Vitalik Buterin’s Four Major Points of Emphasis Regarding the Transition to Proof of Stake Mining
Despite still using a proof of work mining system, Ethereum (ETH) is widely known for the proof of stake system, since it was originally designed by its co-creator Vitalik Buterin as the future of cryptos.
Now, however, many doubts are appearing on whether to change the algorithm or just leave it be.
The community waited for it for so much time that now it seems like proof of stake is finally near to become a reality and this is when the problems start. Recently, Vitalik Buterin talked about the subject on this Reddit post, as spotted by the people The Next Web’s Hard Fork.
According to Buterin, there are four main issues which have a chance of becoming an issue after Ethereum finally decides to make its greatest and most awaited change ever in the protocol.
The Four Problems
The first problem would be if the participation rates of validating the nodes were to be lower than expected. Also, it can be too troublesome if stake pooling becomes too popular as well. The third problem is that he is not yet quite sure that sharding will not be more complicated than it needs to be. Finally, running nodes can simply be too expensive to be worth it.
These are serious and valid concerns. For the network to keep working as intended, it has to be decentralized (and not only in theory, as many altcoins in the market today) and have a low barrier of entry to node validators.
Buterin is concerned that validators refuse to adopt the change and this could make the number of nodes be too small. While most proof of stake systems use only a few nodes, he believes that there should be as many nodes as the community wants to have and they should be cheap to set up. The main issue now is that a small number of nodes can lead to prices being too big.
He described the change to proof of stake as something that has “trade-offs” because it will fundamentally change a lot on Ethereum. For instance, it will emphasize decentralization further and create nodes which are cheaper to run.
Ethereum And Proof of Stake
Proof of stake is Ethereum’s oldest dream. More than simply an strategy for scaling the network, it is basically Ethereum’s version of Satoshi’s prophecy: the future of blockchain. A lot of time has passed since then, however, and now more and more people doubt that the current miners will not be very pissed with the change and might get in the way of its implementation.
As a preparation for the upgrade, Ethereum has recently launched the Constantinople and St. Petersburg updates. Also, they were preparing the network for “sharding”, which will be very important in order to make scaling easier as well.
The updates were also used to reduce the ETH block rewards from 3 ETH to 2 ETH, measures that were created to optimize the system and improve the efficiency of the current proof of work system.
Another interesting project is the “programmatic proof of work model” (ProgPow) created by the developers to mix the two kinds of protocols together.
The goal was to reduce the advantages of ASIC miners, which are considered a threat to the decentralization of the network. If people can only mine with ASIC miners, the barriers of entry get bigger, which can often turn into a problem.
At the moment, ProgPow is at least an option as controversial as the proof of stake system, if not more.