Episode ethcc-joe-lubin

What’s Next for ConsenSys and Ethereum

Joseph Lubin

We caught up with Joseph Lubin, Founder of ConsenSys, at this year’s EthCC. It has been over a year since he last came on the show, and we wanted to get his take on what has been happening in the ecosystem since then. We talked about the ConsenSys reorganization, interoperability between public and permission blockchains and the opportunities there, government-backed stable coins and the possibilities of nation-states building their own, DeFi and the phenomenal growth in the ecosystem, his predictions for 2020, and thoughts on the challenges facing Eth2.0.

Topics discussed in the episode

  • A look back on the past year since we last had Joe on the show
  • The ongoing ConsenSys reorganistaion
  • Joe’s views on the recent Twitter discussion that “Ether is the ConsenSys token”
  • Interoperability between public and permission blockchains and the opportunities there
  • Government-backed stable coins and the possibilities of nation-states building their own
  • The evolving naratives around Ethereum
  • Joesph’s vision on how DeFi compliments the existing financial system
  • Joseph’s predictions for 2020
  • The challenges ahead for Eth 2.0

(3:39) How the ecosystem has evolved over the past year.

(7:13) Reorganizing ConsenSys thru the years

(11:57) Software Co vs Investing Co

(15:49) The future of public permissioned networks

(18:43) Governments on the Ethereum mainnet

(21:12) Central bank digital currency

(26:38) Changing narratives of Ethereum

(32:54) Mindfulness when creating a new financial system

(35:49) Looking forward into 2020

(37:20) More on the growing interest from the enterprise sector

(40:30) ETH 2.0

 

 

Sebastien: I love that we’re starting this off in French because we’re here at EthCC.

Joseph: I can’t speak French. That immediately makes this a challenging interview.

Sebastien: Thanks for joining us.

Joseph: Thanks for having me. This transparent cage for blockchain professionals that also serves as a sauna.

Sebastien: It also serves as a quarantine box against us.

Friederike: Yeah, that is lovely.

Sebastien: We last spoke to you, it was probably about a year ago I want to say.

Joseph: Feels longer than that. Maybe it’s not. Yeah, must have been 18 months.

Sebastien: I feel like it was around January of 2019.

Joseph: Remember what we talked about? Blockchain, Maybe?

Sebastien: Yeah. Give us a sense of how you think the ecosystem has evolved in a year? What’s your takeaway on this?

Joseph: So on the development front, I think the growth and the innovation has been astonishing. On the speculative financial front, it has pretty much continued in doldrums. On the enterprise front, it has been just charging, it remains in exponential growth as far as we can tell. On the development front, there’s still spectacularly talented people building in the industry and being drawn into the ecosystem. With respect to scalability, privacy confidentiality, we have seen, over the last 18 or so months, massive breakthroughs that are coming online. Whether it’s zero knowledge techniques for privacy and confidentiality, to zero knowledge techniques for scalability in the form of optimistic roll ups, ZK roll ups. StarkWare did an experiment on mainnet where I think they landed about 9000 transactions per second throughput.

We are working with a project called SKALE Network, which is an EVM compatible layer two network solution. Our commerce and decentralized finance team has a product and set of services called activate that is enabling us to both launch their token and facilitate some of the operation of their network. We can still launch utility tokens. There has been much interest in tokenized securities and we’re seeing a little bit of traction there. We did a project called Meta Capital there.

We’re doing a handful of other projects with tokenized securities. But we’re still big fans of utility tokens. Utility tokens would not be considered securities by securities regulators around the world, in most places, and have some utility in the network. We’re able to help projects like SKALE launch, because we have a deep understanding of the securities regulatory infrastructure around the world, so we can help launch the token, we can ensure that there’s usage of the token, we can ensure that there’s full lifecycle security monitoring of the token.

Our Pegasus engineering group has another tool called Orchestrate. As we move into a world where we have these business networks and they’re effectively merged with financial infrastructure, because we’re tokenizing everything, Orchestrate can enable businesses that are operating on networks like SKALE’s network to manage gas and nonces and cancel transactions, in-flight, and resubmit transactions and register smart contracts, etc. Those kinds of breakthroughs are bringing the technology to life effectively.

Friederike: Good. It was already pretty apparent from your answer, that ConsenSys still has a lot of different projects, but ConsenSys is being reorganized to a certain extent. Can you talk about that?

