Devcon3: Casper, first stage to PoS

     One of the most anticipated events in the Ethereum ecosystem is the switch from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake. Both of these systems are used to achieve consensus and maintain the security of a blockchain-based network.

     The changeover is implemented in sequential steps, transitioning the system to a hybrid of PoW/PoS system before going full PoS. Writing the code for the Casper contract is a part of the first stage of the multistage roadmap to PoS.

     The topic of Casper was present during a number of panels at the event. And it is of a very high importance since it is the key to democratize access to the platform. Rather than users buying specialized computers to run the software, the idea is that users would simply set aside funds (which would be locked for a period of time) and perform calculations for approving transactions. Through this action, users could compete for protocol rewards.

     Ethereum developer Vlad Zamfir, fellow Cornell professor Elaine Shi and Parity Technologies developer Peter Czaban, believe casper needs to happen quickly and as fast as it can within security constraints.

     Zamfir and Buterin are still working on competing versions of the tech for 1 year now. While Buterin’s version claims to be extremely simple, Zamfir’s own version promises to constitute a very minimal shift.

Zamfir’s presentation demonstrated that he has been quietly working to improve on the earliest version of casper, which included a more complex blockchain structure. Buterin’s own version of casper, co-authored with fellow developer Virgil Griffith, has pivoted away from these ideas and moved toward a design which he aims to be “as simple as possible, and as simple as to graph onto the existing proof-of-work systems as possible.”

Until the best solution is chosen, we will keep a close eye to what comes next. This will certainly be a major stage for ethereum.

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Written by Brad Chillum

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