Crypto News | Ethereum Stakeholders vs. Vitalik Buterin

When talking about important issues in the news, sometimes we dwell on Bitcoin a bit too much. But not today. Today it’s all about Ethereum stakeholders. The EIP:0 Summit was held on Wednesday, May 9, with Ethereum stakeholders outlining new governance steps, sidelining Vitalik Buterin, the prominent and outspoken founder of the platform. The Web3 Foundation, Parity Technologies, and Aragon were among the big players that pledged their support to the new steps. According to the summit attendees, several important governance issues have arisen from the platform’s growth. With the large number of parties on the platform, it is difficult to know precisely what the consensus is. To that end, the signatories have agreed to create open-source tools for collecting different metrics and signals and having a monthly governance call. Ethereum stakeholders also expressed support for a second, bigger EIP:0 Summit.

As a response, Buterin said that he did not attend the summit nor did he grant the stakeholders his permission to discuss and change Ethereum’s governance model. He said he was barely even aware of it and that he didn’t know exactly what happened there. As a side note, Parity Technologies, one of the signatories, is a startup headed by Gavin Wood, another Ethereum cofounder. Buterin’s choice of words, “without my permission or even involvement,” came back to bite him real fast, although he said it in response to critics who accused him of secretly deciding about Ethereum’s governance at the summit he hadn’t even attended.

Meanwhile, Ethereum developers are working overtime to prevent ASIC miners from dominating the platform. Many fear that Bitmain, the most prominent manufacturer of mining chips, could end up having too much influence on the transaction verification process. Casper is one of the current countermeasure the Ethereum developers are working on, as a way to save small miners. Casper should drastically alter the mining process by introducing the proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol in place of the proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm that has been used since the beginning. Other potential solutions include sharding and plasma.

ASIC miners are seen as a threat throughout the cryptocurrency ecosystem, since they challenge decentralization, one of the main tenets of all cryptocurrencies. However, even so-called “ASIC-resistant” projects and solutions have failed in the past when faced with new technology, such as the Antminer Z9, a new Equihash mining rig. Bitcoin Gold (BTG) replaced the SHA-256 consensus algorithm with Equihash, but now it looks like they will have to start from scratch again. Many fear that ASIC resistance is nothing but a pipe dream.

Lastly, we have some good news from Australia, where the country’s Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is looking at the potential applications of blockchain technology when it comes to international trade supply management. In an effort to modernize, the department will likely also incorporate AI and the internet of things. Over the next four years, as the technology develops, air cargo imports should increase by 28%, with a 13% rise in sea cargo imports. The role set aside for blockchain technology is currently limited to reducing trade documentation, cutting costs, reducing delays, and minimizing errors.

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Author: Max Rothstein

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