Joseph: Yes, ConsenSys from day one, around five years ago has been in continual reorganization. A lot of the organization has been smooth, organic, evolutionary. We had two events where we essentially made bigger changes and those events saw us shedding, a little north of 10% in each case, job functions that effectively weren’t core to what we were as an organization.

Let me go back a little bit. ConsenSys started about a year after the Ethereum project began. It started with the vision and mission of continually expanding, on that project. We started because it was an immature technology. There was no ecosystem or developer tooling, etc. We were trying to build decentralized applications, but there was no infrastructure developer tooling to enable us to do that. We gathered a whole lot of brilliant entrepreneurs and technologists and began to explore the solution space.

In exploring the solution space, we incubated, invested in and launched way over 100 projects, and many of those have developed very significant traction and real product market fit, many of those did not. We ran lots and lots of experiments, in a pretty freewheeling culture. We’re at the stage where now we have a bunch of projects that do have very significant traction. These are Hyperledger based, the Pegasus tools and products around that, it’s Infura, MetaMask, Viewport. All of those essentially fall along what we’re calling a core tech stack. They are working increasingly closely together and we’re building what we’re calling a blockchain operating system out of those pieces.

In recognizing that there were some pieces that had lots of traction but didn’t fit in our core tech stack, and some pieces that did fit in our core tech stack over the last year. We’ve really been separating into two major functional groups within ConsenSys, and will effectively become two companies, an investment company and a software company. In that process, we realized that we didn’t need a massive marketing group and we had the ability to streamline in various other ways. There were certain regions that weren’t doing great, and on the professional services consulting side, we made some significant adjustments. We’re a much leaner, much more coherent and integrated software company and the investment company has also re-architected to optimize our portfolio and make new investments.

Friederike: Basically, ConsenSys has been hugely instrumental in growing the Ethereum ecosystem. There recently was a discussion on Twitter where someone said Ether is the ConsenSys token. In many ways that’s extremely flattering. How did you feel about that?

Joseph: Well, I didn’t pay attention. I wasn’t aware of that discussion. In a sense, there’s some truth to that. But other than for operational needs, ConsenSys has never really held Ether.

We are certainly aligned with, call it, a strong monetary policy. Certainly aligned with the growing the value of the Ethereum ecosystem. Strong Ether brings talent into our ecosystem and brings attention into our ecosystem. It adds security to the protocol. But very directly, it doesn’t increase the enterprise value of ConsenSys.

Friederike: Absolutely. The two companies you talked about, if I understand correctly, one of them is the investment arm and I don’t really want to talk about that all that much. Tell us about the other company, the company that builds stuff. Is there a token going to be associated with this? How are all of these diverse projects in this core tech stack going to work together, and what are your thoughts on that?

Joseph: Sure. The core tech stack company is called ConsenSys. Internally we call it Software Co versus Invest Co. ConsenSys is a unique organization in that it’s pretty much the only company in the world that has a very sophisticated public mainnet solution that is full stack. Also, we use the exact same code as a sophisticated private permissioned Ethereum solution when we stand up networks, or enable others to use our tooling. Over the last year or so, as we get more and more integrated, and integrated means that our different teams are working very closely together to create coherent documentation, coherent and shared API’s for different domains of focus, share product roadmaps, and go to market activities.

When we take that into a discussion with a prospective customer, we can basically offer a coherent and optimizable solution from the protocol layer with HyperLedger Besu, Orchestrate, and other tooling called Pegasus. Plus that enables enterprises to have the comfort, support and tools around the core protocol element to infrastructural elements. That’s Infura on the mainnet, but also potentially Infura in a private permissioned system. Pegasus and Infura can respond to some of the same API calls. Soon, probably all of the same API calls. We have developer tooling in the form of security audit infrastructure, in the form of truffle which we work extremely closely with. Pegasus Orchestrate enables people to orchestrate their transactions, but also do real time security monitoring.

That infrastructure layer is critically important. Then we have identity and reputation solutions, decentralized identity, verifiable credentials, we lead the Decentralized Identity Foundation, and the Verifiable Claims and Credentials group with W3C. There’s MetaMask, the wallet, which works very nicely across public and private systems. It’s got a plugin system called Snaps, that’s enabling us to start addressing different protocols around the world. We definitely have an increasingly active interledger strategy. Then at the application layer, we can do document management and all sorts of other applications, including tokenization of various different forms. We’re issuing bonds and equities and municipal bonds and lots of other things. All of that we can do, because going all the way back to the Ethereum, token launch, we’ve done a tremendous amount of legal work with securities regulators around the world and we can navigate that space with confidence and so we can deliver those solutions in a perfectly regulatorily compliant fashion.

