Vitalik Buterin’s mind-blowing Ethereum blocks shrinking idea


  • Ethereum’s multi-client approach reduces the risk of catastrophic bugs by having multiple teams making implementations of the specification that users run.
  • The rise of ZK-EVMs as a third type of client raises a question about how it will interact with the multi-client philosophy.
  • Vitalik Buterin suggests an open multi-client ZK-EVM ecosystem where different clients have different ZK-EVM implementations.

Ethereum‘s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, has shared his mind-blowing idea on how to scale Ethereum without compromising its security and decentralization.

In a recent blog post, Buterin proposed the use of Zero-Knowledge Execution Environments (ZK-EVMs) to validate blocks on the Ethereum blockchain.

This revolutionary idea has the potential to greatly reduce the size of Ethereum blocks, while also improving the network’s scalability and security.

Buterin on multi-client philosophy and ZK-EVMs

Ethereum’s multi-client philosophy has been critical to its security and decentralization. Rather than having a single “reference client” that everyone runs by default, Ethereum has a collaboratively-managed specification, and multiple teams making implementations of the spec.

Each Ethereum node runs a consensus client and an execution client, and no consensus or execution client makes up more than 2/3 of the network. If a client with less than 1/3 share in its category has a bug, the network would simply continue as normal.

If a client with between 1/3 and 2/3 share in its category has a bug, the chain would continue adding blocks, but it would stop finalizing blocks, giving time for developers to intervene.

Buterin believes that the use of ZK-EVMs as a third type of Ethereum client could greatly enhance the network’s security and decentralization.

SNARKs proving EVM execution have been under development for years, and the technology is actively being used by layer 2 protocols called ZK rollups.

ZK-EVMs will not just be for rollups; they will also be used to verify execution on layer 1, making them just as important to the network’s security as execution clients and consensus clients are today.

Challenges and benefits of the open multi-client ZK-EVM ecosystem

Buterin’s proposal raises some interesting technical challenges. Specifically, how will ZK-EVMs interact with Ethereum’s multi-client philosophy?

To address this challenge, Buterin proposes an “open multi-client ZK-EVM ecosystem.” In this ecosystem, different clients have different ZK-EVM implementations, and each client waits for a proof that is compatible with its own implementation before accepting a block as valid.

Implementing an open multi-client ZK-EVM ecosystem would not be without its challenges. One challenge is the latency challenge, where a malicious attacker could publish a block late, along with a proof valid for one client.

It would realistically take a long time to generate proofs valid for other clients, potentially creating a temporary fork and disrupting the chain for a few slots. Another challenge is the data inefficiency, as verification-related data would need to be published separately.

Despite these challenges, an open multi-client ZK-EVM ecosystem could greatly enhance the network’s scalability and security. Ethereum blocks would be smaller than today, and anyone could run a fully verifying node on their laptop or even their phone, while preserving the benefits of Ethereum’s multi-client philosophy.

Vitalik Buterin’s vision for Ethereum is a revolutionary idea that has the potential to take the network to the next level. By leveraging ZK-EVMs to validate blocks on the Ethereum blockchain, Ethereum can greatly enhance its security and scalability without sacrificing its decentralization.

While there are still technical challenges to overcome, an open multi-client ZK-EVM ecosystem is a natural stepping stone that is likely to happen anyway.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Jai Hamid

Jai Hamid is a passionate writer with a keen interest in blockchain technology, the global economy, and literature. She dedicates most of her time to exploring the transformative potential of crypto and the dynamics of worldwide economic trends.

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