Preserving Ethereum – The Daily Gwei #79 The Daily Gwei

Ethereum is going to be in an interesting place over the next 2-3 years as there’s going to be essentially 2 parallel Ethereum chains running – eth1 (aka eth1.x) and eth2 – with both of them being vastly different. For starters, eth1.x is where all the action is happening and it’s important that we as a community continue to to maintain/upgrade it to suit the needs of developers and users. Not to mention that eth2 isn’t even live yet!

DC has a great point above – there are major upgrades such as EIP-1559 that are really important for eth1.x and we should be striving to get this live on mainnet as soon as possible. On top of this, there are many changes that need to happen on the eth1.x side to prepare it for the eth1 <> eth2 merger as part of phase 1.5 of the eth2 rollout plan. This means that, as DC says, we must ensure that eth1.x is kept as a top priority until the merger happens in phase 1.5.

Though the issue that we have in the eth1.x ecosystem today is around the fact that the development process is very slow (for a number of reasons that I’ll detail below) which is unfortunately leading to some ossification of the eth1.x chain. This leads to even major upgrades like EIP-1559 taking a very long time to be implemented even though it’s clearly something that the majority of the community really wants.

Let’s discuss some of the reasons as to why this is happening. Basically, the number 1 reason seems to be core developer burn out. The core developers are the people who are making sure the critical infrastructure such as the Ethereum node clients are running smoothly and without issue. This is a thankless job as almost no one in the ecosystem actually sees what work these developers do – from low-level protocol and node software optimizations to putting out fires that you didn’t even know were there. These people are under an incredible amount of stress to ensure that the network keeps running smoothly so this has led to some burn out which is totally understandable.

There is also a lack of clear public communication from the parties involved in the core development process of Ethereum (and I don’t think it’s necessarily their fault). I bet most of you haven’t even heard of the Ethereum Cat Herders who actually do put out regular updates and have been for a while! I believe the problem here is that there is no one “leading” marketing/public relations for the “Ethereum project” itself – not even the Ethereum foundation – which leads to a “bystander effect” of sorts. What I mean by this is that for Ethereum marketing/PR updates, we pretty much have a situation where there is no “leader” to tell someone to put out these updates so everyone just assumes that someone else will do it. What ends up happening is the community tries to fill the void as best they can but this leaves much to be desired.

So, where to from here? Well from the people I’ve spoken to, it seems like this is an issue that is well known and there are efforts to try and rectify this. I think on the eth2 side we’re in a pretty good spot with Ben Edgington putting out his weekly ‘What’s New in Eth2’ newsletter, Danny Ryan putting out semi-regular ‘quick updates’ on the Ethereum blog, and the client teams such as PryLabs and Sigma Prime putting out their own updates. Though, I believe this is because the eth2 development process is much more centralized and structured than eth1.x is right now.

Have a great day everyone,
Anthony Sassano

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All information presented above is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice.

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