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Ethereum foundation governance


ethereum foundation governance

Ethereum governance is the process by which protocol changes are made. It's important to point out that this process isn't related to how people and. Ethereum Foundation - ConsenSys - investors (For operational projects): How well are the incentives and governance mechanisms functioning in practice? Ethereum Foundation: current Governance is the process by which we attempt to Beginning of Enterprise Ethereum discussions. 2022 NFL BETTING TRENDS WEEK 7

Client diversity has the benefit of making the network more resilient. If one client software were to fail due to a flaw in the software, the network could still continue to run normally as there are a sufficient number of nodes running on other clients. Each client is maintained by a different team but all follow the same Ethereum protocol specifications. They differ mostly on small technical subtleties that matter to developers such as the programming language they are written in, the amount of developer support they have, or the open-source licenses they employ.

The Ethereum protocol specifications are high-level rules which coordinate things like the way transactions are broadcasted from end-users into the mempool where they are picked up by miners and how miners broadcast their block to the rest of the network once the cryptographic puzzle a. How they are encoded into the clients is left to the teams. It also specifies a lot of other things such as the inflation rate block reward that goes to miners.

In short, it ensures that the transactions contained in blocks follow the rules defined in the Ethereum protocol and state transitions changes in the distributed database are executed rightfully. The rules are enforced by code. Who decides what goes into the software? The process by which software changes are implemented resembles a lot to the process of how new laws are passed in the real world.

Like in the real world various stakeholders exist. The difficulty then becomes finding support for that proposal. Ethereum Core Developers are like politicians in the sense that they listen to what end-users want by gauging the sentiment on social media, conferences, articles, etc.

When a lot of users demand a certain feature or change to the protocol they will take the proposal into consideration. Last Call — an EIP that is done with its initial iteration and ready for review by a wide audience. Accepted — a core EIP that has been in the Last Call for at least two weeks and any technical changes that were requested have been addressed by the author. Final — an EIP that the core devs have decided to implement into the various clients Geth, Nethermind etc.

If a new EIP is included in a release, miners and other nodes will automatically adopt the changes the next time they upgrade their software. This is called a soft fork. The changes that are introduced are backwards compatible. On the other hand, if the software changes that were made are incompatible with the current protocol the governance must schedule a hard fork, or else things can get very messy.

In other words one set of miners follows a new set of rules whereas the other remain stuck to the old rules. This is important because if for example a crypto exchange holding a lot of user funds points its nodes towards the wrong chain it could cause a lot of confusion and damage as users would temporarily not be able to retrieve their funds.

Most hard forks are a mere formality and followed by all actors but in rare cases, they can be quite contentious and cause an ideological split. Its purpose was to invest in DeFi and other open source projects, making it a form of a community owned venture capital fund, powered by smart contracts.

This fueled a huge debate in the community, where members had two opposing views: One side argued that the vulnerability was unfair and their funds should be given back, especially given the early stage the Ethereum project was at Others opined that the whole purpose of a smart-contacts-based system is its immutability and hence, no intervention should take place Ultimately, the Ethereum community voted in favour of the refund and the Ethereum community executed a hard fork.

Since back then Ethereum consisted of a small tight knit community, it was relatively easy to get all the miners on-board and rollback the Blockchain to return the stolen funds to the DAO. However, the part of the community that rejected the intervention and favored immutability decided to keep using the unforked version of Ethereum: Ethereum Classic ETC. That seems quite a quite a change in transition. Aya: Yes. So I am originally from Japan.

I was born and grew up there. And like you said I my first professional career was a high school teacher and I was teaching English to high school students there for a long time actually for over 10 years. So my mission was to tell my students you know to at least go out there and see the world and then feel the diversity.

And I also got jealous of my students who were going out there. So I just decided to quit. And then moved to the US. And since I thought I learned enough about education being a teacher I decided to get a business degree. And then when I was working on my MBA my focus was sustainable business which you know like you kind of have to think about economic and environmental and social sustainability for a business to even make a profit.

And I thought that was interesting. And also specifically I was focused on microfinance financial inclusion for that sustainable business study. Friederike Ernst: When was this Aya, which year? Aya: So this was in And that was a time that I heard about Bitcoin and originally there was no material to learn like now.

Like Bitcoin seems very simple now for us. But since there was no information education it took me a while to understand what it was but then when I learned what it was I thought oh this is really the perfect opportunity or a combination with things like microfinance. And it was just then to thinking about the efficiency it can create. But back then I thought that was my interest. And then I thought wow this is going to create a lot of impact in finance inclusions.

