Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s inventor, has stated recent discussions regarding governance and so on have not affected ethereum 2.0 development. Speaking publicly, he said:
“While I get frustrated with the antics of the ‘chattering classes’ myself, it’s important to keep in mind that Prysmatic, Lighthouse, the eth2 research team, etc etc are all continuing work right on schedule, and the recent governance noises, while loud and annoying, did not delay the progress of eth2 by even a single day.
State channel and Plasma and ZK rollup devs are similarly steadily moving forward, as are the 1.x rent proposals.
The existing 1.0 clients are being tirelessly upgraded to better handle the load of the current chain, with a huge victory a few months ago in dropping uncle rates as well as constant improvements in block propagation.
When you’re making a bet on the ethereum ecosystem, it’s those silent armies you are betting on.”
Ethereum has a number of development teams with the Ethereum Foundation itself employing about 100 individuals.
Then there’s ConsenSys, which has a far bigger staff count, with Status also rising as a dev powerhouse of sorts, funding the eth2.0 client Nimbus which recently launched a Proof of Stake (PoS) testnet.
As can be seen above there are numerous projects with different degrees of connections between them according to an analysis, with Parity Tech for example smaller than some eth dapps.
In a press conference by the Ethereum Foundation (EF), Danny Ryan, a researcher at EF, stated:
“With respect to the Beacon Chain and Eth2.0, the approach right now is to move quickly – before we get to phase two which is when user level activity comes in – move pretty rapidly and build the core architecture.”
The ethereum dev ecosystem is so big that new approaches or even inventions of sort take even Buterin by surprise who commented at the same conference that he didn’t know you could use zksnarks for scalability.
Recently an eth scaling solution that allows for some 500 transactions a second using zksnarks launched on testnet.
The approach there is basically you condense computations, so one person verifies it, then gives you a proof which allows you to be certain of veracity.
While there have been some discussions on meta issues like who is a mod of some public fora or about the inner dealings of some other public blockchain/s, the core devs have been focusing on mainly what Buterin highlighted a few days ago:
“Ethereum 2.0 (at least the proof of stake part) has testnets.
Plasma chains are starting to be released.
A lot of ZK-SNARK-related progress.
Due to improvements in block propagation, uncle rates are down to ~8% despite blocks being full at 8 million gas. But state size is becoming an issue, leading to…
Eth 1.x as another short-term scalability effort, focusing on using either rent or stateless clients to cut down state size. Here’s a recent proposal from Alexey.”
Those are in many ways what actually matters. Stuff like whether ProgPoW goes through or otherwise is pretty much irrelevant. Potentially competing projects need to address some shortcomings. A decentralized, permissionless and scalable public blockchain is however apparently on time.
A decentralized scalable public blockchain with a design where say Her Majesty’s Land Registry can be pretty sure no one can change the ownership of Buckingham Palace or cancel it completely based on some silly token holders’ vote, rather than only with a network wide upgrade of tens of thousands of nodes, is what matters.
Such trustless environment currently has little capacity, but with sharding, snarks, second layer solutions, and who knows perhaps new inventions, eth is moving towards world level capacity.
At that point there will probably continue to be gradual incremental improvements here and there, but eventually the blockchain will kind of freeze or will become difficult to upgrade because the cost of an upgrade may perhaps in a decade or two be greater than any benefit it provides.
Reaching that stage of a neutral infrastructure where even enemy governments can still operate on the same blockchain, is the goal which has been achieved with limited capacity, but scaling it while maintaining neutrality through decentralization is the ultimate prize.