At the ETH Shanghai Web 3.0 Developer Summit (ETH Shanghai) hosted by Mask Network, co-organized by China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation and Business China, and sponsored by the Ethereum Foundation, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin Delivered a keynote speech entitled “ETH & Shanghai: Inside and Outside Shanghai”.
The full text of the speech is below, click to watch the video of the speech.
Today, I want to talk about the latest Ethereum protocol changes at the Ethereum Shanghai Summit. I know that many people want to hear about Ethereum incorporating PoS (Proof of Stake) in the existing PoW (Proof of Work). And what other improvements are happening in addition to the Ethereum ecosystem and applications.
The main topic today is “Merge”. “Merge” refers to the transition from the original PoW consensus mechanism to the PoS consensus mechanism. We’ve been working on switching between the two almost since the beginning of the Ethereum project. We’ve spent 7 years on “merging”. So far, all the hard work has gradually paid off, and we have “merged” on the Ethereum test network Ropsten a week ago. On June 8th, we’ll be done, and if all goes well on the testnet, we’ll be “merging” on mainnet this summer. This is our next major move, and the biggest move we’ve done so far, which will set the stage for any future “merge” of on-chain applications.
If nothing else, the “merger” should begin in August. However, of course there may be problems in the test, and the “merge” on the mainnet may also be delayed due to this, which may not start until September-October. But the time for the “merger” is very close. We should think about what will happen after the final “merger”?
In this regard, I published a paper on protocol updates in May to illustrate. These things have long existed among the developers of Ethereum, and the Beacon Chain and PoS have been in their hands for a year and a half. In fact, there may already be a small number of users in the beacon chain. EIP-1559 is now operational as well. In the next few years, many new changes will take place. For the convenience of everyone’s understanding, I will divide them into five parts, namely Merge, Surge, Verge, Purge and Splurge.
“Merge” is the switch from PoW to PoS. Surge, on the other hand, is a type of sharding to increase scalability by handling huge volumes of transactions through rollups. For this, we designed EIP-4844 (Proto-danksharding). I think there are many different ideas for ability sampling to shard data. For example, The verge, which can switch Verkle trees, can make Ethereum nodes run more efficiently. In this way, even if your computer configuration is not high, you can still easily become a validator and make the protocol more decentralized. This can make it easier for more people to verify that they are part of the Ethereum chain. In the process of “merging”, there will be a lot of positive feedback.
For example, Purge can improve the efficiency of operation by canceling the permanent storage of all historical block information. For example, node service providers do not need to store all the data in the block. They only need to store data for nearly a year. Some data that has not been accessed for a long time will be placed in another storage space, and nodes do not need to store it. They are.
Some parts of the Ethereum protocol are overly complex, which makes it harder to create Ethereum nodes, they can be removed from the Ethereum protocol, and can then be simplified by Splurge which contains a lot of important information. And one more, with regards to the update of the virtual machine, there is a concrete solution, which for us means that we will have a longer discussion of our thoughts.
All in all, there are a lot of changes to come. I don’t think everything has to happen, so if we go through a “merger” without any surprises, Ethereum is still a good system. In other words, I think Ethereum would be a much more perfect system if we successfully completed the “merge”. The first big thing after we did the “merge” was EIP-4844. The thing that deserves our attention in the near future is the improvement of sharding on the scalability of the entire Ethereum.
Recently, there have been a lot of changes and simplifications in the design of the sharding roadmap, and I have some thoughts on Danksharding. It was released at the end of last year, and dankSharding really made the roadmap for sharding easier. In the past, 64 shards had 64 proposers, however in practice this would lead to a lot of duplicate confirmations which in turn would lead to market centralization, but in danksharding, only one proposer chooses all the Transactions and all data. The main feature introduced by EIP-4844 is a new transaction type, which we call blob-carrying transactions. A transaction that carries a blob is similar to a regular transaction, except that it also carries an extra piece of data called a blob. Blobs are very large (~125 kB) and much cheaper than a similar amount of call data. However, the EVM execution cannot access the blob data; the EVM can only view promises to the blob. Because validators and clients still need to download the full blob content, the data bandwidth target in EIP-4844 is 1 MB per slot instead of the full 16 MB. However, since this data does not compete with the gas usage of existing Ethereum transactions, there are still significant scalability gains. Projects such as Arbitrum, Optimism, Stark Net, Polygon, Rollups can all benefit greatly from EIP-4844. Let more and more developers flock to them, and they become more sophisticated. Currently EIP-4844 is only the first step of Danksharding, all nodes still need to download all data, but it completes a lot of work of Danksharding. Although it cannot handle 16M data, it can still handle 1M data, which is a great improvement. We’ve done a lot of work on this, and a lot of that will continue over the next six to nine months or so. I think EIP-4844 must be a very important ecosystem. I’m looking forward to its progress.
