Kids. They’re complaining ethereum’s year of action has turned into no visible action, so now they want 2019 to be the year of non-action in the hope it turns into some action.
“I expect 2018, at least within the Ethereum space that I’m best able to speak about, will be the year of action,” Vitalik Buterin, Chief Scientist at the Ethereum Foundation, said at the beginning of the year before adding:
“It will be the year where all of the ideas around scalability, Plasma, proof-of-stake, and privacy that we have painstakingly worked on and refined over the last four years are finally going to turn into real, live working code that you can play around in a highly mature form in some cases on testnets, and in some key cases even on the public mainnet. Everyone in the Ethereum space recognizes that the world is watching, and we are ready to deliver.”
Plasma is no where near live working code. It took them months to realize prioritizing sharding means getting rid of Hybrid Casper to focus instead on the beacon chain. Now even the simple Metropolis fork might be pushed off to next year. What’s more, they can’t even put up an agenda.
Devcon is now precisely two weeks away, yet no one has any clue what to expect, except presumably whoever is in charge of this schedule.
Hudson Jameson says 99% of the Devcon agenda is finalized. “We are working on the agenda. Hope to have it out soon. Due to unforseen circumstances and such pretty much all of our planning got pushed back,” he said in reply to questions on Thursday, almost a week ago.
“We have it 99% finalized. It is more we are missing data like speaker bios and some of the presentation info/descriptions. There is a lot of content this year,” he said, adding:
“It’s not a whole team under me I’m just one of many helping. Multiple livestreams this year. Loads of stuff to cover over 4 days. A lot of it is workshops or coding sessions or breakout rooms with free form discussions.”
Which is a bit reassuring because we were wondering at some point whether they’ll just improvise on the day with no one having a clue of what’s going on.
It looks like instead all is planned and somewhat finalized, but the lack of a schedule two weeks ahead of the conference is a sign of dysfunctional communication.
Whoever is in charge of communications is clearly not doing a very good job. We don’t mean Hudson Jameson, who is a coder with probably no clue in the area of public relations, but then maybe that’s the problem. Maybe they should have not just dumped public communications management to a coder with no experience in that area.
They of course had someone who was doing a fine job and who could at least put up Devcon schedules months not weeks ahead, but he went off to some token.
Had they replaced him with someone who actually has some experience in communicating to the public, then maybe the change of plans regarding Hybrid Casper wouldn’t have been dropped like a bombshell.
It may be they’ve taken their “competitor’s” criticism to heart. A decentralized public blockchain doesn’t have people work on marketing, bitcoin maximalists are keen to say. We’ve all seen what’s happened to bitcoin, however. Blockstream has taken over their “marketing.”
It’s a smart ploy, one in which the Ethereum Foundation willingly fell into and quickly. Bitcoin Core devs were complaining at the time about how terrible their communication was. They used to look at Ethereum with glee. So they effectively sort of copied it, while pressuring eth to “dismantle” their public communication skills.
If you’re going to listen to your “competitors,” who of course criticize out of the good of their heart, then obviously the year of action is going to seem like the year of non-action.
We say seem because in the coding aspect they are making progress. Scalability is a priority so ditching Hybrid Casper in favor of the beacon chain and sharding may turn out to be one of the better decision. But the way it was communicated is very much an F-.
There was a time when Vitalik Buterin would walk around with the Hardfork Cafe t-shirt. Boldly shutting up the critics. Now he gives a podium to ethereum’s biggest “critic” and even jokingly nominates him as a moderator.
Funny and smart the joke was, but letting 500,000 eth burn, hundreds of millions of dollars which would have gone towards development, maybe wasn’t that smart.
Yes, that’s how eth holders voted, but not without a bit of a nudge out of fear those mighty maximalists might utter some “criticism.”
Now Buterin is keen to say he is not as involved with ethereum, letting others do more work. Oblivious perhaps to what happened after Andresen took a step back.
Plenty keen to take a leadership role, and if criticized as centralizing they’ll rightly tell you it is all open source code, they only have words. They don’t run the tens of thousands of nodes or the miners.
With all this turning into a bit too forthright, but then at some point someone has to speak up, and that happens to be us, mainly because we’re missing on headlines like x sponsors Devcon or Y to present whatever.
All opinion of course, and we can at times be wrong, but it is doubtful anyone would disagree their communication skills have been lacking considerably.
Which can be fine, all make mistakes. And if we are right that the only mistake is lack of communication skills, then that’s a very small mistake indeed.
Hopefully however something is learned to make 2019 the beast year of non action ever.