Reddit Hot Topic: What are the common criticisms of ethereum?

A Critical Look at Ether’s Often-Criticized “Flaws”

Reddit Hot Topic: What are the common criticisms of ethereum?

Editor’s note: This article was first posted on the r/ethereum section of the Reddit forums by a user named Liberosist, and it has generated a lot of buzz in the community and inspired the community to take a critical look at the “critical view” of ethereum. This article represents the author’s personal opinion, and ECN only compiles his postings.

Link to original posting:

The following article lists some of the common criticisms of ethereum, and also provides my personal perspective. These criticisms are full of misconceptions, FUD and lies, and I hope this article will encourage you to think critically and get accurate information for yourself. If you have additional questions, please leave a comment. If you disagree with this article, I accept that I have also expressed my opinion. Of course, I will also correct my opinion if it does not match the facts or if there is an oversight or omission.

Special thanks to r/ethfinance who collected questions.

Q: Ether can’t scale?

This is obviously a wrong opinion, because there are several rollups online, some of which have been running for a year! Examples are Loopring,, zkSync, DeversiFi, Hermez, Aztec, dYdX and Immutable X to name a few. Most of these projects can reach thousands of TPS with very low Gas costs, and some of them can be subsidized (or reduce the Gas cost of the user experience).

What is missing is universal programmable rollups. Optimism has been active on the mainnet since January, but is currently limited to Synthetix. Optimism’s next major release is Uniswap V3, opening up public smart contract deployments in July or later. By the way, Optimism has not done a good job of communicating this year, so criticism is well deserved. Communication and public relations are always important, whether it’s an engineering project or not.

But Optimism is just one solution. Other solutions such as zkSync 2.0, Arbitrum and StarkNet will be introduced this year, and the likes of OMGX and Cartesi will join the fray. In fact, right now it looks like Arbitrum will be put into use before Optimism. Not to mention sidechains or commitchains such as Polygon, xDai or other EVM chains such as BSC or Avalanche. eventually, all of these will become part of the extended ethereum ecosystem.

In the meantime, there are parts of this argument that are factual. I would like to point out that the Gas cost for Ether L1 will probably remain high forever because of the lack of technical support that doesn’t exist yet. Even for rollup, the Gas fee will not drop to extremely low levels until the slice is released, which will only happen a few years from now, and even if it does, it will not meet long-term demand. In addition, there is still a very high demand for EVM block space.

Related article: Opinion: Rollups are 4th gen blockchains : CryptoCurrency (

Q: Will excessive Gas fees kill ethereum?

This strange idea is making the rounds in cryptocurrency circles, but there is absolutely no basis for the idea that generating excessive demand for a product will cause it to fail? Graphics cards are already ridiculously overpriced, so will AMD and Nvidia soon be obsolete?

The answer is of course no. The reality is that, as mentioned earlier, there is a very high demand for EVM block space and a limited supply of Gas. Currently, the high cost of Gas indicates that demand for Ether L1 block space is so high that people are willing to pay a high premium for it.

This is where the value of the Ethernet network and ETH comes in. In two months, based on the EIP-1559 mechanism, every ETH stakeholder will have access to these values.

Over time, Gas supply will gradually increase and Gas fees will fall – in the realistic long term, block space supply will never be able to meet the global demand for EVM block space. The future will see hybrid solutions such as rollups, zkPorter/Validium, sidechains/alternative chains and centralized solutions. The entire ethereum ecosystem will operate in concert, making different trade-offs between decentralization and transaction fees.

Q: Is Ether a centralized system where all decisions are made by Vitalik?

While Vitalik remains an important part of the ethereum ecosystem, over time the development of ethereum has become sufficiently decentralized. What makes Ether unique is the use of multiple clients, and research works with developers to create easy-to-understand specifications. Multiple client developers working independently then apply the specs. This is different from all other blockchain projects, which have a core team developing a single client. Of course, there is now support for a single client – centralizing all resources in a single client so that the quality of that client can be higher than 4 or 5 other independent clients – but developing multiple clients is clearly the most decentralized approach. For example, there are currently 4 consensus layer clients used by Ether, with one more in development, and the developer teams for all of these clients are independent of the Ether Foundation, except for the funding they receive. For any consensus upgrade, these 5 development teams must agree, and then the 135,000+ validation nodes must also be updated. This is the opposite of a centralized network. Not to mention Ether’s powerful “Layer 0”, the Ether community, in which all developers and validation nodes participate. EIP-1559, for example, is largely driven by the will of the community.

Q: Is Vitalik in control of Ether, which has adopted a pre-mining mechanism? (from u/aaqy and u/ec265)

I’m not a fan of ICOs, although Ether did have an ICO. i’m also not a fan of selfish mining (ninja mining), like Bitcoin. We’ve seen some fair ways for DeFi projects to go live, including airdrops to users, which is certainly the best way to distribute tokens.

