Ethereum (ETH) co- founder Vitalik Buterin has warned against ‘”overloading” Ethereum’s social consensus – which, if discouraged or resisted – could attract “high systemic dangers to the ecosystem.”
Although while admitting the “natural urge” to try to extend the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain’s core functionality, Buterin also mentioned that such actions could end up making the consensus layer more fragile.
Risks of Overloading Consensus Layer
Over the years, plenty of proposals have resurfaced suggesting the use of Ethereum (ETH) social consensus for other objectives, including price and data oracles, re-staking initiatives, and using layer-1 soft forks to recover layer-2 projects. The Ethereum (ETH) co- founder, on the other hand, warned against such a notion and explained,
“It is natural for application-layer projects to attempt such a strategy, and indeed such ideas are often simply conceived without an appreciation of the dangers, but its result can easily become very misaligned with the goals of the community as a whole.”
In the latest blog post titled, ‘ Do not overload Ethereum’s consensus,’ Buterin offered some potential solutions to address dangers such as price oracles, either “not-quite-cryptoeconomic decentralized oracles” or validator-voting-based oracles that explicitly commit to their emergency recovery strategies being something other than attractive to L1 consensus.
Buterin likewise noted that more complex truth oracles may be counted as a solution as the focus would be on reporting facts more subjective than price. He also mentioned that it would be “ a type of decentralized court system” built on a not-quite-cryptoeconomic DAO.
Minimizing reliance on cross-chain bridges is likewise important since these protocols have become an attractive target for malicious entities.
Buterin stated that any expansion of the “duties” of Ethereum’s consensus triggers an boost in costs, complexities likewise as dangers of running a validator. He claimed that preserving the chain’s minimalism should be the focus which can be achieved by supporting uses of re-staking that do not look like slippery slopes to extending the role of Ethereum (ETH) consensus.
He likewise highlighted the importance of helping developers find alternate strategies to accomplish their security goals.