In a recent blog post, Vitalik Buterin cautioned against overloading the Ethereum network’s consensus mechanism. While Ethereum’s consensus is highly secure, Buterin warned that overloading it would expose the ecosystem to high systemic risks.
Crypto assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum use the consensus mechanism to validate transaction authenticity and maintain the security of the underlying blockchain. This mechanism influences how a blockchain network verifies transactions while determining network fees, transaction speed, and more.
Amid surging transaction fees on the Bitcoin network due to congestion, Buterin asked users not to overload Ethereum validators in order to preserve the consensus mechanism. In his blog post, he warned against proposals suggesting using Ethereum consensus for other purposes such as price oracles and re-staking. Some even suggested using layer-1 forks to recover layer-2 projects in case of unexpected occurrences.
While expanding a blockchain’s core functionality may seem tempting, Buterin said such an extension would render it fragile. He pointed out that certain techniques bring high systemic risks to ecosystems and should be resisted and discouraged.
If validators get overloaded, there could be bugs or 51% intentional attacks initiated by actors who advocate for a fork to protect their deposits. These risks include creating ETH/USD price oracles where ETH holders or validators could receive bribes to vote.
Accordingly, according to Buterin’s article participants receiving money offering wrong answers can cause honest people losing money; therefore if this happens then only way left with ethereum will be fork which is again very risky
However, while disagreeing with price oracles’ idea altogether but acknowledging its need amid bug risk concerns better Oracles are needed per se different problems require unique approaches believes Vitalik.
Overall,Vitalik advises against extending Ethereum consensus functionality as that would increase costs complexities & risks running validator.He also advised community members being cautious about application-layer projects increasing scope of blockchain outside core protocol rules.
He urged them instead to preserve the blockchain’s minimalism and support re-staking without slippery slopes that could extend Ethereum consensus roles. The founder asked users to help developers find alternative strategies to achieve their security goals.
After transitioning from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake consensus last year, Ethereum recently witnessed the Shapella upgrade on April 12. The upgrade commissioned a phased release of staked Ether, increasing activities and transactions on the network. That explains the increased concern for security and validator risks on the network.
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