Is Ethereum getting too complex?

Co-founder of Ethereum (ETH), Vitalik Buterin, said there is still room to reduce the complexity of Ethereum while improving its functionality. This statement comes as some developers have recently complained about the complexity of Ethereum.

Vitalik Buterin. Source: video recording, Youtube / Grand Amphi Theater

In a recent blog post titled “Roads not takenButerin looked at some of the “forks” of Ethereum. He said the development team “had a trade-off”, noting that sometimes they choose simplicity, but sometimes they choose complexity.

For example, he mentioned the PoS version (proof of stake) of Gasper, which Ethereum will soon merge with: according to him, it is a complex but very powerful system. By comparison, there are less sophisticated and weaker versions of PoS that could have been good candidates, but they do not offer Gasper’s benefits.

“The reason Gasper is more complex than these algorithms is simply that he is trying to achieve so much more than them,” Buterin said. “But if we had chosen to be more sensible in the beginning, we could have focused on achieving a more limited set of goals in the first place.”

Buterin explained that there is a conflict between the two visions of Ethereum: one that values ​​security and simplicity (like Bitcoin), and another that intends to make Ethereum a high-performance and functional platform for building advanced applications. .

“My personal dream is to try to achieve both visions at the same time,” he said, adding that it would take a lot of time and effort to achieve this goal. However, he pointed out that there is still room to reduce complexity in the future.

“Today, there are many things we can not change, but there are many things that can still be changed, and there is a way to improve both functionality and simplicity,” he declared.

Buterin also claimed that some Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) have proven in the past that it is possible to reduce complexity. For example, he said the EIP-150 succeeded in reducing security issues for contract developers.

Buterin’s in-depth article is an apparent response to some developers’ concerns about Ethereum’s growing complexity.

The developer Peter Szilagyi recently claimed that complexity has never diminished in the history of blockchain. He warned that complexity “has the unpleasant effect of causing cascade errors”, overloading people too much, losing capacity and leading to even greater strain.

“As good as the feeling is that we are approaching fusion, I must stress that Ethereum is not moving in a clear direction,” Szilágyi had said. “Tangentially, he gets results, but there are countless complex elements that pile up little by little.”

According to Szilágyi, the fundamental reason for the growing complexity is the disruption between research and development teams. According to him, the first should “only” imagine elegant and autonomous ideas, while “the second should juggle all the ideas that have been introduced, while surgically expanding the dimensionality of space”.

In the meantime Muneeb Alico-founder of the open source smart contract platform Bitcoin Stacksa layer 1 blockchain that enables the execution of smart contracts, suggested that Ethereum could aim for two layers instead of its current vision of creating a simple and secure blockchain that is also capable of hosting advanced applications.


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