Thoughts on Ethereum 1.x

Today, Friederike Ernst and I had the pleasure of interviewing Alexey Akhunov for an upcoming episode of Epicenter. It's coming out tomorrow so I don't expect this post to be much of a spoiler.

Alexey is an independent Ethereum researcher who, among other things, works on a project called TurboGeth. TurgoGeth, as the name implies, is a version of Geth which features a number of optimizations.

Alexey Akhunov presenting TurboGeth at Devcon4

A considerable amount of the interview was focussed on what is now being called Ethereum 1.x, and how it relates to Ethereum 2.0 (Serenity).

The Ethereum 1.x project came out of Devcon when core developers began to realize that the full migration to Serenity would likely take several years. But while the world waits for PoS, sharding and beacon chains, a number of features could be implemented in a point release of the current PoW flavor of Ethereum.

Currently, the 1.x project has the following working groups:

  • State rent
  • Chain pruning
  • eWASM
  • Emulation and simulation

The goal of these working groups is to progressively implement features into a point release and have them ready for production in Serenity.

There are certainly benefits to a more progressive approach to evolving Ethereum. However, I do see something which could play in Ethereum's disfavour.

With Cosmos nearing its launch, and Polkadot going live this year, we will have two new blockchains which are PoS native, have scalability improvements in the form of side chains, allow for interoperability, etc. If it takes Ethereum three to five years to arrive at Serenity, it's possible that these new blockchains could take up a considerable amount of the mind and market share in the dApp platform space.

In an ecosystem which is about to see an influx of mature development platforms, Ethereum will have to work hard to preserve its place as the leading dApp ecosystem.

Author

Sebastien Couture

Host at Epicenter, a podcast which explores the current state and potential future of the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.

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