Ethereum [ETH]’s Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin outlines the threat behind on-chain governance mechanisms


Recently, at the San Fransisco Blockchain Week [SFBW], Vitalik Buterin, the Co-Founder of Ethereum, spoke about the developments of the Ethereum core. During the discussion, he also spoke about on-chain governance mechanisms and presented his views on the matter.

Vitalik Buterin began by elucidating his contribution to the development of the Ethereum core. While doing so he also stated that he played a major role in the development of the Plasma Cash technology.

Plasma Cash was proposed as an enhancement for improving the scalability and security limitations on the Ethereum blockchain. Plasma Cash is as an improved version of the Plasma technology, which was first proposed in August last year, by Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Poon. Plasma Cash’s technology, with the help of smart contracts, allows the Ethereum blockchain to represent decentralized economies.

Speaking about the developments on the Ethereum core side, Buterin stated:

“We really are at the point where all of the kind of big fundamental problems are basically solved, and it’s more a whole spattering of little things, about how to make it more efficient.”

Buterin went on to state that they were concentrating on smaller problems like transitions between validator sets that will contribute to making the Casper beacon chain more efficient.

Next, Buterin spoke about mechanisms that people generally get excited about, but are worrisome to him. He said on-chain governance is one such “obvious” mechanism.

According to the Co-Founder, the reason behind people’s excitement is the idea of blockchains being fully automated, and the ability of blockchains to perform upgrades without a complicated political process. However, he stated that on the downside, people think of governance mechanisms with much lesser crypto economic rigor than how they think of consensus algorithms. He went on to say:

“Most of these are kind of …on chain voting, whatever mechanisms are just horribly vulnerable to collusion attacks, horribly vulnerable to bribe attacks.”

Vitalik continued to


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