Ethereum Foundation Researcher Joins CasperLabs for Creation of Proof of Stake Blockchain

CasperLabs is a new startup in the blockchain industry, aiming to help create a new proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain. The protocol is heavily associated with Ethereum, and the startup will be getting support from Vlad Zamfir in their new creation. Zamfir is a researcher from the Ethereum Foundation, and his role with CasperLabs will be that of the lead consensus protocol architect. His announcement confirms earlier reports that he is tied in with this blockchain startup.

Right now, the plan for CasperLabs is to support the majority of the research that Zamfir performs on PoS so that they can release a “fully decentralized, sharded and scalable next-generation blockchain.” Zamfir added, in a discussion with CoinDesk, that he will be responsible for “producing protocol specifications” that “support the [CasperLabs] team” to help them understand the technology employed. Zamfir will not be taking on the coding of the blockchain however, as his role is purely for research purposes.

So far, PoS has not really been involved in large scale testing. It is one of the many consensus models for cryptocurrency to eliminate the need to use proof-of-work mining, which involves solving a computational puzzle. Within the model, there are two designs that lead the way for implementation, and one of those was designed by Zamfir called Casper Correct by Construction (CBC).

The press release stated,

“[Casper CBC] promises to scale the blockchain without sacrificing decentralization … By removing the mining required by traditional proof-of-work protocols, it will be more ecologically and economically efficient and secure than pre-existing [blockchain] systems.”

Zamfir had the opportunity to speak at an event with CEO Medha Parlikar of CasperLabs and their lead developer Michael Birch, celebrating the new launch. Even though Zamfir did not speak directly about his work with the CasperLabs project, he instead discussed his research on sharding within a Casper CBC framework. Sharding breaks down a distributed system into multiple parts.

The Casper CBC option was created in conjunction with a creation from Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum and researcher Virgil Griffith called Casper the Friendly Finality Gadget (FFG). These two PoS models are made from basically the same pioneering research that involves slashing conditions and validator reward staking.

When offered the two options, the majority of the Ethereum blockchain felt that the least production-ready was Casper CBC in 2017. Overall, they chose to wait until the Casper FFG option was fully implemented before bringing in CBC. Now, since the development of Casper FFG is still ongoing, Zamfir’s research will include Casper CBC as well, focusing on economics modalities, key configuration parameters, and other details.

The press release showed a statement from Zamfir, who said,

“I’m excited that CasperLabs has taken an interest in implementing a scalable blockchain protocol from the CBC Casper family of protocols, and hope that their efforts are both independently successful and put pressure on other projects – like Ethereum – to adopt the technology.”

Adaptive Holdings is responsible for funding CasperLabs as its parent company. Presently, the company is run by CEO Mrinal Manohar.

The Block recently reported that CasperLabs has already seen $20 million in verbal commitments from major investors, like BlockTower and The Galaxy. However, CasperLabs themselves have not commented on these funding possibilities.

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