Vitalik Buterin presented the plans for Ethereum 2.0 on the 25.11.2017 "Beyond Block" conference. In his half-hour presentation, he highlighted the main issues Ethereum faces today and outlined strategies for resolving them.
In the presentation, which incidentally is also available on Youtube, Vitalik Buterin identified the privacy, the security of the consensus process and the Smart Contracts, as well as the scalability as the biggest challenges for Ethereum in the next 3-5 years. Buterin was able to present solutions that were already in development or rolled out for three of the four points.
To ensure the privacy of the transactions, zk-SNARKs was integrated with the Byzantium Update in October.
Buterin said that the Byzantium update alone does not solve the problem. With the Zero-Knowledge-Proofs and ring signatures developers have been given tools to build solutions. At least conceptually, this gives zk-SNARKs the option of anonymous transactions.
Casper is currently developing to help secure the consensus process. As we reported, Casper's main goal is to replace proof-of-work with the proof-of-stake consensus process.
Like any other software, smart contracts can be buggy, except that smart contracts are about money and mistakes can be costly. Buterin said that Ethereum will therefore introduce formal verification for smart contracts and a "Viper" technology to secure Ethereum applications.
The last point, scalability is the most important and at the same time most difficult task. According to Vitalik Buterin, the solution of the problem has three components to consider: scalability, decentralization and security. Combining two of the three components is not a problem, while all three components are difficult to reconcile. The solution favored by Buterin for this is called "Sharding".
This will enable Ethereum to scale thousands of transactions per second without supernodes and on-chain.
How should this work? Vitalik just tried to explain it:
The different universes are not separate and self-sufficient, but can communicate with each other via a protocol. The solution of "sharding" creates, so to speak, additional chains with their own rules and makes it possible to save only the most significant changes in the main block of Ethereum.
The timetable for the roadmap is three to five years.
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