Well I joined Kraken when the team was getting non dev people so was one of only a few founding members. And I had an opportunity to join Kraken before its launch and that was early It was around the time that all other crypto startups started.

Other groups like Coinbase all started to happen and then San Francisco is kind of a center of those companies. And Ripple was there. And I still remember my first blockchain event was Bitcoin event in in Naples. It felt big that the event seemed big back then but now looking back it was very small.

We had everyone who are now the leaders of this industry. But it was still a very geeky nerdy group. Brian: Cool. And so you worked at Kraken for a few years then how did you how did you end up at Ethereum Foundation? Aya: So I worked at Kraken for a few years. My job involved a lot of different things basically I was heavily involved in starting the ecosystem in Japan, there was no crypto industry there when I joined. But because of what happened which was a big thing, the demagogues collapse.

I was heavily involved in the regulatory situations in Japan too. And I was always having conversation with the government and bankruptcy case. And also starting off the industry association there. And I was doing all that and so the Kraken work was really still during the early stages of the crypto industry.

My original passion was into this impacts side of blockchain, so I decided to leave and focus more on this social impact side of blockchain. And then when I actually was kind of working on different things and personally advising different vacations.

And around that time I was asked to have interviews with the Ethereum Foundation people when they were looking for help. And I spoke with them and I joined the foundation. That was early last year. Friederike: So the foundation is a fairly centralized organ that kind of steers a space that is very decentralized. So how would you describe the role of the Ethereum Foundation and Ethereum today.

Because when I joined I think I flew to Berlin to meet some developers there and there were a bunch of other people who were all spread out to the different places in the world. So it is really hard to draw the line. Who is working on one project.

And that alone shows how decentralized the whole thing. And meaning it can be about education and can be about development and research. Our people are coordinating, especially our operations team. We have an operations team. We have grant program team. They work with people in the ecosystem to actually work on the project. Friederike: That sounds very difficult in terms of governance, can you talk a little bit about the governance structure for the foundation so how does the Ethereum Foundation actually take decisions and who has what role in that?

So the governance is definitely difficult. Now people want to, somehow the governance has become like a super hot topic but governance exists in any organization in any structure. Meaning we try to let each team or its members to make their own decisions. And our job is to support their decision and they coordinate their decision with other decisions. So the decision making is never top down.

Brian: So just to get a little bit more specific. So you mentioned kind of coordinating in different parts but are there some kind of principles or core processes that you use to say OK this is the way Ethereum Foundation goes about it so that we get good outcomes, maybe the different interests are protected. Aya: Yeah. But again there is a team and then we let them make decisions over their roadmap and then they suggest the budget.

This is the roadmap we want to execute this year and this is how much we need. They can make their own decisions for their own team. So we coordinate that effort. They suggest their ideas and then we coordinate their decisions.

Is that you or who is that? What I mean is our focus would be like you said, when we have limited budget. How we make decisions is like what are the most important in the ecosystem now. And so we are looking that number that I just mentioned that Ethereum are going to spend about 30 million to support Ethereum this year. That last decision is decided by our operations team including myself but then how we spend those money or depending on the types of decisions we have multiple people to make decisions.

Again I need other people. Maybe there are small companies who only CEO make decisions but we have experts and we all like to discuss different things. Brian: So of course Ethereum has its founder Vitalik, who has a very high profile and is extremely well known in Ethereum community. Friederike: In effect someone actually has not only to control the budget but also the strategic direction of the foundation right.

So you said that you have experts that you listen to but it sounded like the team that finally calls the shots is the operations team. So is that correct and if so what kind of experts do you consult and basically are these known within the ecosystem as advisors to the foundation. And then when we started getting a lot of grants starting last year we built this grant program team and since this is still new the team was originally very small but now we have more people including community members.

So we have those people who actually join the screening process of the grant program. And I also talked about this about the whole process from the screening and doing interviews and making the final decisions and that involves all those other people and then depending on the topic we go to like when it involves security discussion the grant team talks to our security team but also sometimes our security teams outside they have to reach different groups depending on the topic or depending on the project that they are considering.

Brian: So you mentioned that the Ethereum Foundation is going to give out 30 million dollars in grants. What are the funding priorities like are you dividing it into different categories and allocating some amount to different categories or how are you going to go about deploying that money.

So again this detail is going to be provided very soon.

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The Failure of Ethereum Governance with Lane Rettig ethereum foundation governance

The EF is not a company, or even a traditional non-profit.

