Vitalik Buterin inadvertently sparked rumors today as social media mistook an ironic comment as a serious endorsement of Solana as the world’s “most scalable” blockchain.
Appearing at EDCON 2023 in Podgorica, Montenegro, Buterin took the stage in traditional Montenegran dress before introducing himself as Anatoly Yakovenko, co-creator of Solana, and touted its tech. The Ethereum co-creator quipped:
“So, I’m Anatoly, I’m from Solana, and today I’m gonna tell everyone about why the most scalable blockchains rely on nodes running on powerful servers.”
Buterin’s joke apparently riffs Solana’s validator network, which critics say is not fairly decentralized due to the high cost of running a node.
Nevertheless, the off-handed joke was immediately picked up by social media, with some sources incorrectly reporting that Butering had endorsed Solana.
However, Buterin made no further references to Anatoly or Solana following the introduction. Instead, he covered points that included the poor usability of decentralized technology, inadequate asset security, and social recovery systems.
Ethereum has challenges to overcome
The Ethereum Development Conference ran from May 19 – 23, bringing together community members to meet and share information on the challenges and developments within the ecosystem. Other speakers at this year’s event included Tim Beiko of the ETH Foundation and former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan.
Buterin’s segment was titled “Ethereum’s big three technical challenges: scalability, privacy, and user security,” which focused most heavily on privacy. He also pointed out that in a world of little digital privacy, blockchain technology offers a solution through technologies such as zero-knowledge proofs, which people “keep chronically underestimating,” said Buterin.
Go easy on the consensus
Buterin’s talk reiterated points he made this week in a blog post arguing that Ethereum’s consensus mechanism is fragile and should be used “sparingly.”
He wrote that people expect blockchains to pack more features and functionality continually, but in Ethereum’s case, each addition leads to greater fragility.
“There is a natural urge to try to extend the blockchain’s core with more and more functionality because the blockchain’s core has the largest economic weight and the largest community watching it, but each such extension makes the core itself more fragile.”
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