Powered by

Inside money, markets, and big tech

Ethereum devs working on secret upgrade to solve its scaling woes

Co-founders Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Lubin were present at the rendezvous

A small group of Ethereum ETH developers had a rendezvous to discuss a previously undisclosed upgrade that could streamline the scaling of the blockchain.

The solution will purportedly be called “Ethereum 1x,” but the developers are reluctant to share more details as it is still too early-stage, people familiar with the matter told CoinDesk. Among other people, co-founders Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Lubin were in attendance.

The report suggests that at least three private development working groups have been formed already. One will focus on building a new mechanism to run smart contracts (which will replace Ethereum’s virtual machine), another one to discuss changes to smart contract costs, and another one to simulate and benchmark such changes.

The minutes from the private meeting suggest the developers are gunning to come up with new proofs of concept in the near future. In addition to that, there are also plans to host a research conference to move research forward and encourage new contributors to join the effort.

Among other things, the minutes show the groups are trying to work on the new upgrade in an inclusive, transparent way – perhaps in an effort to shield off criticism that Ethereum’s governance is somewhat centralized.

Interestingly, the notes suggest that Buterin remains unconvinced of the necessity of introducing “breaking changes” to Ethereum.  The minutes further hint Buterin feels “uncomfortable [with] institutional private calls and [is] absolutely against [a] private forum.”

Ethereum’s scaling woes

Although Ethereum was built as a platform for decentralized apps, Buterin previously admitted that developers looking to build apps that require processing a large volume of transactions are practically screwed – until a better scaling solution crops up at least.

Indeed, Ethereum devs have been working on various improvements, including sharding and a new consensus mechanism (more commonly referred to as Proof-of-Stake).

More recently, Buterin revealed Ethereum has been working on a new protocol, called Serenity, which could scale the network by a factor of 1000.

It remains to be seen how successful those proposals will be once implemented though.

Published November 23, 2018 — 15:53 UTC

Pssst, hey you!

Do you want to get the sassiest daily tech newsletter every day, in your inbox, for FREE? Of course you do: sign up for Big Spam here.