Vitalik Buterin discusses if ‘Ethereum’s technology should be multipurpose’
- Vitalik Buterin, in a recent post, stated how the reuse of validators for different purposes may compromise the security of the Ethereum network.
- ETH’s price and network usage didn’t react to Vitalik’s blog post.
The consensus mechanism of the Ethereum network stands as one of the most robust and secure cryptoeconomic systems available. With approximately 18 million ETH, equivalent to around $34 billion, held by validators, blocks are successfully finalized every 6.4 minutes.
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Should Ethereum’s technology be multipurpose?
Due to the robustness of this technology, many have suggested alternative uses of Ethereum’s blockchain.
Various ideas have surfaced over time to leverage the Ethereum validator set and social consensus for different purposes. One such idea is the ultimate oracle, where users can vote on facts using ETH.
Re-staking is another concept employed by protocols like EigenLayer, allowing Ethereum stakers to use their stake as a deposit in another protocol, potentially facing penalties for misbehavior.
Additionally, the notion of L1-driven recovery of L2 projects suggests forking the Ethereum blockchain to address bugs or failures in Layer 2 solutions was also suggested.
Vitalik Buterin, in a recent post, has stated how the reuse of validators for different purposes like the ones mentioned above may compromise the security of the Ethereum network.
According to Vitalik, allowing Ethereum stakers to simultaneously use their stake as a deposit in another protocol, creates a scenario where stakers can be challenged or penalized for violating the rules of the other protocol.
This introduces a potential avenue for manipulation or exploitation of the staking mechanism, which could undermine the security and integrity of the Ethereum network.
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Furthermore, Vitalik highlighted the potential for contentious hard forks as a result of the re-staking process. According to him, conflicting interests and incentives within the community can lead to network splits and disruptions.
What did the founders have to say?
Sreeram Kannan, Founder of EigenLayer, a protocol directly referenced in the blog post, took to Twitter to respond. In the tweet, Sreeram stated that the principles of Eigen Layer were consistent with the content of the blog post.
We welcome this excellent analysis of the different kinds of risks using restaking for different use cases a la @eigenlayer by @VitalikButerin. It is consistent with what we have been advocating with Eigenlayer. A brief summary here: https://t.co/8ppF9jUp6t
— Sreeram Kannan (@sreeramkannan) May 21, 2023
Network remains unfazed
Furthermore, the Ethereum network and ETH remained largely unaffected by the blog post and the responses surrounding it. The daily activity on the Ethereum network continued to surge and the gas usage on the Ethereum remained high. ETH was trading at $1813 at press time and hadn’t seen much volatility