Vitalik’s speech at ETHCC: Ethereum development roadmap and long-term future thinking

Vitalik’s thoughts on the long-term future of Ethereum. Eventually we will stop making rapid changes to the protocol and leverage systems like L2 (Layer 2 Network) to add more functionality to the Ethereum ecosystem.

Vitalik's speech at ETHCC: Ethereum development roadmap and long-term future thinking

By Sachin Tomar & Miles Deutscher

Edit: South Wind & 0x711

This article is from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin who attended the Ethereum community conference ETHCC5 held in Paris on July 21 and gave a speech on the progress of the Ethereum merger and the future roadmap of Ethereum. Blockchain development tools provider Biconomy CTO Sachin Tomar and crypto researcher Miles Deutscher summed up the talk on Twitter, with translations below.

Vitalik said that Ethereum can achieve 100,000 TPS after completing 5 key stages. The 5 stages are:

The Merge

The Surge

The Verge

The Purge

The Splurge

Vitalik's speech at ETHCC: Ethereum development roadmap and long-term future thinking

01. The Merge stage

The merger refers to the merger of the Ethereum execution layer (the current Ethereum mainnet) with the Beacon Chain (the new POS layer).

For Ethereum, this means:

1. ETH becomes a deflationary asset (reduced issuance);

2. Reduced energy consumption by 99%.

This upgrade is currently tentatively scheduled for September 19, 2022.

02. The Surge stage (2023)

This stage refers to the introduction of sharding on Ethereum.

Sharding is dividing the entire network of the Ethereum blockchain into smaller partitions (called “shard chains”). This will significantly increase the scalability of the Ethereum network.

Vitalik's speech at ETHCC: Ethereum development roadmap and long-term future thinking

03. The Verge stage

This phase will introduce Verkle trees, which are “robust upgrades to Merkle proofs that allow for smaller proof sizes”.

This will optimize storage on Ethereum and help reduce node size. Ultimately, this will help Ethereum become more scalable.

Vitalik's speech at ETHCC: Ethereum development roadmap and long-term future thinking

04. The Purge stage

This phase will reduce the hard drive space required by validators, which will be achieved by culling historical data and eliminating technical debt.

This means storage simplification, which reduces network congestion.

Vitalik's speech at ETHCC: Ethereum development roadmap and long-term future thinking

05. The Splurge stage

This phase will be a series of miscellaneous *minor* upgrades to ensure the smooth functioning of the Ethereum network after the completion of the above 4 phases.

In addition to the 5 major stages of the new roadmap, Buterin also gave an outlook on the current problems and future development of Ethereum. Sachin Tomar summed it up as follows:

1. Demonstrate the relationship between L1 and L2

Vitalik's speech at ETHCC: Ethereum development roadmap and long-term future thinking

Vitalik said: “We are in a phase of rapid protocol changes that increase the power of Ethereum (L1). But eventually we will stop making rapid changes to the protocol and leverage systems like L2 (Layer 2 Network) to add more functionality to the Ethereum ecosystem.

The Ethereum L1 layer is used to provide security and reliability, and the L2 layer is used for fast iterative operations.

“Functionality escape velocity” theory: Once L1 is strong enough, let L2 do the rest. Developers need a break, and new features need time to reduce risk.

2. Vitalik’s concerns

Vitalik's speech at ETHCC: Ethereum development roadmap and long-term future thinking

Adding support for multiple virtual machines will increase consensus complexity;

Address base layer SNARKS instead of waiting for better path design.

Made Ethereum so complex that only its developers could understand its design.

3. Long-term rewards require short-term pain

Vitalik's speech at ETHCC: Ethereum development roadmap and long-term future thinking

Reform Gas cost rules around child calls, storage, etc.

For EIP-4444: Clients MUST stop serving historical headers, bodies, and receipts over a year old on the p2p layer, which clients can delete locally.

Improvements to EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine).

Switch to Verkle trees (store more data with less space). This probably means that Ethereum has no backward compatibility.

4. Focus on the decentralization of the Ethereum network

Vitalik's speech at ETHCC: Ethereum development roadmap and long-term future thinking

The current development focus should be on light clients that are easy to use, allowing anyone to run them.

Better support for people to participate in Ethereum staking at home and support for smaller decentralized staking pools.

Run full nodes on lighter hardware.

5. Long-term goals

Vitalik's speech at ETHCC: Ethereum development roadmap and long-term future thinking

Make Ethereum quantum resistant so you don’t need to run a quantum computer to generate someone’s private key.

If zkEVM works well, then transaction space can be added to the Ethereum base layer to make Rollups less expensive.

Looking for better cryptography.

Finally keep an open mind! We don’t know what exactly the needs will be in 2032.

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