Vitalik Buterin answers questions on Ethereum's future

Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin answers users' questions on Ethereum's future
16 August 2017   1715

It's been a tough times for Ethereum recently: a crash due to the rumours about Vitalik Buterin's fake death, a hacking scandal, Bitcoin fork resulting in the feeling of uncertainty in the whole cryptocurrency community. 

However, despite all the difficulties, Ethereum is still very much alive and even seems to be recovering:

Ethereum charts on coinmarketcap.com Ethereum on coinmarketcap.com

Now, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin answers users' questions on Ethereum's future on an online chat forum thenextweb.com. 

Buterin’s answers about Ethereum's future are largely encouraging and reinforce the justification to stay excited about what’s coming. The creator of Ethereum discussed the implementation of new programming languages that will be specific to Ethereum. Among these new coding types, Buterin named Viper, Bamboo, and LLL, while also stating that Solidity would continue to improve.  

Buterin also discussed engine compilers and new languages. When asked if he felt that more developers would be attracted to Ethereum by creating compilers for languages already used in traditional software development, like JavaScript, Buterin replied that there are several challenges:

First of all, existing c++ and other compilers tend to output code that is really not optimized for compact code size; eg. even the simplest program outputs a file that is longer than 4kb. This is ok for computers, where storage is cheap, but terrible for blockchains, where storage is expensive. So specialized compilers are required.
 

Vitalik Buterin
The creator of Ethereum

Buterin also argued that Ethereum Virtual Machine executable distributed code contract (EDCC) languages need to be designed with “a particularly strong focus on security, which is not something that most existing languages care about to the same extent.” 

Buterin’s most in-depth response came when answering a question about how updates work on Ethereum. Thus, Buterin admits that both the research that goes into an update and the hard fork that makes it possible are complex processes involving multiple steps. He describes the initial starting point of an idea, and how it gets built out by sharing it with other researchers and outside contributors. These ideas “often involve many iterations, thinking, writing, debating and sometimes formal proofs,” said Buterin.

Eventually the proposal becomes concretized into an ‘Ethereum Improvement Proposal’ (EIP), which is precise enough that it should include all of the information required for an implementer to implement the specification.
 

Vitalik Buterin
The creator of Ethereum

During the initial stage, anyone is welcome to comment on an EIP and every two weeks, Ethereum core developers have conference calls to debate the merits of these proposals. This planning stage has the highest level of scrutiny, Buterin continued: “many proposals are thrown out, modified, split or merged several times.” Buterin’s description of this stage also showcased the strength of Ethereum’s culture. “So far we have managed to agree on every EIP,” claims Buterin. 

The only time anything seriously controversial was proposed was The DAO fork, and this ended up being resolved through a series of polls and votes, followed by implementation, and ultimately a chain split.
 

Vitalik Buterin
The creator of Ethereum

The creator of Ethereum further explained that, after a proposal has been approved, tests are written, mainly in C++ and occasionally Python. Once all major implementations have passed the scripted tests, a date is picked for a hard fork on the testnet and mainnet, usually involving a gap of several weeks between the two. From there, the new client is released with the hard fork.

Buterin also mentioned that Metropolis, Ethereum’s next evolution, is currently undergoing a testing phase and should be ready in “a couple of months.” 

When asked how his initial vision has evolved since starting Ethereum, Buterin replied by saying the platform has moved beyond programmable money and now the consensus algorithm is developing. Perhaps the only thing that Buterin hadn’t counted on was “the large amount of industrial interest.” Buterin concludes: “The institutional participation in the community is certainly far higher than I expected.”    

Coinbase to Expand Services for Asia

Among the services available now there are Coinbase Prime, Pro and Custody
22 January 2019   119

Coinbase, the leading US cryptocurrency company reported that from now on its professional trading and custodial platforms are available to institutional clients and investors with large volumes from the Asian region.

In particular, according to the Coinbase blog, users of Asia will have access to the option of depositing accounts and withdrawing funds using SWIFT transfers through non-US bank accounts.

In the past 12 months, hundreds of crypto-first hedge funds have launched around the world, and many hundreds more traditional institutions such as proprietary trading firms, family offices and endowments have begun actively trading digital assets. Coinbase’s suite of professional products — Coinbase Prime and Pro, Coinbase Custody — serves these customers, along with other participants in the market, like asset issuers, crypto exchanges, and miners.
 

Elliott Suthers

Coinbase

Among the services available there are Coinbase Prime, Coinbase Pro and Coinbase Custody, which also supports the steamer USDC.

In December 2018, Coinbase began to provide services to residents of the islands of Guernsey and Maine, as well as Lithuania, Iceland, Andorra and Gibraltar.