At an interview session on the sidelines of Devcon 4, Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, spoke with Quartz about Blockchain, IBM, cryptocurrencies and everything in between. Also, he is looking into a solution to improve Plasma Cash.
Devcon is an annual Ethereum developers conference. This year, it was held in Prague from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2, 2018. Discussion centered on issues around scalability – improving the speed and robustness of the Ethereum Project. There were also talks about how Ethereum can onboard its next million users. And how designers and developers can improve user interfaces.
Marketing Hype of Some Blockchain Solutions
Asked about the UN’s World Food Programme, Vitalik Buterin admitted that some Blockchain solutions have been marketing hype and that “in some cases, I think it leads to a lot of wasted time.” Especially in the case of the big corporate blockchain.
He pointed out a report on CoinDesk about the platform IBM and Maersk built for the shipping industry. The blockchain-enabled platform is called TradeLens. However, up until now, only a single shipper has signed on to use the platform due to intellectual property right issues.
“There’s definitely something there, but whether or not any of the actors there are doing it remotely correctly, I’m much less sure.”
Industries Where Blockchain Will Have the Most Impact
He answers that cryptocurrencies and making international payments are easier. Also, he believes the other solutions still have a lot more work to do to impact the world meaningfully.
However, aside from cryptocurrencies, Vitalik reveals that one of his best non-financial application is a blockchain solution in Singapore that authenticates university degrees.
“The idea is when you get a degree—or potentially, a record from any institution—that record will be digitally signed, but if it gets revoked, then a message will be published to a blockchain,” he explained.
On What Vitalik Buterin is Currently Studying in the Crypto Sector
Vitalik, says that he was looking at RSA accumulators a lot recently. RSA accumulators can reduce the history size clients need to store information on Plasma Cash by “another factor of 100.”
On August 11, 2017, Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Poon released a paper titled Plasma: Autonomous Smart Contracts. The article introduces a novel technique that could enable ethereum. Basically, to perform off-chain transactions and to process more transactions per second than currently possible.
Plasma designates to be a layer two scalability solution for the Ethereum blockchain. It doesn’t improve the blockchain itself. If Ethereum can successfully deploy this solution, it could solve some of its scalability and security problems. It is no surprise that Vitalik solely has this on his mind right now.