Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, said that the centralization of nodes is one of the biggest problems facing the Ethereum network and should be solved by making the operation of nodes cheaper and easier.
Currently, the majority of the 5,901 active ethereum nodes run through centralized network providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), which many experts claim exposes the ethereum blockchain to a centralized point of failure.
Speaking at Korea Blockchain Week, Buterin outlined six key issues that need to be addressed to address centralization, but highlighted the node issue as “a big piece of the puzzle” to ensure the ethereum network remains decentralized in the long-term.
“One of those six things is making it technically easier for people to run nodes, and statelessness is one of the really important technologies to get that right,” he explained.
“Today, it takes hundreds of gigabytes of data to run a node. With a stateless client, you can run a node with essentially zero overhead.”
The concept of statelessness refers to the removal of reliance on centralized service providers to verify network activity. According to the Ethereum Foundation, true decentralization is impossible unless node operators can run ethereum on “modest” and cheap hardware.
As Buterin pointed out, statelessness forms a key component of Ethereum’s roadmap, with significant steps towards statelessness being made during “The Verge” and “The Purge”:
“In the long run, we have plans to maintain a fully verified ethereum node that you can use on your phone.”
Updated roadmap! pic.twitter.com/MT9BKgYcJH
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) November 4, 2022
Although statelessness forms a core part of ethereum’s roadmap, Buterin acknowledged that these high-tech issues are unlikely to be resolved in the near future.
“These technical issues have to be resolved eventually — maybe 10 years, maybe 20 years,” he said.
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Beyond statelessness, Buterin said the next most important moves to reduce centralization on Ethereum include making documentation easier, lowering the barriers to distributed staking, and making staking safer and more widespread; Bitcoin (ETH) has become more convenient.
But ultimately, Buterin came to the conclusion that the most pressing and pressing issue for ethereum as a whole is achieving higher levels of scalability.
Currently, the Ethereum scaling protocol dominates the use of zero-knowledge (ZK) rollups.
ZK-rollups have been lauded by many in the Ethereum community as a key tool for achieving scalability because ZK-rollups increase the throughput of the Ethereum main chain by moving computation and state storage off-chain.
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