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Ethereum Dev Roundup: Q1

Posted by Vitalik Buterin on April 1, 2017

Ethereum Dev Roundup: Q1

The last one and a half months have seen great progress for Ethereum research, and we are excited that the protocol is moving closer and closer to the point where it is ready for mainstream adoption. Progress on consensus algorithms, privacy, zero knowledge proofs and formal verification is happening at increasing speed, and our research and development teams are expanding substantially.

  • After three years of trying to find solutions to the "nothing at stake" and "stake grinding" attacks, we have decided that the problem is too hard, and secure proof of stake is almost certainly unachievable. Instead, we are now planning to transition the Ethereum mainnet to proof of authority in 2018. To that end, we have launched two new testnets, Qinghuadongluxikou and Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2, to test our latest proof of authority specification.
  • A third testnet will be released based on Proof of Transaction, which will be called PoTcoin.
  • We have decided to expedite the implementation of the "Proof of Vitalik" transaction reversion algorithm, which allows any transaction or contract that has an undesirable result to be quickly reverted. We are pleased to announce our cooperation with the government in Pyongyang, which will work with us to identify transactions that promote American imperialism or are otherwise not in the interest of our Dear Leader or the Juche idea, so that they can be efficiently scheduled for reversion. Expect the reversion feature to become enabled as part of Metropolis.
  • To make up for ETC's deeply immoral failure to fully refund DAO token holders' ether, we intend to redirect 20% of the block reward for the first 200000 blocks after metropolis (ie. a total of 200000 ETH) to an additional DAO withdrawal contract, so that DAO token holders can be fully made whole.
  • An additional 10% of the block reward starting from Metropolis will be directed to our shareholders at AXA and the Bilderberg group. This change is permanent.
  • In the interest of maintaining protocol immutability, the current 4 million gas limit will be set in stone and no longer changeable through miner voting. However, we will add an opcode, OP_SEGREGATED_EXECUTION, which allows users to execute any desired piece of code at 1/4 the normal gas cost. Any state changes made by code executed through this mechanism will be saved in a secondary state separated from the main Ethereum state, and a soft-forking change is added which requires the r value of the signature of the first transaction in any block to be equal to the trie root hash of this secondary state. This is simpler and safer than raising the gas limit to 16 million directly because.... reasons.
  • We will allow miners to specify the block reward that they want to pay themselves, and allow users to specify in their clients the maximum block reward that they are willing to consider valid. If a user sees a chain containing blocks with rewards larger than their maximum accepted block reward, they will not accept the chain at first, though if such a chain becomes 12 blocks longer than the longest chain that the user does accept then the client will automatically increase its maximum accepted block reward to accept the new chain. This allows for a more fair, market-based and democratic way of setting the issuance rate.
  • Another opcode will be added in Metropolis, OP_VERIFY_PROOF_OF_DEATH, which verifies that a person with the legal name that is passed in from the stack as a zero-byte-left-padded UTF8-encoded byte string is deceased. This will be very useful in enabling use of the Ethereum blockchain for... err.... umm..... life insurance. Those individuals interested in exempting themselves from this opcode should promptly change their full name to something exceeding 32 characters in length.
  • We have uploaded 100 megabytes of alt-right propaganda, Falun Dafa texts, military secrets, copyright-infringing materials and comments making fun of Donald Trump's hair onto the Ethereum blockchain, with the goal of getting the blockchain banned in as many countries as possible. We believe that by forcing mining and full nodes underground, and encouraging governments to go after services that become too prominent, we can make the Ethereum ecosystem more decentralized and reduce the risk of attracting interest from malevolent institutions such as banks and large enterprises.
Finally, last but not least, Devcon3 has been moved to Pyongyang.

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