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Ethereum’s Paradigm Shift for Global Impact

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Ethereum's Paradigm Shift for Global Impact

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has emphasized the need for a shift in mindset towards building layer-2 (L2) decentralized applications (dApps) and solutions following the successful completion of the Dencun hard fork. During a speech at ETH Global’s Pragma London event, Buterin expressed his satisfaction with the network upgrade, which enables L2 rollups to achieve scalability by reducing costs associated with submitting cryptographic proofs to Ethereum’s base layer. He reminded attendees that although basic rollup scaling had been achieved, further progress would be incremental. Buterin’s presence at the event drew a large crowd, highlighting his significance as a founding member of Ethereum.

Reflecting on his previous roadmap for Ethereum, Buterin noted that many of the milestones he had outlined were primarily engineering tasks, some of which were accomplished with the finalization of Dencun. This hard fork introduced EIP-4844, which altered the way Ethereum rollups store data on the mainnet. Rollups aggregate and process transactions off-chain, submitting a summary proof of these transactions to the Ethereum blockchain. EIP-4844 introduced blob space as a replacement for call data, allowing rollups to add cheaper data to blocks. This change reduces costs as all Ethereum nodes no longer need to process the data indefinitely.

Buterin stressed that Ethereum’s ecosystem needs to change its approach in order to have a significant impact on the internet and conventional financial systems. He believes that the first decade of Ethereum was inwardly focused, with developers primarily creating technology for themselves. In the second decade, Buterin wants to see Ethereum expand its influence globally. The Dencun hard fork is an important step in this direction, as it shifts the Ethereum ecosystem’s focus away from layer 1 and towards layer 2 solutions.

Going forward, Buterin expects Ethereum’s base layer to move from a period of rapid change to one of maintenance. While there will still be L1 changes, Buterin believes that an L2-centric mindset should prevail, with a greater emphasis on application developers. He highlighted the various tools available for building dApps on Ethereum, with zero-knowledge proofs being a particularly important one. These tools not only improve scalability but also enhance user privacy, and their ease of use has significantly increased in recent years.

Buterin urged developers to adopt an “Ethereum 2.0” approach to development, utilizing contemporary tools and protocols like L2 rollups to take advantage of improved privacy, security, and performance benefits. He concluded that although significant changes have been made, there is still work to be done in order for Ethereum to make a substantial impact on the world.

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