Vitalik Buterin Plans to Revive Ethereum’s “Cypherpunk” Values

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Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum (ETH) co-founder, believes that it is time to revive the “cypherpunk” vision of the blockchain that was envisioned in the early days but was swept under the carpet for a long time. According to the crypto entrepreneur, ETH’s “cypherpunk” vision was pushed aside when cryptocurrencies began to over-financialize the network around 2017. 

In a December 28 blog post titled “Make Ethereum Cypherpunk Again“, Buterin explained that the blockchain was initially conceived as a “public decentralized shared hard drive” that could utilize peer-to-peer messaging and decentralized file storage. However, a pivot towards the financialization of the network led to the sidelining of this vision. 

The Ethereum Cypherpunk Revolution 

Ordinarily, a cypherpunk is an entity who leverages encryption to enjoy privacy and avoid interference from external parties, especially government authorities when accessing a computer network. This Ethereum cypherpunk revolution that Buterin is particular about encompasses decentralization, open participation, censorship resistance and credible neutrality. 

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He is also hopeful that when this eventually happens, non-financial applications will thrive within the Ethereum blockchain. 

Buterin Touts Top Functionalities of the Cypherpunk Values 

Furthermore, Buterin highlighted how rollups, zero-knowledge proofs, account abstraction and second-generation privacy solutions have become more mainstream. He strongly believes that this milestone could uphold some of the cypherpunk values. Buterin analyzed several instances to demonstrate the capacity of the cypherpunk revolution that he wants to see on Ethereum. 

He outlined mechanisms like quadratic voting, cross-tribal consensus finding and prediction markets, citing that these could help organizations govern themselves while staying informed. “It is very possible to build things within the crypto ecosystem that do not follow these values,” Buterin added.

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Buterin Seek to Simplify Ethereum PoS System 

Aside from the cypherpunk revolution, the Ethereum co-founder also talked about how to make the proof-of-stake system “considerably simpler and lighter.”

Although he clarified that this simplification will come at a high cost, he also expressed confidence in the fact that it would go a long way in improving decentralization and facilitate the involvement of regular people in staking

“This approach requires the Ethereum chain to process a huge number of signatures (~28,000 today; 1,790,000 post-SSF [single slot finality]) per slot, which is a very high load. Supporting this load entails a lot of technical sacrifices.” Noteworthy, Buterin has previously teased plans to revamp Ethereum staking.

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