Ethereum (ETH) creator Vitalik Buterin says the second biggest blockchain by market cap can remain censorship resistant after moving to proof-of-stake.
After The Merge, Ethereum’s proof-of-work (PoW) miners will be replaced by staking providers, which will largely be big crypto exchanges that may be susceptible to regulation or censorship from authorities.
In a new dual interview with Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, Buterin says that if staking providers on the upcoming Ethereum network are faced with censorship from authorities, he thinks the “honorable” thing for them to do would be to quit staking rather than comply.
“Obviously, I’m fully supportive of people’s need to comply with the regulators in whatever jurisdiction that they’re in. But if in whatever jurisdiction you’re in it happens to be impossible to simultaneously do that and be a good citizen of the Ethereum network then the honorable thing to do is to shut down.
But I think also it’s a very correct comment from a purely legal standpoint that, as far as I can tell, we are very far away from that point.”
Even though the industry prides itself on decentralization and autonomy, Buterin says that a certain level of community coordination will be required to keep Ethereum censorship resistant.
“I think it’s also important to not be complacent… I believe in trying to kind of try many different strategies at the same time and not rely too much on one. I think that this discourse about ‘can we make the ecosystem more robust?’ and ‘can we make a staking ecosystem more robust?’ and make a staking ecosystem where as few stakers as possible are censoring transactions, like that’s also an important discussion to have.
It’s an important effort to make, but it is something that requires effort. I think it’s important to remember that neither in Ethereum nor in Bitcoin nor in any other system, are we just kind of guaranteed that the outcomes we want happen automatically.
I think even in the systems that try the hardest to call themselves fully automated, there’s definitely still some level of community coordination that’s required to make sure those things actually happen.”
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