Ethereum Blockchain can’t be altered or improved without consensus: Vitalik Buterin
Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum is very outspoken about the ETH Blockchain and cryptocurrency. He spoke about Ethereum Blockchain’s decentralized nature at the TechCrunch: Sessions Blockchain 2018 held in Zug, Switzerland. Buterin also explained about the advantages of eliminating single points of failure.
Ethereum’s co-creator has managed to make it into Fortune magazine’s prestigious 40 Under 40 list. Along with Buterin, other crypto pioneers like Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong (35), and Robinhood’s Vlad Tenev (31) have been featured. The 24-year-old ranks 22nd on the list and has been hailed as a “skinny visionary.” Fortune also adds that Google tried to hire Buterin to “lead its own whispered crypto endeavors.”
There are several misconceptions floating around about the Ethereum Blockchain. But the most common of them is that the Ethereum network vulnerable to single points of failure. Apparently, since the identities of the Blockchain’s creators are publicised it opens the ETH network to single points of failure. Moreover, the Ethereum Blockchain could fall into danger if its creators are forced to write code and alter the Blockchain.
But, this theory is illogical and makes little sense, the main reason being, Ethereum is a consensus-based cryptocurrency. The major digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are consensus currencies, according to Lloyd Blankfein, former CEO of Goldman Sachs. The coins operate and sustain without any involvement from intermediaries or central parties. The coins operate via a decentralized network of developers and users who use a variety of methods to reach consensus.
The creators of the coin cannot create a hard fork, change or improve any aspect of the ETH Blockchain. For it to happen the entire community of miners, users, and node operators will have to be on board. Without a consensus, the software upgrade is rejected and the hard fork gets dismissed or could lead to two chains. Buterin said,
“The thing with developers is that we are fairly fungible people. One developer goes down and someone else can keep on developing. If someone puts a gun to my head and tells me to write a hard fork patch, I’ll definitely write the hard fork patch. I’ll write the GitHub issue, I’ll write up the code, I’ll publish it, and I’ll do everything they say. If I do this and publish a hard fork patch to delete a bunch of accounts, how many people will be willing to download the update, install it and switch to that update? This is called decentralization.”
Though decentralization removes the intermediaries, it is expensive and inefficient. Additionally, using a public blockchain to process information in a peer-to-peer manner is highly unproductive, in most cases. However, there are several areas where the expensive cost of running a decentralized network to process information is justified. These include payments, insurance, real estate, transfer of assets, and the trading sector.
In the interview, Buterin stressed on the importance of realizing the inefficient nature of blockchain as a data processing network. He believes that individuals, businesses, and developers need to be aware of this. He further adds that they should focus on deploying decentralized applications which need decentralization to perform optimally.
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