Ethereum's Zamfir Takes Over at CasperLabs, Hoping to ‘Put Pressure’ on ETH

Colin Muller

One of Ethereum’s main developers, Vlad Zamfir, has become lead “Consensus Protocol Architect” at CasperLabs, a competing Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain development venture, CasperLabs announced yesterday on their official Medium page.

CasperLabs seek to build a PoS protocol based on Zamfir’s work on the in-development Ethereum CBC Casper protocol. According to the post, his work at Ethereum “will be ongoing.”

Notably, Zamfir said that:

[I] hope that [Casper Labs’] efforts are both independently successful and put pressure on other projects (like Ethereum) to adopt the technology.

Vlad Zamfir

Zamfir specializes in CBC, or correct-by-construction protocols. CBC Casper, Zamfir’s baby, directly competes with Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin’s own preferred instantiation of Casper, so-called FFG Casper (or, “Casper the Friendly Finality Gadget”).

The respective Caspers are two of many proposed scaling solutions for Ethereum, others being Sharding, Plasma, and Raiden. According to Buterin, “CBC may arguably be considerably more complex than FFG, but in terms of ability to reason about the protocol [...] it’s surprisingly simple.”

And according to Ethereum’s Github, “CBC Casper research is more radical, less implementation focused, and farther from production. As such, Ethereum 2.0 will likely be the first improvement made to the public Ethereum blockchain.”

Flight of the Devs

Many in crypto-media and social media have been speculating since January that Zamfir was de-prioritizing Ethereum in favor of alternative projects - which predictions seem vindicated now.

Zamfir in fact poked fun, last month, at a TheBlockCrypto report claiming his intention to beat Ethereum to the punch.

Zamfir’s not-departure from Ethereum comes on the heels of a suspected departure of an equally prominent Ethereum developer, Afri Schoedon. Schoeden left as a result of “toxic behavior” within the Ethereum community which was directed at him, as a result of his perceived criticisms of the Serenity Ethereum upgrade.