In Osaka, Japan, Devcon 5 is currently taking place. During a keynote, the co-founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin intervened. Buterin confirmed that Ethereum will soon be able to boast of a more secure consensus mechanism than Bitcoin, thanks to the transition to Proof of Stake (PoS).
“Satoshi created a really interesting and great thing, and now we can build great things on top of it”.
During his speech, Buterin stated that the network will be safer and more expensive to attack.
— Ethereum France (@Ethereum_France) October 9, 2019
PoS on Ethereum, Buterin’s thoughts
Although it will take a few more years to complete the transition, Buterin believes it is worth it.
The Ethereum blockchain is overloaded: if a large organisation, one day, were to build on Ethereum, it would further overload the blockchain and increase the transaction fees.
The network is now at the limit and this hinders its adoption on a large scale. To improve this situation, the only way, according to Buterin, is precisely Proof of Stake.
The current problem, in the view of Buterin, is that every computer has to verify every transaction. It is necessary to move to a network in which each computer checks on average some transactions, a small part of the total. This would sacrifice a small part of the overall security but would reduce costs by a factor of 100.
Buterin believes that scalability is not the only problem: usability, privacy and account security are the challenges to overcome.
Thanks to PoS, the network is managed by validators who freeze funds through staking. The more Ether is staked, the more blocks can be created.
If someone (called a challenger) proves that a validator has approved an illegal block, the funds of that block are removed from the validator and given to the challenger. This mechanism encourages validators to behave correctly and others to verify that the entire network is functioning according to the rules.
This consensus mechanism will be the basis of Ethereum 2.0, whose phase-zero is expected in early 2020. Buterin believes that Ethereum 1.0 was a successful experiment that paved the way for Eth 2.
The development, as confirmed by Buterin, proceeds slowly also because many developers have recently joined the project.