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Is Ethereum becoming too complex?


The 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 capture, Youtube / Grand Amphi Théatre

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

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

“The reason Gasper is more complex than these algorithms is simply that he’s trying to accomplish so much more than them,” Buterin said. “But if we had chosen to be more reasonable at the start, 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 a lot of effort to achieve that goal. He noted, however, that there is still room to reduce complexity in the future.

“Today there are many things we cannot change, but there are many things that can still be changed, and there is a path to improve both functionality and simplicity” , did he declare.

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 that EIP-150 succeeded in reducing security concerns for contract developers.

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

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

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

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

During this time, 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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