This is the content of sharding, and then continue to talk about the abstract account (Account Abstraction). Account abstraction is currently just an idea of mine, which allows each user to arbitrarily create accounts for their wallets, and these accounts are protected by a complex set of rules behind them.
For example, you only have one wallet and one private key. If the private key is stolen, the wallet assets will be cleared. So what if you have an account with three private keys? If one private key is stolen, it’s fine, you still have two. If you drop another one, that’s fine, hackers can’t do anything with those two private keys. You can still use the last private key to urgently modify other accounts.
This example may be a bit more cumbersome, but abstract accounts are actually more convenient than this. It can provide many features, such as: multi-signature and social recovery, making it easier for you to recover your hacked accounts.
A more efficient and simpler signature algorithm to help your account resist hacker attacks and make the account itself upgradable. To achieve this, we developed the ERC 4337 protocol. ERC 4337 is not an EIP, it is an ERC, which means that there is no need to provide the rationale and technical specifications of the technology. In fact, it is now possible to use ERC 4337 to create accounts to send transactions, and there is a community of developers already working on ERC 4337. Looking forward to their faster completion of ERC 4337, and you can also join as developers and users.
It’s about time we talk about Verkle Tree, an upgrade to Verkle Tree that basically lets you validate Ethereum blocks without requiring any hard drive space. Currently, if you want to verify an Ethereum block, you must have the complete block information, which is about 40-50 GB in size; and you must verify it in order. And Verkle Tree will make it easier to verify a single block without any additional information. Therefore, this makes it more convenient to have a client that can verify every Ethereum block without the need for hard disk space. You can also validate blocks in any order, and Verkle Tree makes it faster for more diverse users to run nodes, an improvement over decentralized security.
MEV solutions. I think MEV is increasingly seen as a big problem like Ethereum needs to deal with. MEV is allowed, which means that miners or PoW recorders can reorder, insert or censor transactions within a block that is being produced to profit from Ethereum users because they have complete autonomy over the block. The challenge of solving MEV is how to design an ecosystem to avoid PoS becoming centralized. There’s a lot of work to be done here, and I came up with an idea called Proposer/Developer Separation. Anyone wanting to learn more about this can check out this article (https://notes.ethereum.org/@vbuterin/pbs_censorship_resistance). This is a new idea, and this long-term direction is mentioned in PoS.
This is another new idea with some long-term modifications to PoS proposed. One of the big changes is single-slot finalization, which enables blocks to complete transactions in one slot instead of 64 slots as they are now. This allows for faster transaction results, while making the protocol simpler and resistant to MEV attacks. Although it is a very early trial, there is a lot of research going on. This is something that will take a long time to achieve and maybe see results in three to five years. It’s also a big improvement on how Ethereum works, making it easy, fun, and worth watching.
One of my thoughts on the Ethereum ecosystem is that the crypto space, including the Ethereum space, is too focused on the application of financial properties these days. I think the application of financial attributes is good and important, but they also carry a lot of risk. I think that when people keep trying to develop and optimize financial applications, it also brings a lot of risks. Some of the early DeFi ideas in the past two years are actually great, such as MakerDAO, and the early stablecoin ideas are great. But I think some of their recent ideas about wanting to improve DeFi protocols are too much for me to like. Take the recent example of Luna and UST, they just said, “Oh, you need collateral to get a stablecoin, let’s create a stablecoin that doesn’t need collateral.” Of course they did, and they ran the bull market successfully. For two years, prices continued to increase. But now that the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum has dropped, Luna has completely collapsed, and many people have lost a total of more than 10 billion US dollars.
I think many of the reasons why people are interested in DeFi first came from dissatisfaction with traditional finance and the system crash of traditional finance in 2008. This shows how the financial system is too eager to be efficient at the expense of better resilience and robustness in very special times. But unfortunately DeFi has gone too far in that direction. I think the problem is that, like more innovation in finance, it just creates riskier stuff. Even though they are like our Uniswap V2 and Uniswap 3, the way they work is only slightly improved. But it seems that the difference between Uniswap V2 and Uniswap V3 is not that big, right? Do you know the difference between Uniswap V3 and Uniswap V4? I think it’s going to be smaller, like having better DeFi, I think that’s going to improve. But it won’t like massive change to radically change the world. I think people are in crypto because they really want to change the world and do something big. And I just don’t think there’s much significant impact on financial applications, I think it makes more sense to get more developers to start focusing on other areas. I think DeFi is good, I think we do need our own DeFi, and beyond that, we need more things like blockchain non-financial applications.
