Ethereum founder and programmer Vitalik Buterin thinks the Proof-of-Stake protocol will make the Ethereum blockchain safer than Bitcoin in the next few years according to a press release dated October 9, 2019, from Decrypt. On the stage of the Ethereum conference in Osaka, Mr. Buterin explained the reasons why network attacks will be more expensive once Proof-of-Stake is fully settled.
Vitalik Buterin’s Insights on Proof-of-Stake
His speech started by paying homage to iconic bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi, who’s name was probably a pseudonym as his true identity still remains anonymous, gifted the world with one of the most disrupting technologies ever built – Bitcoin.
Talking about Satoshi was a great starting point to address the different perspectives of the two biggest projects in cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin and Ethereum.
While bitcoin consensus is solidly shaped on the Proof-of-Work (PoW) protocol, a hashcash function that is very difficult to produce but very easy to verify, Ethereum has always been popular for its huge ambition to build the first cryptocurrency based on Proof-of-Stake (PoS), a consensus algorithm in which the creator of the next block is chosen via various combinations of random selections.
The main difference between the two mechanisms lies indeed on the selection of the creator of the next block; while PoW selects the next miner grounding on computational resources, PoS counts on the random selection of users putting some tokens as a collateral.
According to Vitalik Buterin, the Proof-of-Stake protocol will eventually make the Ethereum blockchain safer than Bitcoin, as blockchain attacks on the network will allegedly be more expensive.
Ethereum is still running on PoW and will start the heroic migrations to PoS in the next months in a process that may take several years to fully complete.
According to Vitalik, Ethereum 2.0 will make network attacks more expensive as blocks validated via PoS can still be questioned for a certain period of time even after the validation. Blocks that are proven to be unlawful will result in the loss of collateral and validators who find the flawed blocks will receive a portion of the respective stake. As a consequence, fraudulent validators will have to submit multiple illegitimate blocks to really harm the network. This makes it much more expensive than it is now, as to submit multiple flawed blocks, attackers will have to submit a huge amount of ether as collateral.
Ethereum 2.0 is part of a huge effort to make the network safer and more scalable and is rumored to launch in January 2020.