Ethereum’s Buterin Urges Caution with Consensus Overload

Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, posted a blog warning against overloading the network’s consensus. While Ethereum’s consensus is highly secure, Buterin emphasizes that overloading it could expose the ecosystem to high systemic risks. This warning follows the massive congestion on the Bitcoin network, which resulted in skyrocketing transaction fees. Consensus mechanisms are crucial in validating transaction authenticity and maintaining the security of the underlying blockchain. Despite Ethereum being a highly versatile and modern blockchain network, Buterin advised against using Ethereum consensus for other purposes, such as price oracles and re-staking, due to the risks of overworking Ethereum’s consensus. Some techniques that extend the blockchain’s core functionality pose high systemic risks as bugs or 51% intentional attacks initiated by actors who advocate for a fork to protect their deposits can occur. According to Buterin, these risks include creating ETH/USD price oracles where ETH holders or validators could receive bribes to vote. He advised the Ethereum community to preserve the blockchain’s minimalism and support re-staking without slippery slopes that could extend the roles of Ethereum consensus. Buterin believes various problems are inherently different and should have unique approaches. Overall, Ethereum should not extend its consensus functionality, which would result in raised costs, complexities, and risks in running a validator. Instead, Buterin recommends finding alternative strategies to achieve security goals. After transitioning to proof-of-stake consensus last year, Ethereum recently witnessed the Shapella upgrade on April 12, which commissioned a phased release of staked Ether. This resulted in increased activities and transactions on the network, highlighting the need for security and validator risks.

J-S Tremblay
About the author - J-S Tremblay

I've been involved in the cryptocurrency world since 2016 and trading since 2019. I started Moon and Lambo in 2021. I'm passionate about crypto and love to share my knowledge. I hate bankers and I hope that cryptocurrency will change the financial world for the better. View full profile...

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