On October 31, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin spoke about the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade and the basic idea behind the new platform. Vitalik stated that he did not want to explain the new upgrade from a technical point of view, but started off by explaining what was in the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade.
“It is a combination of a bunch of different features that we have been talking about for the past several years. We have been actively researching, building, and now, finally getting them all together.”
He spoke about Casper, the Proof Of Stake [POS] protocol that the platform will be using for the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade. An entire team dedicated towards creating Casper and Vlad Zamfir is often credited as being the “Face of Casper”.
He spoke about sharding from the scalability perspective; sharding is how Ethereum will realize the performance gains necessary to scale. Vitalik further stated that improvements were made in the Virtual Machine with Ethereum favored WebAssembly [EWASM], which is a restricted subset of WASM to be used for contracts in Ethereum.
Vitalik stated that the road to Proof of Stake started in 2014, when he posted an article on a blog post in January. The post described an algorithm called Slasher, which was introduced as a basic concept in the Proof of Stake algorithms.
He added that the idea behind Slasher is that if an individual is caught doing something wrong, then it can be proven and the individual can be penalized for the crime. According to Vitalik, this was a way to increase security. He added:
“Slasher is a useful construct to have in our war chest, in case Proof of Stake mining becomes substantially more popular or a compelling reason to switch.”
According to Vitalik, they did not use Slasher because in 2014, they were not clear whether POS was the protocol they wanted to implement in the future. He further stated:
“But as we know, now, over time, that has changed quite a lot. “
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