ConsenSys CEO Joseph Lubin Talks Ethereum’s Accomplishments & Challenges
When asked about why he joined ConsenSys, Ajit Tripathi, one of the ConsenSys partners stated that there was something about the company's CEO, Joseph Lubin, that has attracted him to the company. He is an inspirational figure to be sure, and has the ability to make people excited about the future.
Lubin is a 53-year-old from Canada, and is one of the biggest entrepreneurs in the world of blockchain technology. He is also one of the co-founders of Ethereum, as well as a founder of a blockchain software developer, ConsenSys.
Currently, Joseph is living on a very tight schedule, traveling from one crypto/blockchain event to another. Even so, he still manages to run dozens of projects at the same time.
The Story Of Ethereum
The story of Ethereum officially started years after Bitcoin came to be. However, in reality, this is a technology that was being planned ever since BTC first appeared. The entire world saw the potential of the Bitcoin space, found the technology to be a significant breakthrough, and discovered countless new applications. The concept of decentralization appeared, and the trust between the users had to be established. And amazingly enough, it was.
So, Bitcoin started it all, and was only in it to become the new money, a cryptocurrency. However, this was not the end of it, and people started thinking how trust layers surrounding the tech behind Bitcoin could be applied to other software systems. Maybe even all of them. Different developers started trying out different things, and among them, there was Vitalik Buterin.
Back then, he was working on several things which were called Bitcoin 2.0 projects. These were the projects that would eventually become blockchains, but it was during these tests and development attempts when the concept of Ethereum came to be. At first, it was simply a more elegant, as well as more powerful blockchain platform.
Ethereum was seeking to improve upon Bitcoin's concept and allow for additional applications of its blockchain. In an attempt to simplify things, software engineers did not worry too much about the protocol layers and the processes done there. Instead, they were trying to create the easy-to-use tools that are similar to those that they were using for years to create web and smartphone apps.
Eventually, the Ethereum developer base became 40 times larger thanks to this decision. Finally, in December of 2013, Joseph and Vitalik met in Toronto, only a month after Ethereum's whitepaper was created. Soon enough, Vitalik was delivering this whitepaper to Miami's Noth American Bitcoin conference.
The Challenges Of Creating Ethereum Network
At first, a lot of people were not really sure that something like Ethereum could even be done. Some believed that it would be stupid to do something like that, since the attack service would simply be too large. However, the two decided to go through with it anyway, and this is the second most successful crypto today.
Even so, the project is still very young, and has a lot of room for maturing and improving. Right now, it is only getting ready for entering phase two. The phase two will see the addition of a layer two, which will bring a number of sidechains to Ethereum, and allow it to perform hundreds of thousands of TPS.
Also, if Ethereum has ever had to face truly difficult times – it was because it was necessary to ensure that the proper continuation of its development.
The problem of scalability in information technology has been an issue for decades, and it started a long time before the blockchain first appeared. There is no way of knowing where the weak parts of the network are, unless the team keeps throwing more and more at it, and forcing it to reach, and then expand its limits.
The SEC Said ETH Is Not A Security
Another big step in the right direction for Ethereum came on June 14, when the US SEC announced that ETH will not be regulated as a security. Obviously, the coin is officially decentralized enough to not fall under this category.
Ethereum's team was confident that this would be the case, and they have had a lot of legal work done several years ago, in 2014. This was before the Ether token was even launched, and the team wanted to make sure that they won't be selling unregistered securities to their customers.
The seriousness of this issue was recognized even back then, and if the SEC did decide that ETH is a security, there would be consequences for the coin. For example, it would have only a limited number of places where it could trade, and all of that would have come after it had already created a colossal ecosystem, and had established complete decentralization. If there was a need for ETH adjustment, it is very unlikely that there would have been much that the team could have done.
So, the SEC's decision was more than beneficial, since not only did they not proclaim ETH to be a security, but have also announced it to be an entirely new class of coins – consumer utility token.
ConsenSys Is What Followed
At this point, Joseph decided to go for ConsenSys, which started around 3 and a half years ago. About one year after launching ETH project, the version one of ETH platform was released. However, the problem was that there were not that many people who were creating dApps, so the team started doing it themselves.
Soon after that, they realized that it is a hard thing to do without proper tools, and that there is still much to be done before the official release of the platform. The ecosystem simply did not exist just yet.
After realizing this, the team knew what it needed to do, and they started making developer tools, as well as an app-supporting infrastructure. Things like Infura and MetaMask appeared soon, and today, these are handling over 8 billion queries every single day.
Other products, like sport, the reputation systems, self-sovereign identity, governments tools and alike also came to be, and have helped with defining a protocol, and helping it become an open platform. Such platforms have, since, attracted a lot of new businesses.
In fact, government and enterprise consulting is a big part of what Ethereum does. These businesses vary, and include banking, healthcare, energy, insurance, education, supply chain, and more.
Ethereum has also been a part of the Dubai Smart City Project, as well as land registry work.
Ethereum is even a manager of a blockchain observatory of the EU. Apart from that, they have started the Consensus academy, which has already seen over 120 blockchain graduates.
Joseph continues to be convinced of Ethereum's potential and superiority, and to prove that, he has even entered a bet with Jimmy Song earlier this year. The terms of the bet haven't been figured out yet, but the point was clear – Song did not believe that there will be any important progress on the blockchain systems, with the exception of Bitcoin, in the next five years. Joseph, however, believes that better systems will arrive, and is sure that he will eventually win that bet.