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Travel and Change: The Casper Code of Ethereum Takes Shape

The main effort of Ethereum to reimagine how the nodes of a blockchain system reach a deal progresses slowly but surely.

That was at least the message of Devcon3, the annual technology conference of the open-source project, Wednesday. The subject of the highly anticipated version of the casper-ethereum's evidence of participation consensus was present at a number of panels during the event.

One of the many moving elements that must be brought together for the project to achieve its long-term vision, Casper may be among the most important because it is essential to democratize access to the flat -form. Emin Gün Sirer, a researcher at Cornell University, explained that proof of his work – Bitcoin's network synchronization system – has led to an environment in which users can no longer participate as expected.

Sirer said at the event:

"We are at the mercy of the material, the technology is out of our control."

In this sense, casper aims for a more egalitarian approach, differentiating ethereum by introducing a new spin on a system called proof-of-stake.

Rather than buying specialized computers to run the software, the idea is that users simply put aside funds (which would be locked for a certain time) and perform calculations to approve them. transactions. Thanks to this action, users could compete for protocol awards.

In this way, the creator of the ethereum Vitalik Buterin went so far as to assert that it should be given priority over all other elements of the roadmap. But because the evidence of the issue would remove elements of the ethereum infrastructure, the argument is that security risks appear as a central concern.

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On a panel alongside Sirer was the developer Vlad Zamfir's Ethereum; Elaine Shi, professor in Cornell; and the developer of Parity Technologies, Peter Czaban. The general feeling among those on the panel: casper must occur quickly – at least, as fast as possible in the security constraints.

Crowded kitchen

Nevertheless, the delicate balance that the project must achieve contrasts with the reports on the environment in which the code is developed.

For example, it was confirmed that the authors of the original proposal – Zamfir and Buterin – are still working on competing versions of the technology, as they were at Devcon2 last year. While Buterin's version claims to be extremely simple, Zamfir's own version promises to be a very small change.

Zamfir's presentation demonstrated that he was working quietly to improve the first version of Casper, which included a more complex blockchain structure.

Based on the GHOST protocol, the Zamfir casper offers faster transaction times by reshaping the rules by which blocks are checked. In this way, the underlying structure looks more like a zigzag than a linear blockchain – and reflects other propositions in trying to create a faster protocol.

Buterin's own casper version, co-written with fellow developer Virgil Griffith, has rotated away from these ideas and shifted to a design that it aims to be "as simple as possible , and as simple as drawing on existing evidence systems of possible work. "

Yet, at this stage of development, there is still a disagreement over which casper catch achieves a real simplicity, Zamfir pointing to several other data structures that could be deployed to achieve this goal.

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Image by Rachel Rose O 'Leary for CoinDesk

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