Vitalik Buterin Issues 75 Tweets To Clear Misconceptions About Casper August 20, 2018 August 20, 2018 Kelly Cromley http://1AZFjzw2#Nwf63pYaMWq#xIY
Ethereum NewsAugust 20, 2018 by Kelly Cromley

Vitalik Buterin Issues 75 Tweets To Clear Misconceptions About Casper

A blog post or website update is usually the way adopted by firms and individuals to provide clarification on any subject.

However, Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum blockchain, used Twitter to put the doubts to rest about Casper protocol.

In 75 tweets, Buterin explained the progress, differences between several methodologies and drawbacks in a detailed manner.

The tweet begins explaining Ethereum’s origins, with Buterin introducing Vlad Zamfir, the project’s main developer who was looking to build a system based on incentive which necessitates “validators to put down *deposits*, much larger in size than rewards, that could be taken away for misbehavior.”

Buterin detailed the achievements of Casper, such as managing “long-range attacks” and dwindling conclusions that proof-of-work (PoW) supporters had made. Buterin explained that the assaults could be neutralized by the introduction of a hypothesis regarding security, saying “that clients log on at least once every four months (and deposits take four months to withdraw), and clients simply refuse to revert further than that.”

Zamfir’s method to tackle security issues faced defiance, as Buterin explained in a “big long, and ultimately unproductive, tangent“. This is detailed in an article, “consensus by bet”, which suggested an approach whereby validators could speculate on the finalization of a particular block. From then on, the bets would conclusively nail down which chain would be selected by means of consensus.

Buterin continued to mention that the theory “was that PoW also has this property, as mining is a bet where if you bet on the right chain, you gain (reward – mining cost), and if you bet on the wrong chain, you lose the mining cost“. In the tweets, Buterin stressed and mentioned that Zamfir had underlined the flaws in his suggested method at that time, and chose to introduce a new way named “correct-by-construction” (CBC).

After describing this strategy, which Buterin pointed out was “very different from traditional BFT, in that “finality” is entirely subjective” he explained that in “CBC philosophy, validators sign messages, and if they sign a message that conflicts with their earlier message they have to submit a “justification” proving that, in the relevant sense, the new thing they are voting for “has more support” than the old thing they were voting for, and so they have a right to switch to it.”

Considering the risks associated with the “consensus-by-bet” strategy, Buterin dropped the method and instead put efforts to simplify the Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT) which culminated in the Casper the Friendly Finality Gadget (FFG) after attempting different designs over time. FFG had exclusive designs in order to confirm with any PoW, proof-of-stake (PoS), or other blockchains with a goal of adding finality guarantees.

In the tweets that followed, Buterin described the difference between several approaches, such as Casper FFG and Casper CBC, while acknowledging that there were still deficiencies in the proposed strategies:

Buterin also stated that he and Zamfir had disagreement about their work, to the level that Zamfir decided to join engineer Georgios Piliouras and considered launching a 51% attack on the Ethereum blockchain network – or at the minimum explored the amount required to successfully attack the chain.

Buterin also pointed out that while Zamfir was taking steps to work on the CBC method – which Zamfir explained in over two-hour Youtube video – Buterin was churning out tremendous headway in CFF and released testnet to take forward the implementation process.

Following the introduction of FFG, however, advancements on its development stalled due to the complexity in “sharding” patches on the network. As a result of this complication, hybrid FFG and the launch of Casper as a separate blockchain with motive of ease of sharding was abandoned. The transition meant that the attention on PoS fork selection rules would be much higher, but Buterin concluded that it would be worth “getting “100 confirmations” worth of security within a few seconds.”

He acknowledged that all attempts so far to the fork choice rules had demonstrated weaknesses, which was impractical because it conveyed that the team would have to depend on a bunch of on-chain random number generators for selecting the proposers in a neutral manner.

After working on several strategies, researching with Justin Drake and looking into methods by which FFG’s efficiency could be improved, Buterin took on important features of Zamfir’s “GHOST” protocol and turned his protocol compatible with that of Zamfir. Buterin advertised that he is glad about the progress made so far.

Finally, Buterin offered an optimistic vision of the future, stating “ongoing progress on implementation” of FFG “with an eye to safe and speedy deployment.” And with regards to CBC, he asked and answered “just the same.”

AuthorKelly Cromley

Kelly is our in house crytpto researcher, delving into the stories which matter from blockchains being used in the real world to new ico coming out.