Bram Cohen, an American computer programmer and the author or peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocol and software program BitTorrent, has advised Ethereum’s (ETH) developers to not switch to the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus protocol.
My advice to Ethereum: (1) Drop sharding (2) Drop proof of stake (3) Separate out state transitions from their justifications
— Bram Cohen (@bramcohen) February 15, 2019
Cohen also suggested that Ethereum’s development team “separate out state transitions from their justifications” and “drop” sharding – as they work on upgrading the Ethereum blockchain network. In response to Cohen’s recommendations, Twitter user “WallStreet 5” (@Street5Wall) asked Blockstack co-founder Muneeb Ali why his platform couldn’t be deployed on Bitcoin SV, “instead of Ethereum.”
Clarifying that Bitcoin SV, a fork of Bitcoin Cash, is “not designed as a general purpose” platform to launch decentralized applications (dApps), Ali explained that Blockstack is “explicitly designed” to facilitate the development of distributed apps.
Responding to Ali’s comments, Craig Steven Wright, the self-proclaimed inventor of Bitcoin, claimed that Bitcoin (as he envisions it) “is a Turing Complete system.” Wright also argued that Bitcoin is capable of functioning as a dApp deployment platform and it has many other use cases.
SegWit Was “More Of A Bug Fix”
Meanwhile, Twitter user “Critical I.” (@critical_infras) asked if separating state transitions is what SegWit (“Segregated Witness”) did for Bitcoin. According to Cohen:
Sort of. SegWit was more of a bug fix than a change to the model. Yeah Satoshi meant for the UTXO (unspent transaction output) model to begin with but messed up that detail mistakenly thinking signing more stuff was better.
Questioning whether it’s a good idea to “drop stated goals” and if Cohen thinks they’re “unobtainable”, Twitter user @CogentConch pointed out that “many people are invested in ETH because of [the] upcoming” proof-of-stake (PoS) upgrade to the Ethereum network. Per the BitTorrent creator, the “current plans” for doing state transitions on Ethereum are “unworkable, or are only workable by letting the thing continue to quickly backslide into centralization.”
“Hard To Explain” To Those Who Don’t Have A Technical Background
Acknowledging that state transitions and other implementation details related to Ethereum are “hard to explain without assuming quite a bit of technical background for the reader”, Cohen noted:
The idea is to have 'transactions' in the database sense, so they have clear dependencies and [users] know in advance exactly how much gas they'll need … Basically every detail of a transaction's execution and the amount of gas it uses should be precisely specified up front and the slightest deviation from that should make it fail.
In October 2018, Cohen had announced his plans to launch a new cryptocurrency (called Chia) based on a “proof of space” consensus protocol – which he claimed was a more eco-friendly version of Bitcoin (BTC).