One of the applications I’m excited about is Sign in with Ethereum. Basically, whether it’s a dApp or an app, you can log in with your Ethereum account. Even if you go to a chat site like chat.blockscan.com it’s a centralized chat app. But you can still log in with your Ethereum account, which is something more and more services are adopting, and we expect to see more services using Ethereum as a way to log in. In my opinion, Ethereum login has many advantages over centralized login. First, it’s not connected to any centralized identity, so you’re in control of your account. Your account cannot be blocked just because a company wants to block it. This is very data sovereignty, and you can own your identity in this way. But it also has a grid effect, it’s connected to the open ecosystem, which means if you’re logged in with your Ethereum account, you’re also logged in with your ENS domain name. You can verify that you have a Humanity profile (prove of human), POAP, NFT, or verify everything else. All these applications that people are building on Ethereum can really connect to each other, which I think is a very exciting feature.
Soulbound tokens, an idea that I’ve been talking about, is going to launch this year. This idea, we like not only those tokens that cannot be transferred at will. These tokens have great value when creating transactions, but there is no way to transfer these values because these values are already tied to your identity. You own it, but you can’t transfer it, you can’t trade it, you can’t rent it. This is a technical problem we are currently overcoming. I have thought of some things we can do, and also thought of some ways to make money through tokens. Therefore, the Soulbound token gives meaning to identity and reputation, making decentralized governance more possible. Any application of a non-financial nature can benefit a lot from it.
We already have DeFi, and I think we might be able to see DeGov. Optimism is a project that I’m personally very interested in, because I think it pursues a philosophy that I’m personally very interested in — no longer token-based governance.
Like the popular DAO today, the main governance method is voting based on tokens. If you have ten times more tokens, you can vote ten times more. I have written a lot on this topic. I feel that the current voting governance model actually has a lot of problems and a lot of limitations. Therefore, when they go to vote with governance tokens, they also take a lot of risk while gaining benefits. If we are in this model of non-token-based, non-transitive citizen governance and bicameral governance, we will have to talk to each other and negotiate with each other to make significant changes. This is a long-term governance experiment, and I think with more governance experiments and the birth of DAOs, there will be considerable opportunities. We can see that many various DAOs, like VitaDAO, are doing research on longevity, which I think should be regarded as “scientific DAOs” – decentralized science. We can see the DAO continue to develop in various fields, and I am really happy to see the DAO governance continue to evolve towards privacy protection.
We already have apps like TornadoCash to keep money private, but I think privacy-preserving non-financial apps are more interesting. MACI, a privacy-preserving voting system that we have been developing for over two years, has made a lot of progress. The privacy-preserving reputation system, UniRep Social, and actually many other privacy-preserving applications based on zero-knowledge proofs that developers are working on are making good progress. If people want to get involved in developing and building today, I think building in these non-financial applications, or in the category of applications that can combine financial and non-financial attributes, would be a good idea.
A lot of interesting things are happening in the Ethereum protocol, for example, there are many exciting improvements to Ethereum’s consensus layer. But it’s also necessary to talk about the Ethereum ecosystem, and one of my big thoughts about the Ethereum ecosystem is — I think the currency circle, including the Ethereum community, is focusing too much on financial applications at this time, although financial applications Also important.
Ethereum’s roadmap is stabilizing and there is growing consensus on the future direction. If you have been following the development of Ethereum, you will see the changes to the Ethereum roadmap are getting smaller and smaller. Maybe two or three years ago, the roadmap would have changed a lot. But over the past year, I think we’ve seen very little change. I think Ethereum is making progress in one direction right now, which is very good.
I think in the future, most of the work will be done in higher layers, so the core improvement in Ethereum is very important, but in the application field, the ecosystem, the bottom layer or the second layer protocol, the Ethereum address Login, privacy… these will become more important. I think in the future we should see more good applications and focus more on non-financial applications. I hope this inspires developers working on these ideas. The Ethereum ecosystem is huge, and there are many interesting things to learn and study. There are more tools today than ever that allow people to accomplish amazing things. I’m excited about all the things people can create in the future!
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/full-text-of-vitaliks-shanghai-summit-speech-ethereum-merger-may-begin-in-august/
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