Sebastien: You talked about the interchain aspect. I’d like to take a step back, and see where this is going. I mean, there’s a pretty important professional services component to ConsenSys. But you’re also building technologies that are operating on the public side. Moving in the future, how do you see the public permissioned? interactions playing out? Do you see permissioned chains moving, more and more, towards public networks? Or do you think that they’ll remain in their walled gardens? We’re seeing things already in cosmos, where we’re starting to see public validators, validating private blockchains or permissioned blockchains. How would you see that playing out in Ethereum?

Joseph: Yeah, the bifurcation of our ecosystem into public permissionless and private permissioned was necessary ramification, or circumstance, that was essentially natural and caused by enterprises, what enterprises are, and what they need to be conservative about and pay attention to. We saw the same thing with companies adopting web technologies where they wanted to use certain protocols, but they needed to use them inside firewalls on the internet, until they became private enough, confidential enough, scalable enough, back then, and secure enough. We’re seeing the same thing.

We fully expect that the World Wide Web will become an increasingly decentralized worldwide web, where it will incorporate many decentralized protocols for trusted transactions on blockchain networks for decentralized storage and bandwidth and heavy compute and proof of location, decentralized identity etc. That’s just starting to happen. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance is driving some of that activity. First by using the exact same technology for consortium networks like Komgo network that we built, or Coventus that we’re building. Enterprises can build out use cases in a private context and use the exact same technology, the same expertise to move towards the public permissionless network. We can also, when Ethereum is scalable, private, and confidential enough we can lift these systems as logical constructs and drop them down on public mainnet, if that makes sense.

Friederike: Do you think this will be restricted to businesses or do you think governments will also resort with Ethereum public blockchain?

Joseph: I absolutely believe that the government will find utility on public blockchains. Governments are the platform on which businesses run. The whole world is filled with platform risk. We’ve seen platform risk in building your solution on Facebook or on LinkedIn, or on the AppStore, etc. It would be great if we moved into a world where there was less platform risk for startups, but also less platform risk for larger organizations.

We’ve done a bunch of provenance supply chain track and trace work. We have a group called Trium that is working with Procter and Gamble to put the provenance of materials, and diapers, and various other P&G, products on the blockchain. So a consumer can scan a QR code and see where the materials came from all the processing steps etc. Supply Chain track and trace is going to be an incredibly important use case for blockchain.

It’s going to be especially valuable to have that on the public mainnet. That thing can’t be improperly manipulated, but also as we move into a world where we have different kinds of conflicts like trade conflicts, having an infrastructure that is sufficiently decentralized, that even nation states can trust nobody is able to improperly manipulate it will enable us to take our supply chains which are currently massively interleaved and as long as we have signatures, identity for devices. As long as we have good data coming into blockchain systems, then these systems are going to be able to keep that data fairly clean, and so when we do have conflicts, hopefully we’ll be able to continue to trust our interleaved supply chain networks.

Friederike: Basically what governments do is they issue currency. Do you think governments will use Ethereum as a base layer to issue central bank issued currencies?

Joseph: Yeah, that’s happening. Most governments will move to a central bank digital currency, it’s just the natural evolution of bringing technology to money systems. I do believe that central banks will use similar cryptographic primitives that are used in blockchain systems. Very few of them actually need a blockchain system in order to implement a central bank digital currency. I am hopeful that some of them will be interested in introducing privacy, of your financial assets and confidentiality with respect to your transactions, to the monetary systems of their nation states. There will be some countries in the world that value that. I do think that probably the world will put pressure on those governments or central banks so that they’ll say okay, your citizenry appreciates privacy and confidentiality and free markets and stuff like that. We will be comfortable if holdings under a certain size or transactions under a certain amount can be perfectly confidential or private. There are certain other countries that will continue to use technology as a surveillance tool and they don’t need blockchain to do a really good job on that.

Sebastien: So do you think that some countries will position themselves, as many do now, as fiscal paradise, but moving towards the future, you’ll have digital currencies that preserve privacy and others that have more KYC less privacy and surveillance?

