Vitalik Buterin, co-founder and ubiquitous mouthpiece of Ethereum, hinted the start of his detachment from the operational side of his creation and dropped a series of bombshell announcements about the progress of the smart contract platform’s much-anticipated scalability enhancements, including Casper and Plasma.
In a tweet Oct. 6, Buterin claimed that the rubber has begun to hit the road for both Casper and Plasma, and that the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization could be seeing Zk-SNARK-enabled privacy in the not-too-distant future.
Regarding Casper, arguably the most coveted development in the Ethereum toolbox, the Russian-Canadian described the Proof-of-Stake and sharding solution as being “roughly finished”, and highlighted that more than four spec implementations of the technology were “well underway.” He stated:
1. Casper/sharding spec roughly finished, now in refinement stages
2. 4+ implementations of the spec well underway
3. Many implementations of plasma well underway
4. ZK-SNARK-based layer 2 scaling and privacy well underway
It's a night-and-day difference from 2017.
— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) October 6, 2018
Vitalik: The King-Maker?
The latest news would invariably have perked up the ears of Ethereum proponents, many of whom would by now have become well-intimate with the mercurial nature of Casper’s roadmap.
Originally scheduled for lift-off this year, Casper’s launch deadline was pushed to 2020 when the Ethereum team scrapped plans to augment the blockchain with a hybrid PoW/PoW protocol.
55. In June 2018, we made the fateful decision to scrap "hybrid Casper FFG as a contract", and instead pursue full Casper as an independent chain, designed in such a way that integrating sharding would be much easier.
— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) August 16, 2018
In an apparent attempt to stave off any inklings over Casper’s failure, Buterin cooked up a long-winded Tweet storm some months later, assuring Ethereans that a new solution was firmly on the table.
Whatever reassurances the famed programmer offered, however, would not appear to have satiated some of his community’s deep-seated concerns over Ethereum’s longevity, in the event Buterin were to step away. One user asked “any thoughts on how you will eventually detach yourself from the project?”
Yet Ethereum will flourish without its most renowned creator, or so Buterin suggested, claiming that he had “already” begun to flock the nest, and that “much” of the platform’s development was being pushed by a number of other developers.
I think ethereum can absolutely survive me spontaneously combusting tomorrow at this point.
— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) October 5, 2018
Cover Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash