On The Incentives of ETH1 Developers to Sabotage Ethereum 2.0 – Trustnodes

On The Incentives of ETH1 Developers to Sabotage Ethereum 2.0


A big upgrade of ethereum is at its final stages of development with the deposit contract being spruced up while single client testnets keep chugging along.

ETH 2.0 is the big new thing: the long promised Proof of Stake, the beginning of sharding, the small big leap towards mainstream usage.

ETH1 by comparison must look old and crusty, the soon to be was, with the air polluting miners in their massive industrial factories and with its scaling capacity enough not even for ants.

Now imagine you’re an eth1 dev reading the above paragraph, or looking at all these cool new eth2 devs that now get the attention, sitting there wondering what happens to your position when this eth2 is a thing.

Imagine you’re the current “chair” of eth1 dev calls, the once mighty powerful decider on livestream “tv,” who now no one cares about.

When Vitalik Buterin, the ethereum co-founder, proposed eth1.5 to speed up the merger of eth1 into eth2, the whole ecosystem cheered in a sight of relief that the transition will now be way smoother than the mess of eth1 and eth2 continuously running for years.

“Pretty much everyone I’ve spoken with — client teams (eth1 and eth2), protocol researchers (eth1 and eth2), community members, users, etc — wants to see this a reality,” Danny Ryan, the eth2 coordinator said.

If you’re an eth1 dev, however, that perhaps changes your position from relevance in years to merely months.

These eth1 devs of course have done quite a bit for the ecosystem, and continue to do, and they’re experienced so there might be no reason why they can’t pivot to eth2 when time comes.

But human nature is human nature, and self interest is self interest, so when they claim eth2 now has to wait for some eth1 upgrade, seemingly without even talking to eth2 devs first, you do have to wonder.

And when they bring up again that ProgPow nonsense which no one cares about, you have to double wonder. But realistically you don’t really have to wonder when you read James Hancock, the eth1 hardfork coordinator, state:

“There is an Eth1 team full time working on Eth1. Should they just stop working because Eth2 is coming?”

The planned upgrade of eth1, estimates in June but realistically who knows when, has quite a few nice things, so the more useful stuff are built the better.

In addition there are plenty of skilled devs in eth1 who can probably be very useful in eth2, but when it comes to systemic decisions one should consider how certain actors might be affected and thus how their acts might be explained or at least speculated.

That includes the potential that at least some of these devs might consider it better to work for miners, with this already speculated very publicly on social media where ProgPow is concerned.

Circumstantial evidence for that would be the way the delay of the difficulty bomb was rushed to the point the fork went through near New Year’s day, how it included no discussion on issuance reduction, how there is now discussion of removing that difficulty bomb altogether or modifying it to make it less effective, how some preferable upgrade to assist eth2 is being packaged with tons of other “Berlin” upgrades, and obviously how this ProgPow stuff is being brought up again in an indication of sort that they maybe don’t think the current eth1 chain is temporary.

Just to make it very clear we are not suggesting there are conflicts of interest for eth1 devs, but merely pointing out that they might have a different perspective on eth 2.0

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