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In his recent blog post, Buterin talks about attaining network scalability while assuring high standards for trustlessness and censorship resistance. He also puts forward a roll-up-centric roadmap for ETH block production.
The development for the transition to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) Ethereum 2.0 has been going up in full swing. Ethereum developers and other market analysts are optimistic that the transition can happen by the next year of 2022. On Monday, December 6, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin shed some light on the “plausible roadmap” for Ethereum 2.0. Buterin also presented a future wherein the Ethereum blockchain can attain high scalability. Besides, it will continue to retain the high standards for trustlessness and censorship resistance.
In his Monday’s blog post dubbed “Endgame”, Buterin talks about a thought experiment wherein an average big blockchain can still be considered sufficiently trustless and censorship-resistant. By average blockchain, he means a decentralized platform with high block size, high block frequency, and thousands of transactions per second.
However, attaining this scalability often comes at the cost of increased centralization of block production. But Buterin’s solutions in his latest blog don’t highlight the centralization issue.
Endgame Roadmap: Buterin Proposes a Tier-2 for Staking
While presenting a roadmap for implementation, the Ethereum co-founder proposes an interesting alternative solution. Thus, to carry out distributed block validation, Buterin suggested “a second tier of staking, with low resource requirements”. In the official blog post, Buterin mentions:
“Introduce either fraud-proof or ZK-SNARKS to let users directly (and cheaply) check block validity” directly; and “introduce data availability sampling to let users check block availability [and] add secondary transaction channels to prevent censorship.”
He further adds:
“We get a chain where block production is still centralized, but block validation is trustless and highly decentralized, and specialized anti-censorship magic prevents the block producers from censoring”.
The Ethereum co-founder said that the block production will remain centralized even with the implementation of the so-called “rollups”. The rollups are nothing but Layer-2 solutions executing transactions outside the Ethereum mainnet. “No single rollup succeeds at holding anywhere close to the majority of Ethereum activity. Instead, they all top out at a few hundred transactions per second,” said Buterin.
Although it appears that rollups contribute to distributed block production, decentralization won’t last because of the existence of cross-domain maximal extractable revenue, or MEV. MEV refers to the added earning potential from blockchain production. This is over and above the standard block rewards and gas fees.
In his concluding statement, Vitalik Buterin suggested that there’s a very high probability that the block production will end up centralized. This will be regardless of the path of scalability that the Ethereum network adopts. However, the benefit of Ethereum’s roll-up-centric roadmap is that it will open to all in the future.