Joseph: We’re just talking about nation state issued money. Technology is moving so fast, people are going to be able to do very impressive things, that enable real privacy and confidentiality, on these networks. With respect to nation state currency, I think there will be some countries that distinguish themselves. Christopher Giancarlo, formerly of the CFTC has been driving thought leadership around central bank digital currencies, and he feels like the United States, to the extent that it upholds principles of freedom and privacy and free markets, etc, is a place where, because of rule of law, and because of how things are constructed with respect to the Constitution and the law in the United States, it may be a place that creates a really good version of a central bank digital currency. It may be a place where certain protections will apply.

Sebastien: Always the optimist

Joseph: I just think it’s really interesting cuz when he mentioned that to me, I thought, maybe America could create something that’s pretty good. It’s not going to be what crypto anarchists appreciate of what can be built on these networks. But we should have choice, we should have optionality in our monetary systems. Our nation states and central banks have certain responsibilities, and they have the right to issue their own tokens. They have the right to create the rules around those tokens and their citizenry should work with their leadership and take a look at what’s available in the different technologies and make their best choice. Now some nation states will make choices that I wouldn’t make, but they’re free to do that.

Friederike: Yeah. I tend to agree. I said, I think it’s better despite the fact that people sometimes peg the US as the surveillance state. I mean, inherently it’s a nation state that values privacy, a lot more than other countries. For instance, in the European Union, in some countries, you can’t transact, you’re not allowed to do transactions over a thousand euros in cash. In America, of course, that’s completely fine. Yeah, I would tend to agree.

Joseph: We’ll see how it goes. Nation states, especially ones as big as America are just so many different factions, so many competing interests, and we’ll see what ends up winning out.

Sebastien: Yeah, I want to talk a little bit about the evolving states of Ethereum. By that, I mean, the evolving narratives in this space. Every time we have one of these conversations, that narrative maybe shifts a little bit. At the very beginning, there was this idea of the world computer, and then there was a period where Ethereum was the funding machine.

Joseph: It didn’t start with the world computer. Vitalik wrote the white paper, because he was working with some different projects. Way back then, seven, even eight years ago, people were interested in creating their own cryptocurrencies. One way to do that would be to take the Bitcoin codebase, and fork it, and change a parameter, and make Litecoin or something along those lines. Despite the fact that sounds really quick and easy, it would take a month or several months to just do that little thing. That doesn’t even include setting up the whole ecosystem and incentivizing people to care about this thing that you care about. Vitalik’s initial interest was to build something that was General enough so that somebody could start their own cryptocurrency on the same platform and better benefit from the already built infrastructure.

Sebastien: Okay. I’m taking shortcuts here. But, we’ve gotten to a point now where DeFi is the prevailing narrative in the space. I’d like to get your thoughts on what is the future narrative in Ethereum? Where does it go from here?

Joseph: So I think all the narratives are valid simultaneously. Vitalik’s initial narrative is still very valid. We create lots of digital assets, whether they’re cryptocurrency or equities or bonds or utility tokens or identity. Certainly, the world computer narrative is an interesting one. The world computer is going to be something called the World Wide Web. It’ll get increasingly decentralized as we incorporate more of these protocols. For the web, we had a couple of decades of information protocols. No free to use protocols where the information was infinitely copyable and cheap. Now we have new protocols where the information shouldn’t necessarily be infinitely copyable. Some of this information is actually quite valuable. Now we got a few decades ahead of us to explore those different protocols.

The narrative that I see as a much bigger narrative, it’s essentially building out the global or re-architecting the global economy on a base trust foundation which needs to be maximally decentralized or will be corrupted by patient well resourced actors. On top of that we need a financial plumbing layer. A lot of those early internet magic money Lego DeFi protocols are being built on Ethereum. There’s some being built in other places, and even Bitcoin is being wrapped and moved over to Ethereum, to participate in the open decentralized finance ecosystem. All of that represents financial plumbing. That includes insurance, and prediction markets, and decentralized exchanges and certain kinds of lending approaches, over collateralized, under collateralized flash, automated portfolio management, etc.

Many of these, these different protocols can now be snapped together or wired together into a financial infrastructure that will be usable by banks, central banks, but also these same tools will be usable by people. It’s very similar to the web revolution where publishing was suddenly usable by normal people and whole industries built up around that. We’ve got a new base trust foundation, and a new financial infrastructure for the planet, that we can all participate in and that we can all carry around in our pocket, effectively, that we can all program and on top of that the world companies and governments can re-architect their systems on a better set of foundations.

Sebastien: Money Legos for everyone.

