Ethereum roadmap unveiled at DevCon3

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, talked at DevCon3 about "modest proposal" on Ethereum's future
02 November 2017   1878

The problem

At the Devcon3, the biggest Ethereum developers conference, that is now being held in Mexico, Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, unveiled a "modest proposal". It's perhaps better described as a three-to-four-year roadmap for ethereum's technical development. This is reported by the Coindesk.

In the center of his vision is a long developing new Ethereum's technical feature, called "sharding". Buterin proposed what might be his most solidified strategy for the technique to date.

DevCon3
DevCon3

The roadmap is aimed at problems, that are going sold on the platform. Main goal is to solve the scalability issues for project developers. As we all know, ethereum nodes need to store everything that ever happened on the network, Vitalik noted that there's need to be solution that reduce expensive storage costs, that will only grow as system growth itself.

The amount of activity on the blockchain is orders of magnitude larger than it was just a couple of years ago. Scalability is probably problem number one [...] There’s a graveyard of systems that claim to solve the scalability problem but don't. It's a very significant and hard challenge. These are just known facts.
 

Vitalik Buterin
Co-founder, Ethereum

The solution

Vitalik Buterin belives that sharding is the "likely" solution to this issue. He is proposing a new type of sharding infrastructure that would solve both scalability and governance – ensuring the eventual system is well maintained and that it stays in check.

The proposal revealed today is for ethereum to be split into different types of shards. There will be the main shard, which would comprise today's ethereum network. Then there would be other shards, which Buterin calls other "universes".

Buterin also believes the partitioning would allow for more aggressive changes on the smaller shards, and more cautious changes on the main blockchain. 

Other universes where all this stuff we’ve been working on these last few years can be rolled out much much faster.
 

Vitalik Buterin
Co-founder, Ethereum

The future

Vitalik also told about other changes that roadmap includes. Among them:

  1. Planned upgrades to the ethereum virtual machine (EVM), the technology that today compiles smart contract code and communicates it to the network. He also talked another long-in-the-making tech project, eWASM, for running ethereum in a web browser.
  2. Another idea proposed was for so-called "stateless clients," a proposal for how clients could sync with the network more quickly.

Nevertheless, sharding looks to be the biggest change over the next three to four years. In the end, Vitalik said that development process had already begun.

Ethereum Scaling Solution Raiden to Launch Last Testnet

As noted by the developers, after implementing the new solution, the Ethereum network will be able to provide more than a million transactions per second
20 July 2018   130

On Thursday, July 19, at the Dappcon developer conference in Berlin, the last test network of Raiden for the Ethereum blockchain was launched, CoinDesk reports.

The release includes a minimal implementation of the scaling solution, which will allow the transfer of Ethereum tokens outside of the main blockchain. This is the last test phase before the introduction of technology into the core network of Ethereum.

It's the first step towards going to the mainnet. We really want people to really test this so we have a user interface, we have an API and we've created an open Github for everything they could find, so if we go hopefully bug-free on the mainnet.
 

Lefteris Karapetsas

Core Developer, Raiden

According to him, the new release represents an early implementation for the core network and contains a new rewritten code of smart contracts and payment channels that can be restored in case of unintended closure.

Also, Karapetsas urged developers to join the test network to help detect possible bugs, adding that a bounty program will be launched to encourage this activity.

The release date for the main network has not yet been assigned, but the developers intend to follow this earlier promise and launch Raiden this summer.

Karapetsas also promised to publish regular updates and code optimizations after the full release, adding that Raiden will complement other Ethereum scaling solutions that are currently being developed.

Raiden is essentially the payment channel network for ethereum, it's supposed to help us scale token transfers. The long term goal would be to have people use Raiden from a mobile device and be able to make off-chain token transfers just from their phone. That would be the long term vision, it would probably work in combination with various scaling solutions, sharding, plasma, a sort of hybrid.
 

Lefteris Karapetsas

Core Developer, Raiden

Raiden is developing from the 2015 and is written mostly on Python. The project is much like the Lightning Network. As noted by the developers, after implementing the new solution, the Ethereum network will be able to provide more than a million transactions per second.