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Vitalik Buterin Warns Against Stretching Ethereum Consensus Beyond Core Functions

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Vitalik Buterin recently shared his thoughts regarding blockchain overload.
  • The Ethereum co-founder suggested solutions like reducing reliance on cross chain bridges.
  • In the past month, the Ethereum blockchain suffered from high gas fees related to the PEPE meme coin.
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Vitalik Buterin published a blog post warning against ‘overloading Ethereum’s social consensus.’ He warned against some methods and offered some possible solutions.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin published a blog post on May 21 about the overloading of Ethereum’s consensus. The post titled “Don’t overload Ethereum’s consensus,” says that if “cryptoeconomic consensus fails…a vast community of many thousands of developers and many more users are watching carefully to make sure the chain recovers correctly.”

Buterin said that the post’s goal was to explain that a certain subset of techniques could cause systemic risks. These techniques should therefore be “discouraged and resisted.”

Buterin also clarified that the proposals in the post were well-intentioned and did not focus on individuals or projects.

The Ethereum co-founder said that overloading social consensus was a high-risk method, describing it as follows,

“[Project] creates a successful layer 2, and argues that because her layer 2 is the largest, it is inherently the most secure, because if there is a bug that causes funds to be stolen, the losses will be so large that the community will have no choice but to fork to recover the users’ funds. High-risk.”

Vitalik Buterin Offers Some Possible Solutions

Buterin also offered some possible solutions and actions that could address the potential risks. Among them were price oracles. Many are “either not-quite-cryptoeconomic decentralized oracles” or validator-voting-based oracles that use their emergency recovery strategies as something other than appealing to L1 consensus for recovery.

The Ethereum co-founder also suggested reducing the reliance on cross-chain bridges. Cross-chain bridges have experienced several notable attacks over the past few years.

PEPE Clogs Ethereum as Meme Mania Takes Off

PEPE, a meme coin that has taken the crypto community by storm, recently started to clog up the Ethereum blockchain. Gas fees on the network rose to a 12-month high earlier in the month because of PEPE’s explosion in popularity.

The PEPE mania has also led to Uniswap’s volume surge substantially. It reached a point where the volume of Uniswap even managed to cross that of Coinbase. The former’s volume touched $1.2 billion, compared to the latter’s $948 million, in the first week of May.


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Rahul Nambiampurath
Rahul Nambiampurath's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014 when he stumbled upon Satoshi's Bitcoin whitepaper. With a bachelor's degree in Commerce and an MBA in Finance...