If at first the development of Ethereum was imagined with a scalar roadmap capable of reaching the fourth or fifth version, ETH2.0 seems to have laid the foundations for what Vitalik Buterin describes in a video interview as:
“The end of the story”.
A long all-round speech during a podcast on the hottest topics in the blockchain world leads the founder of Ethereum to express some key points of view to understand what the ecosystem looks like from his perspective.
The transition to Proof of Stake and an architecture that through Casper and sharding will take the discussion around scalability to the next level provides a glimpse of a basic level for the blockchain that can be used as a definitive stable protocol.
Faced with the criticism of the new model expressed by the libertarian movement loyal to Bitcoin, Buterin responds in the video:
“If the Austrian economic school says that the 0% increase in a currency’s supply is better than 1%, it can also accept that a negative figure close to zero may still be an acceptable solution”.
After this new milestone, ETH may not need a 3.0 version. Changes and improvements to the protocol will still be linked to this new architecture until major breakthroughs in cryptography challenge the model.
One could assume that the achievement of this goal is the end of Vitalik’s story with Ethereum, after which the protocol will evolve without its precious guidance. But this is an exaggerated interpretation that could serve as a cue to emphasize, as emerges from the debate, how many players are now influential on the Ethereum blockchain, so many as to demonstrate its real decentralization in practice rather than philosophically.
Vitalik Buterin and the eternal comparison between ETH and BTC
Bitcoin and Ethereum are seen as rivals but often also as extremely different projects. That’s why during the debate there was a lot of discussion on the subject from different points of view.
Both were born from a push that sees in the blockchain a structure capable of conveying the transit of a digital currency. However, it is necessary to understand which characteristics of this technology are to be emphasized in order to determine the value that the community reserves for each one.
- Store of value and resistance to censorship;
- Means of exchange;
- Ability to collateralize (DeFi);
- Utility Token;
- Unit of account.
If one point is emphasized with respect to another, it becomes clear that the two realities work differently and should therefore be considered differently. If ETH is used as a fee for the exchange of other tokens, it is very different than as a store of value.
These aspects also determine a different (unwritten) social contract.
Vitalik Buterin points out, when comparing the two communities, that there are right differences between the agreements of those who adhere to one protocol, compared to another.
“BTC wants to be a currency and a store of value that tries to make itself spendable through payment systems such as Lightning Network or federated systems”.
Thus is summarized the vocation of Bitcoin, this is the pact to which the community adheres through principles of decentralization and censorship resistance. A pact that makes immutability a more rigid principle than that of Ethereum, whose pact provides for a clearer propensity to change and evolution.
Starting from the different distribution of coins wanted by Satoshi Nakamoto, reaching the ICO model that saw the birth of Ethereum, there are very different narratives involved.
The economic theories on Proof of Work and Proof of Stake lead to different theses and conclusions, schools confront each other about inflation, the security of the network and its ability to resist attacks. Vitalik Buterin in the video summarizes the problems related to the different narratives:
“Everything is a narrative. The fact that BTC was born earlier does not make it a better medium of exchange than others.
The world of cryptocurrencies is an emerging digital form of value that depends very much on a series of ideas that fill our heads, and in my opinion it is a really beautiful thing”.