiatives by the year’s end.

This upgrade notably lowered transaction fees for layer 2 rollups, marking a significant development in the platform’s evolution.

Vitalik Buterin Pushes Ethereum Towards a Broader Tech Future

Buterin emphasized that applications being developed or updated today should be designed with the characteristics and advancements of 2020s Ethereum in mind.

He advises developers  to adopt a “2020s Ethereum” approach when creating applications, focusing on embracing layer-2 scaling solutions, enhancing privacy, implementing account abstraction, and incorporating new methods for proving community membership.

He said :

“Ethereum has upgraded from being ‘just’ a financial ecosystem into a much more thorough independent decentralized tech stack.”

From Rapid L1 Growth to Refined Scaling and Broader Ecosystem

Buterin has observed that Ethereum is transitioning from a period of rapid progresss at the Layer 1 (L1) level to an era where advancements in L1 will continue to be highly important.

He further explained that Ethereum’s scaling efforts are evolving from a foundational “zero-to-one” challenge to a more incremental problem. This next phase of development will concentrate on enhancing the blockchain’s blob capacity and boosting the efficiency of rollups, according to Buterin’s insights.

These remarks were made in his most recent blog post  on March 28, where he pondered the future after Ethereum’s Dencun upgrade.

He further emphasized the need for stricter standards within the ecosystem, suggesting that by the year’s end, projects should only be considered rollups if they have achieved at least stage 1.

He wrote :

“By the end of the year, I think our standards should increase and we should only treat a project as a rollup if it has actually reached at least stage 1.”

Beyond PoS: Buterin Charts Course for a More Secure Ethereum

Stage 1, according to Buterin’s classification, marks a level of decentralization progress for layer-2 networks, indicating they have made significant advancements in security and scaling but have not achieved full decentralization, which is defined as stage 2.

He pointed out that among the layer-2 projects featured on L2beat, only five have reached either stage 1 or 2, with Arbitrum being the sole project fully compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

Looking forward, the roadmap includes steps such as adopting data availability sampling to boost blob capacity to 16MB per slot, and enhancing layer 2 solutions with methods like data compression, optimistic execution, and bolstering security measures.

L2 data compression
Credit: vitalik.eth.limo

He added :

“After this, we can cautiously move toward stage 2: a world where rollups truly are backed by code, and a security council can only intervene if the code “provably disagrees with itself.”

Buterin mentioned that while further developments like Verkle trees, single-slot finality, and account abstraction remain important, they don’t represent as dramatic a shift as the introduction of proof of stake and sharding did. He likened Ethereum’s evolution in 2022 to a plane changing its engines mid-flight, and in 2023, to replacing its wings.

Currently, Ethereum is in “The Surge” stage of its upgrade pathway, focusing on enhancements in scalability through rollups and data sharding. The forthcoming stage, “The Scourge,” is set to concentrate on improvements in censorship resistance, decentralization, and mitigating protocol risks associated with Maximal Extractable Value (MEV).

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