Vitalik Buterin Lays Out the Challenges Ethereum Faces in 2024

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In a recent interview, Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, articulated the challenges and the evolving vision of Ethereum, juxtaposing it against the aspirations of Solana Labs co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko. Buterin, reflecting on the dual role of cryptocurrency in resisting centralized powers and fostering new democratic models, pointed out the playful nature of Ethereum.

Despite the heavy implications of blockchain in areas like democracy, Buterin quipped, “In Ethereum, the worst thing that happens is people lose money.”

Ethereum’s Journey Through Challenges

Buterin’s concerns center around the need for protocol upgrades in Ethereum. Particularly those of a technical nature, which he believes are usually left to the core developers. He differentiated these from economic upgrades, such as the shift from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake, which have wider implications and require broader consensus.

“Protocol changes where the core developers themselves don’t know if the community is going to be willing to go for a particular proposal is a very real concern. Within Ethereum, a lot of people sometimes think that core developers are kind of dictators and they have this agenda, but the reality is often the opposite,” Buterin emphasized.

2023 marked a significant year for Ethereum, with rollups enhancing scalability and security. According to Buterin, these technological advancements could potentially allow up to 100,000 transactions per second. However, he cautioned about rollups’ complexity and potential vulnerabilities, underscoring the importance of ensuring their safety.

Ethereum Transactions Per Second. Source: Blockchair

Security, a crucial aspect of Ethereum’s ecosystem, is addressed through innovations like light clients and account abstraction. Moreover, Buterin emphasized the importance of these developments in enhancing wallet security, multi-signature systems, and quantum-proof technologies.

Buterin’s vision for Ethereum in 2024 is optimistic, foreseeing advancements in scalability, user experience, and security. He anticipates significant progress in rollup technology and the implementation of EIP-4844, which would expand Ethereum’s data capacity.

In a blog post, Buterin reminisced about the early days of crypto and Ethereum’s role in fostering a decentralized internet. He lamented the shift in focus since 2017, with high transaction fees skewing blockchain usage towards financial motives, overshadowing Ethereum’s foundational ideals.

“These visions have faded somewhat into the background. Few talk about consumer crypto payments, the only non-financial application that is actually being used at a large scale on-chain is ENS, and there is a large ideological rift where significant parts of the non-blockchain decentralization community see the crypto world as a distraction, and not as a kindred spirit and a powerful ally,” Buterin highlighted.

Still, Buterin remains hopeful, with core scaling solutions and privacy enhancements aligning Ethereum with its original values.

Anatoly Yakovenko’s Vision for Solana

In response to Buterin’s insights, Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of Solana Labs, shared his ambitious goals for Solana. Yakovenko envisions Solana as a high-performance execution engine, prioritizing speed and efficiency.

He aims to make Solana the best in class at synchronizing states at lightning speeds, complementing Ethereum’s role as a robust settlement layer.

“Make Solana even faster. A world where Ethereum succeeds as a cockroach settlement layer needs a high-performance execution engine that is best in class at synchronizing state at the speed of light,” Yakovenko said.

Read more: Solana vs. Ethereum: An Ultimate Comparison

Ethereum vs Solana Price Performance
Ethereum vs Solana Price Performance. Source: TradingView

Yakovenko’s focus is on performance optimization, striving to establish Solana as a leader in blockchain technology. His vision embodies a future where Solana and Ethereum coexist, each excelling in their respective domains of speed and decentralization.

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