Ethereum foundation governance Friederike: OK that makes sense. So you mentioned EF has a bunch ethereum foundation governance Eth and it has a bunch of Fiat, are there other investments the Ethereum Foundation has made like either into equity of companies or potentially in different tokens. Listen to click here 1 hr podcast with Tim Beiko Ethereum Core Developer on Ethereum's governance for a deep dive The truth is decentralized networks have governance processes and every aspect of a network can theoretically change. Friederike: Can you give an example for that? Given the size and diversity of the Ethereum community, there isn't a single metric e. In some instances of on-chain governance implementation, the ethereum foundation governance code may be rolled back to its version before a baseline, if the proposed change is unsuccessful. These suggestions are usually about application standards and related operating processes such as how certain smart contracts should work, but that is not always the case.
Sports betting in dc Aya: Yes. But it was still a very geeky nerdy group. This means some EIPs end up being more contentious within the community than others. Well thanks so much Aya it was a pleasure having you on and learning about Ethereum Foundation. And because of Bitcoin he was able to get Ethereum. In his original paper, Nakamoto envisioned a fully functional and completely decentralized blockchain technology.
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What is an EIP? EIPs are standards specifying potential new features or processes for Ethereum. Anyone within the Ethereum community can create an EIP. This will act as the official specification for an EIP that Protocol Developers will implement if accepted.

You can do so by proposing it for discussion on an AllCoreDevs call. Potential outcomes of this stage are: The EIP will be considered for a future network upgrade Technical changes will be requested It may be rejected if it is not a priority or the improvement is not large enough relative to the development effort Iterate towards a final proposal: after receiving feedback from all relevant stakeholders, you will likely need to make changes to your initial proposal to improve its security or better meet the needs of various users.

Once your EIP has incorporated all the changes you believe are necessary, you will need to present it again to Protocol Developers. You will then move to the next step of this process, or new concerns will emerge, requiring another round of iterations on your proposal. Given the high coordination costs of network upgrades everyone needs to upgrade simultaneously , EIPs are generally bundled together in upgrades. Note: network upgrades are usually activated on testnets before being activated on the Ethereum Mainnet.

This flow, while very simplified, gives an overview of the significant stages for a protocol change to be activated on Ethereum. Now, let's look at the informal factors at play during this process. The informal process Understanding prior work EIP Champions should familiarise themselves with prior work and proposals before creating an EIP which can be seriously considered for deployment on the Ethereum Mainnet. This way, the EIP hopefully brings something new which hasn't been rejected before.

Working groups The initial draft of an EIP is unlikely to be implemented on the Ethereum Mainnet without edits or changes. Generally, EIP Champions will work with a subset of Protocol Developers to specify, implement, test, iterate, and finalize their proposal. Historically, these working groups have required several months and sometimes years!

Community consensus While some EIPs are straightforward technical improvements with minimal nuance, some are more complex and inherently tradeoffs which will affect different stakeholders in different ways. This means some EIPs end up being more contentious within the community than others.

There is no clear playbook on how to handle contentious proposals. Since Protocol Developers have no way to force people to adopt network upgrades, they will generally avoid implementing EIPs where the contentiousness outweighs the benefits to the broader community. EIP Champions are expected to solicit feedback from all relevant stakeholders. If you find yourself the champion of a contentious EIP, you should try and address objections to build consensus around your EIP.

Given the size and diversity of the Ethereum community, there isn't a single metric e. Additionally, EIPs need to be implemented across all client implementations, which are managed by distinct teams. Part of this process usually means convincing multiple teams of Protocol Developers that a particular change is valuable and that it helps end-users or solves a security issue.

Handling disagreements Having many stakeholders with different motivations and beliefs means that disagreements are not uncommon. Generally, disagreements are handled with long-form discussion in public forums to understand the root of the problem and allow anyone to weigh in. Typically, one group concedes, or a happy medium is achieved. If one group feels strongly enough, forcing through a particular change could result in a chain split.

A chain split is when some stakeholders protest implementing a protocol change resulting in different, incompatible versions of the protocol operating, from which two distinct blockchains emerge. The DAO fork Forks are when major technical upgrades or changes need to be made to the network and change the "rules" of the protocol. Ethereum clients must update their software to implement the new fork rules.

The fork moved the funds from the faulty contract to a new contract allowing anyone who lost funds in the hack to recover them. This course of action was voted on by the Ethereum community. Any ETH holder was able to vote via a transaction on a voting platform. It's important to note that whilst the protocol did fork to revert the hack, the weight the vote carried in deciding to fork is debatable for a few reasons: The turnout to vote was incredibly low Most people didn't know the vote was happening The vote only represented ETH holders, not any of the other participants in the system A subset of the community refused to fork, largely because they felt the DAO incident wasn't a defect in the protocol.

