Vitalik Buterin at TOKEN2049: Encouraged by Growth of Ethereum Ecosystem

Siamak Masnavi

On Wednesday (March 13th), Day 1 of the TOKEN2049 conference in Hong Kong, Vitalik Buterin presented a status report on Ehereum.

Vitalik started his presentation by reporting on the status of Ethereum 2.0 (aka "Eth 2.0", aka "Eth2", aka "Serenity"), which the Ethereum Foundation has been working on for the past couple of years. Vitalik described Eth 2.0 as "effort to being together a lot of the technical ideas that we've had around things like sharding, Proof-of-Stake, improving the virtual machine, improving the efficiency of the protocol, ... and basically a next generation blockchain."

He then explained that there were three phases:

  • Phase 0 (Proof-of-Stake): "spec in final stages"; "nearing testnets"
  • Phase 1 (Sharding of Data): "ongoing progress"
  • Phase 2 (Sharding of Compensation for Contracts): being started

He then went on to talk about the progress of Eth 1.x, which he referred to as "a series of proposals that are more short term than Ethereum 2.0," with the idea being "to improve the scalability and efficiency of the Ethereum network in the shorter term."

Here is the current status:

  • There was a workshop on this topic at Stanford University at the end of January.
  • Right now, they are evaluating various proposals, e.g. stateless nodes/clients and use of WebAssembly (Wasm) for Eth1

Vitalik then moved on to talking about work going at Layer 2:

  • "Plasma chains in testnet stage"
  • "State channel frameworks"
  • "ZK SNARK and STARK scalability and privacy solutions"

Finally, he focused on things in the Ethereum ecosystem that had he had found encouraging. Here were two of the examples that he mentioned:

  • "DeFi / 'Open Finance' apps seeing growing adoption"
  • "Large-scale user onboarding, e.g. Brave, Opera"

One person that would definitely agree with Vitalik about the growth of the Ethereum ecosystem is Joseph Lubin, the founder of ConsenSys, who explained "why the Ethereum ecosystem is stronger than ever" in a 20-part tweetstorm near the end of November 2018.