Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin gave a presentation at the headquarters of San Francisco bitcoin startup Coinbase this week in which he outlined the road ahead for the open-source blockchain project.
Fresh off the launch of its first production-ready version Homestead, a number of bitcoin industry startups have begun to take a closer look at Ethereum, exploring its capabilities as part of pilot projects. Coming amid the ongoing block size debate, as well Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s pointed criticisms of the bitcoin network, the event sparked speculation on social media forums in the days leading up to the event.
However, while Coinbase co-founders Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam were present at the event, there were no major announcements or indications that the startup was moving to formally embrace or begin building products on top of the technology.
Comprising roughly 30 slides, Buterin's presentation gave an overview of Ethereum’s path forward, which will include two additional releases, dubbed Metropolis and Serenity, to be launched at later dates.
Buterin discussed network statistics including the number of decentralized applications running on the platform, the price of its native token, ether, and the rising number of global meetups dedicated to Ethereum.
Still, Buterin sought to downplay expectations for the platform, indicating that, despite assertions, the toughest work for Ethereum's development team lies ahead.
For example, Buterin said that ensuring optional privacy on the network and proving it can scale are current points of concern. Elsewhere, slides touched on the platform’s three-stage planned transition from proof of work to proof of stake transaction validation, and proposed improvements to its Ethereum virtual machines which handle the blockchain's internal state.
The event was open to the public, and according to its Meetup page, drew roughly 40 attendees.
Image courtesy of Tim Swanson
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in Bullish Group as part of their compensation.