Joseph: It’s not money Legos. Money Legos represents an enabling financial layer. It’s not about building the financial layer. The world probably didn’t set out to build the financial system, the world set out to make food and make shelter, and make transportation, make clothing etc. You need financial plumbing in order to efficiently get all that done. What we’re building right now is I think the financial plumbing, and all of the industries, the existing ones and novel industry that we probably can’t quite fathom yet, will be able to re-architect or architect themselves on that platform.

Sebastien: I mean, we didn’t set out to build the financial system yet we did. With all its flaws…

Joseph: All of its advantages also, it’s also pretty remarkable.

Sebastien: It’s also pretty remarkable, yes. But given that Ethereum smart contracts, DeFi, allows anyone with the ability to code, and soon the ability to drag and drop things in a browser to create.

Joseph: No code is getting really interesting.

Sebastien: No code is getting interesting indeed. Since DeFi enables anyone with a computer to create a financial instrument and make that available to the world? What are some of the perverse aspects that you think we need to be mindful of, and perhaps not to replicate, or even worse than some of the perverse aspects of the existing financial system?

Joseph: So, I’m not gonna harp on perverse aspects. My perspective is that, yeah, it’s gonna be the Wild West. It’s going to be crazy wonderful. There have been so many eras of new technology, I would call banks and safes and stagecoaches that transported money a new technology and every new era has its builders and its breakers. Its self appointed consultants that see a system, that see value there, that see vulnerabilities there, and that essentially extract its fees in order for pointing out how the system can be a little bit better. The open programmable financial system, which enables programmers to touch the financial rails, the live financial rails and directly program value tokens that move along those rails directly. There are gonna be a lot of pitfalls there.

But also, when we get a hold of it, when we prudently build it out in layers. It’s going to be incredibly empowering of virtually everything in society. If I were forced to make recommendations, I would recommend to all the different groups that are building out financial protocols to go slowly. To move as prudently as possible to recognize that because they’re in a composable, synergistic ecosystem, anything that they do, potentially affects everything else. Even if you formally verify security audit, the logic and the contract and the byte codes, you’re still potentially going to make a change in your little system and your little like Lego block that represents a tool or a vulnerability that somebody can exploit in some other part of the system. We’re going to need to get everybody together to take a systemic view on how all this works together. I think the ecosystem is realizing that it needs to move slowly.

Friederike: If you had to venture a guess right now. What is the most surprising thing that will happen in the ecosystem in 2020?

Joseph: Most exciting thing that will happen in 2020. First, let me just finish off what I was saying. We’re already making progress in that direction, with the token launch boom and ICOs, we started a project called TrueSet and Messari started up to basically crowdsource awareness of what these different ICO projects, protocols, etc, we’re doing, all the critical information that you really need. We have a project called DeFi Score. That’s an open-source project, crowdsourcing, all the different criteria that we should be paying attention to for all these different protocols. That work is already underway. To your question, the most surprising thing that I expect to see this year? I don’t know that I would be surprised by it. But I think this year, we’ll see definitively that enterprises and perhaps even governments find value in public mainnet blockchain systems and will start to very actively use them.

Sebastien: Are you sensing that from conversations that you’re having, how the conversation has changed in the last two, three years with governments and enterprise?

Joseph: As I said, near the start of the podcast, we haven’t seen enterprise slow down at all, through the crypto winter which applied to speculators buying and selling tokens on public mainnet. Enterprise has continued to take a studied approach to the technology and so we’ve been working with major financial institutions, major consumer product institutions, energy companies, building out consortia. The Komgo Trade finance consortium network, that we built, has major financial institutions and energy companies. It’s seen over a billion dollars worth of transactions. The ability to digitize, which doesn’t require blockchain. Blockchain is a trigger for many businesses and industries to engage in digitization. The ability to cooperate in a trustful context with those that you compete, or value chains. That’s a massive breakthrough in how businesses can architect themselves. The first thing they’re doing is experimenting in context that they can have good control over.

We’re now seeing systems built where error reduction, where double keying, where reconciliation, all those things just go away. Because everybody’s sitting on this single shared source of truth. They’re sitting on basically the same database system, whole industries can make use of the same database system where they can trust each other because they’re writing protocols that effectively confine and facilitate their behavior.

