Buterin: “Critical to decentralization of Ethereum network”

According to Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum (ETH), centralization of nodes is one of the biggest problems facing the Ethereum network. Buterin argues that nodes should be addressed by making them cheaper and easier to run.

Speaking at South Korean Blockchain Week, Vitalik Buterin outlined six key issues that need to be addressed to solve decentralization in the Ethereum network. Buterin emphasized that the node issue is a big piece of the puzzle that needs to be solved in order to ensure that the Ethereum network is decentralized in the long run. During his speech, Buterin said:

One of these six things is to make it technically easy for people to run nodes, and statuslessness is one of the really important technologies for getting this right. It takes hundreds of gigabytes of data to run a node today. With stateless clients, you can run a node with basically zero data.

The concept of statuslessness, mentioned by the co-founder of Ethereum, refers to removing the dependency on central service providers to verify transactions on the network. According to the Ethereum Foundation, true decentralization is not possible until node operators can run Ethereum on modest and inexpensive hardware.

Currently, the majority of 5,901 active Ethereum nodes are run through centralized web providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), which many experts claim is centralizing the Ethereum blockchain. As Buterin points out, statuslessness is an important component of the Ethereum roadmap and important steps towards statuslessness will be taken during the “The Verge” and “The Purge” phases. Although statuslessness is a core part of Ethereum’s roadmap, Buterin admits that these highly technical concerns are unlikely to be addressed any time in the near future:

These technical issues will eventually need to be addressed. Maybe this has to be done in 10 years, maybe 20 years.

Buterin said the next most important moves to reduce the decentralization of the Ethereum network aside from statuslessness are to streamline documentation, reduce barriers to distributed staking, make staking safer, and more generally, make it easier to stake ETH.

The co-founder of Ethereum also pointed to scalability as the most pressing issues to solve for the largest altcoin. Currently, Ethereum scaling protocols dominate the use of zero-knowledge (ZK) rollups. As ZK-rollups seek to increase throughput on the main Ethereum Blockchain by moving computation and state storage off the Blockchain, they are seen by many within the Ethereum community as an important threshold in achieving full scalability.

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