Vlad Zamfir, an Ethereum Foundation member, is now working with CasperLabs in a major capacity. According to a press release, Zamfir will act as Lead Consensus Protocol Architect, and his Casper CBC protocol will be used to launch a new blockchain that will compete directly with Ethereum.
What Is Casper?
Casper is a proof-of-stake mechanism, a type of consensus protocol that allows coinholders to collectively determine blockchain consensus and validity. It provides an alternative to proof-of-work mining, which is currently used on many blockchains, including Bitcoin and Ethereum—although Ethereum will implement Casper eventually.
However, Zamfir has been in competition with Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, and each is developing their own ideal version of Casper. While Buterin has been working on Casper FFG, Zamfir has been creating Casper CBC, which uses penalties and bonds to provide resistance against attacks. Naturally, CBC will be used in Zamfir’s new blockchain.
Zamfir states that he is “excited” about CasperLabs’ interest in creating a Casper CBC-based blockchain and that he hopes this will “put pressure” on Ethereum to adopt the system. He also says that the new blockchain will be scalable and highly efficient and that it will use WebAssembly rather than a brand-new programming language.
Positive About Proof-of-Stake
Zamfir is also positive about proof-of-stake consensus in general. According to Zamfir, proof-of-stake consensus can be used to build blockchains that are “much more usable and secure” than they are now. Indeed, many blockchains have already started to adopt proof-of-stake consensus, including Cardano, OmiseGo, and Qtum.
Zamfir additionally claims that he is not sure if Bitcoin and Ethereum are capable of upgrading to proof-of-stake. Although Bitcoin has no plans to use the system, this claim is a fairly harsh condemnation of Ethereum, as Casper is actually one of Ethereum 2.0’s most anticipated features.
Zamfir Won’t Leave Ethereum
The announcement also clarifies some earlier misconceptions. Previous rumors suggested that Zamfir intended to leave the Ethereum Foundation entirely, though those rumors were quickly refuted by Zamfir himself. CasperLabs’ announcement makes it clear that Zamfir is collaborating with the company, not working with it exclusively.
However, it would be easy to believe otherwise in light of the intense competition between Zamfir and Ethereum. Zamfir has previously expressed his dissatisfaction with Ethereum, calling it not safe and not scalable in March 2017. Zamfir and CasperLabs will surely pull no punches when it comes to diverging from Ethereum’s plans.
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