However it is important to understand the context of the Ether ICO at the time. In 2014 this was the fairest way to raise capital. After the creation of Ether, the Ether Foundation held about 12 million ETH. however, over the years, much of the ETH was distributed, much of it for fundraising, as was the case with Ether at the time. Currently the Ether Foundation and early developers hold at most 2% of the supply. 0.3% of the total ETH is owned by Vitalik.

By comparison, other project founders tend to hold 20% or more of their tokens, such as public companies like Tesla or Amazon, and Satoshi Nakamoto holds 5% of the total BTC (in 2009-2010, his holdings were upwards of 50%, but those bitcoins are considered lost, so there is no comparison). So I would say that 0.3% is not enough to adequately incentivize Vitalik to continue with Ether development!

Would I like to see a more equitable distribution of ETH tokens? The answer is yes. But today, compared to all other projects, Ether tokens are distributed most fairly.

Q: Is mining destroying the environment?

While it’s true that there are nuances to different mining mechanisms, the point is true to a certain extent – the amount of work proves that mining mechanisms are very inefficient. In the coming months Ether will move to proof-of-stake, which will reduce Ether’s energy consumption by more than 99%.

It’s not just about electricity usage either; we know there is currently a severe global semiconductor shortage. Much of TSMC’s limited wafer supply is currently being used to build mining cards, such as ASICs and GPUs, resources that could be reallocated to serve areas such as engineering, science, and, of course, gaming.

Q: Etherpad had a rollback, will this happen again?

People like to use the example of the DAO fork to prove that Ether will do a rollback. But people also selectively ignore many details of this.

First, a DAO fork is not a rollback. It was a special case where the attackers had to wait 28 days to withdraw their money, so the community performed the operation to change the smart contract.

There was a strong consensus among developers, users, miners and the community – so it’s hard to argue that the rollback was a centralized decision.

Those who refused the rollback simply chose Ether Classic. It was a win-win for everyone.

At the time, Ether was still a very, very new project. Do you know of any project that had a rollback less than 2 years after its birth? See: Value overflow incident – Bitcoin Wiki

The rejection of EIP-999 is the strongest evidence against this hypothesis. There was an opportunity to roll back 500,000 ETH for an entity managed by one of the co-founders of Ether, but the community strongly opposed this decision. The rollback will not happen again for Ether.

Q: Does Ether rely on Infura?

While it’s true that Infura is a dominant service provider and that the Ether ecosystem definitely needs to diversify, this is clearly a misconception. In November 2020, Infura suffered a massive downtime, but Ether has been running well. Of course, this event caused disruption to some front-ends, exchanges and wallets, but the issue could have been resolved by running the nodes themselves or using a different service provider. Since this downtime, many front-ends and wallets have started running their own nodes and using alternative solutions like Alchemy. While there is still a lot of work to be done in this area, it is a misconception to think that Ether is dependent on Infura.

Q: Is the state of ethereum growing too fast?

Compared to Bitcoin, this is certainly the correct view. If one wants a blockchain to go back through data in archival mode and verify every transaction from the Genesis block, then Bitcoin is really a better choice. So how valuable is it? If you want to use the Bitcoin network, then you already trust the miners. On Ether, you can run a full node (non-archived node) on a 4th generation Raspberry Pi system (Raspberry Pi 4) with a 1TB SSD, sending and verifying transactions. For most users and consumers, this is relatively easy hardware to purchase. Some may argue that even running an archived node can be easily accomplished with a client like TurboGeth.

Again, ethereum state growth is closer to bitcoin than it is to coinan smartchain, EOS, Solana or other high TPS Layer1 chains. For these chains, the concept of user-verified transactions does not even exist.

Also note that Ether will make more tradeoffs in this area, slowly implementing updates such as weak subjectivity, statelessness, state overdue mechanisms, etc. Purists will find this unfair, but it won’t have an impact, and given the other benefits, there will be a group of users who will be happy to sync data from the Genesis block onwards.

Q: No fixed cap on ETH supply?

The argument is factual, but with security considerations behind it. I would like to add that after EIP-1559 and the merger take place, the ETH supply will likely reach about 120 million and continue to deflate or remain stable after that.

Q: Is ethereum’s monetary policy unreliable?

This view is partially correct. Although many exaggerate it, Ether’s block rewards did undergo two cuts, and the reasons behind both were by community consensus rather than code. eip-1559 and the merger will completely change Ether’s monetary policy. However, if both do not bring further changes to Ether in the next few years, the criticism remains valid. In terms of predictability and reliability of token supply, Bitcoin remains the standard – despite the security risks it will face in the future.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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