BitTorrent Creator Advises Ethereum Developers to Not Switch to Proof-of-Stake

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.

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).

Token Taxonomy Initiative Launched By Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, Microsoft

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), an organization focused on “developing open, blockchain specifications” and standards that enhance “interoperability for businesses and consumers,” is working with Microsoft on an initiative that will help companies issue the appropriate type of crypto tokens for their requirements.

Referred to as the “Token Taxonomy Initiative,” the token development project will be built and managed using Ethereum, Hyperledger, Digital Asset’s DAML, and R3’s Corda technologies.

EY, Microsoft, Digital Asset, Banco Santander Join Token Taxonomy Initiative

Some of the prominent members of the Token Taxonomy Initiative include JPMorgan, IBM, Ernst & Young, ConsenSys, Blockchain Research Institute, Microsoft, Web3 Labs, R3, ING, Intel, Komgo, Clearmatics, Digital Asset, and Banco Santander. This, according to announcement made on April 17th, 2019, which also revealed that the token creation initiative will be open and accessible to all users who want to contribute to its ongoing development.

In order to facilitate the creation of project-specific tokens, there will be several workshops conducted and there will also be a Github repository where users can publish their research findings. Additionally, the repository can be used to upload test data which may be related to various blockchain-based token implementation projects.

Standardizing Tokens May Lead To “Great Economic Opportunities”

Commenting on the launch of the Token Taxonomy project, Ron Resnick, the Executive Director at the EEA, remarked:

We are doing this for the greater common good. Standardizing tokens across all networks could hold the key to one of the greatest economic opportunities in modern history.

Marley Gray, the Principal Architect at Microsoft, who has been credited with originally proposing the Token Taxonomy Initiative, noted that his colleagues had conducted a research study - which involved asking various investigative questions. Responding to these questions, Microsoft’s internal business partners mentioned that they were interested in learning more about and improving the existing software licensing process.

Microsoft’s business associates have now reportedly recommended using tokenized and smart contract-enabled software licenses - instead of the traditional licensing process which requires users to register complex holographic IDs for each software license.

In statements shared with Coindesk, Gray explained:

The idea is to use a workshop with business people to describe a token completely that services their business requirements. That token itself is composed of reusable components so another group can use those same components to define a slightly different token without redefining all the things that initial group did – so it creates this framework.

"Drag And Drop" To Create Customized Tokens

Gray added that businesses would be able to “grab a non-fungible token and drag it over and then start from a pallet of behaviors” and “drag those behaviors.” This, in a manner which would be similar to how “drag and drop” works on GUI-based operating systems such as Windows and Linux.

According to Gray, this is a user-friendly and intuitive way of defining tokens as users can use easy-to-follow steps and a visual interface to create and issue cryptographic assets

Gray further noted:

An individual [token] behavior could point to a snippet of code for a particular platform, i.e. DAML for some particular behavior would link me to a particular piece of DAML code, or the same for Solidity, or Chaincode.