Yes, we’re talking with lots of enterprises. We’re building with lots of enterprises. It’s interesting that, thank you Facebook, you did something really wonderful for once. Facebook’s always thinking about the benefit of humanity. They introduced this Libra project, just to wake central banks up, basically to wake commercial banks up. People who are interested in building alternative money systems and alternative payments. I like the structure of Libra. I wouldn’t like it if Facebook was driving Libra, still. It would have implications for monetary policy for small and medium sized nations. But lots of different projects like Libra are very exciting in providing choice. Essentially, the world is waking up, just as the world woke up to the internet and web technologies, enterprise and government world.

Sebastien: So let’s look ahead now. There are several things upon us. One of the big things that’s happening in Ethereum is the shift to Ethereum 2.0. It’s been talked about for some time now. I’m curious to get your thoughts on what you think are the biggest challenges ahead for the ecosystem with regards to rolling out ETH 2.0. It could be on any level from technical challenges to regulatory challenges to community governance challenges. Give us your thoughts.

Joseph: So Ethereum 2.0 is going extremely well. ConsenSys has the team shift around. We’ve got at least six teams working on different aspects of development, the protocol, research and rolling out of Ethereum 2. I like to think about it in terms of the evolution of platforms. Evolution of the x86 architecture, evolution of the Mac operating system, it’s very similar. Both of them, actually, they’re interestingly different. The x86 architecture had to maintain rigorous compatibility from generation to generation and I think that slows the evolution.

Sebastien: For our listeners, you’re talking about the evolution of computing and the 386 processors, 486 processors, and so on.

Joseph: Yeah, thank you. You had to keep all this structure around, you couldn’t totally re-architect the system. The Mac operating system evolved differently. When it moved from Mac OS nine to Mac OS 10, it was basically the Next computer system, reverse taking over the apple company. It went from this single threaded operating system to this Unix base, to the art marvel of technology. What they were able to do was enable people who wrote Mac OS nine programs to just run those programs in emulation on Mac OS 10. If you wanted to upgrade your program, you could start using these other libraries and move to multi threaded et cetera. That is what Ethereum is doing.

Sebastien: Universal apps i think is what they’re called.

Joseph: Yes, sir. You could have both code bases inside that is exactly what the Ethereum ecosystem is doing. It is starting fresh designing an optimized, awesome, Ethereum 2. It will enable Ethereum One applications to continue to operate. If Ethereum One applications want to make use of new features, they’ll be able to upgrade. The really interesting thing about all of that is that while these are separate systems, if they’re in one in Ethereum 2.0, there will be a smooth progression from Ethereum one to Ethereum 2.0. Ethereum One enables Ethereum 2.0, so there will be all these bridges built. First, we’re going to see staking, on Ethereum One, that enables the beacon chain, the heartbeat of Ethereum, to be stood up. So that’s almost certainly, that’s very likely to get land in the first half of this year.

Beacon chain, there are three major phases. Phase One, and Two, Beacon chain as phase Zero. That happens within a small number of months enabled by Ethereum One. Once that happens, we can see two things. We can see bridges back to Ethereum One enabling Ether to move back and forth. But we can also see blocks on Ethereum 2.0 finalize blocks on Ethereum One, making Ethereum One much more secure, and therefore enabling the issuance of Ether to be reduced.

The next phase in Ethereum 2.0 is adding 64 data shards. Massive increase in the amount of available data on blockchain. The first good user of Ethereum 2.0 data shards is Ethereum One smart contracts and so we’re seeing all these layer two solutions, optimistic roll ups, zero knowledge roll ups, that need a ton of data, they’re going to be able essentially smart contracts on Ethereum One, are going to be able to access massive amounts of data on Ethereum 2.0.

The next phase is execution environments. We’ve got the Quilt team within ConsenSys that are already building execution environments. We’ve got specs for phase one, and specs for phase two. All three major protocols have well matured specs, we’re going to build several different kinds of execution environments. We will see, it won’t launch for real in 2020. Developers will understand different ways of programming for Ethereum 2.0, before the end of this year. We’ll release some execution environments, when all of that is landed sometime next year.

Ethereum One essentially becomes an execution environment on Ethereum 2.0. There will be a checkpoint in time, and it will be able to migrate into the Ethereum 2.0 context. At that point, it’s likely to be able to use lots of different data shards. But probably all of its state will sit on one data shard of Ethereum 2.0. We will work to make sure that developers, as Apple Computer did, developers have a smooth upgrade experience. Technology companies have been paying attention to developer experience for a long time and we’re not going to do dumb things like break composability.

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