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Vitalik Proposes Bringing Some L2 Functions Back To Main Chain

Published: Dec 14, 2023 | Last Updated: Mar 17, 2024
Howard Kane

Buterin's 'enshrined zkEVM' plan could redefine Ethereum's structure and impact layer-2 networks.

In the evolving landscape of blockchain technology, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has sparked discussions with a new proposal that could reshape the network's structure. Buterin has suggested a significant shift in Ethereum's approach to scaling by reintroducing certain functions to the main chain, a move that could have profound implications for existing layer-2 solutions.

Understanding the Proposal

Vitalik Buterin's recent proposal involves what he calls an "enshrined zkEVM," which stands for Zero-Knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine. This concept aims to bring the verification of transactions back to the main Ethereum chain. By doing so, the network could potentially enhance its security and efficiency, addressing some of the current challenges faced by Ethereum and its users.

Impact on Layer-2 Networks

Layer-2 networks, such as Polygon, Matter Labs, and Scroll, have been instrumental in addressing Ethereum's scalability issues by handling transactions off the main chain. These networks have attracted billions in user deposits and have been a significant focus for developers and investors alike. Buterin's proposal, however, suggests that some of their core functionalities, specifically the EVM verification process, could be absorbed back into the main chain.

This change would not eliminate the role of layer-2 networks but would redefine it. While they would continue to play a part in the ecosystem, the verification of transactions, a critical aspect of their operation, might be managed directly by the Ethereum protocol. This could lead to a reevaluation of the layer-2 networks' strategies and their value proposition to the Ethereum ecosystem.

Challenges and Opportunities

The proposal presents both challenges and opportunities for the Ethereum community. For layer-2 projects, it poses a direct challenge to their current operational model. They may need to adapt to the new framework, which could involve significant changes to their infrastructure and possibly their business models.

On the other hand, for Ethereum, this move could be an opportunity to regain momentum and address the competition from rival blockchains. By potentially improving the network's efficiency and security, Ethereum could enhance its attractiveness to developers and users, who are increasingly looking at alternative platforms.

Practical Takeaways

The implications of Buterin's proposal are significant for all stakeholders in the Ethereum ecosystem. Users and investors should stay informed about these potential changes, as they could affect the dynamics of the network and the value of ether. Developers, particularly those working on layer-2 solutions, should prepare for possible shifts in the technological landscape and consider how to adapt their projects to align with the main chain's new functionalities.

Overall, while the proposal is still in the discussion phase, it underscores the dynamic nature of blockchain technology and the continuous search for optimal solutions in the quest for scalability, security, and efficiency.

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