They went on to form Ethereum Classic. Today, the Ethereum community has adopted a policy of non-intervention in cases of contract bugs or lost funds to maintain the credible neutrality of the system. We had two groups who disagreed strongly enough with each other on some core values to feel it was worth the risks involved to pursue their specific courses of action.

The ability to fork in the face of significant political, philosophical or economic differences plays a large part in the success of Ethereum governance. The proof-of-work PoW consensus was known for being the most effective consensus algorithm at the time. While it did churn out proof of manual verification of transactions through time consuming and expensive means of hashing, it did the job of validating transactions in an effective manner. As such, there was no need for another consensus algorithm.

Anyone could join, become a miner, and validate the transactions. While this provided true decentralization, it also allowed for a large number of users to become miners, with the total number of them increasing gradually. However, Ethereum soon outgrew the expectations and did not only attract a whopping user base that built blockchain applications and generated custom tokens on the platform but also used and transacted Ether to a considerable frequency of transactions.

As a result, during times of higher usage, the PoW consensus due to its demanding computing and expensive equipment requirements has given Ethereum some trouble. It has resulted in lagging processes and higher transaction costs. However, Ethereum is still using the PoW consensus at the time of writing. Ethereum plans to move towards a proof-of-stake PoS model soon where those users who are given the task of validating existing transactions and mining Ether have a vested interest in the Ethereum blockchain.

But even with those plans, Ethereum does not intend to have an on-chain governance model such as delegated proof of stake DPoS present on its platform. This is because Buterin is a vocal opponent of blockchain models such as DPoS which tend to provide administration to those, who by default, have a higher amount of coins to stake.

According to Buterin, this gives those entities the opportunity to hold a larger chunk of the block rewards than an individual user with an average amount of cryptocurrencies, and disrupts the model of decentralization to a great extent. However, while the on-chain governance is opposed by more than one key entity at Ethereum , the platform does have off-chain governance in the form of Ethereum Improvement Proposals EIPs. What are EIPs?

If you have looked into other off-the-chain governance models of this sort before, then the acronym EIP would have sounded an awful lot like BIP, which is an acronym for Bitcoin Improvement Proposals. These improvement proposals work off of the blockchain. The processes are not presented, recorded, passed or voted for on the blockchain itself. Instead, the improvements are proposed through GitHub , where they are taken into consideration and then discussed on a larger scale.

EIPs are often based on detailed design documents that provide suggestions on improving the Ethereum blockchain by addressing certain existing services, adding new features, and by improving any discovered bugs. According to Ethereum guidelines, EIPs need to be backed by technical knowledge and specifications. The author of the EIP should also have enough influence or gather enough support to get it passed without causing a rift between the community while also ensuring that all comments including the ones that oppose the EIP are documented properly.

This process makes certain that all of the views are heard and considered. Individuals may view the EIP documentation and its pertaining discussions and see the progress in a comprehensive manner. What are ERCs? EIPs are sometimes also formed through ERCs, which are suggestions that are submitted for peer review through Ethereum. These suggestions are usually about application standards and related operating processes such as how certain smart contracts should work, but that is not always the case.

Once these ERCs are submitted and show promise to improve the Ethereum blockchain, they are discussed within the community more extensively. Afterward, they are turned into EIPs and put on the table for further consideration. It means that the ERC showed enough traction and promise to make it to the next phase, and from there it has some potential to gain some traction.

In this stage, developers who work on Ethereum decide whether the EIP is viable enough and is sound technically to take on the real world at all. These developers, who also have a consortium of their own by the name of the Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians , are deeply involved with the development of Ethereum.

People may discuss ideas, share suggestions, and voice critiques with other developers and people just like them. While disagreements often happen, they are mostly, if not always, civilized. The core objective of these discussion remains the topic at hand along with its improvement, which is what makes Ethereum related discussions healthy under this environment.

The meeting is to bring together the different segments that work on Ethereum to consistently make it better. You may think of this is a collaboration and calibration meeting. Core developers are not only able to share their ideas with each other and put them out for discussion, but also get to determine where exactly do they stand in terms of thinking like the people whom they are working with. After detailed and what some may consider exhaustive discussions, all core devs reach a decision on whether or not to make under-consideration EIPs available within the code.

If the answer is in agreement, then the code is made a part of the most updated iteration of Ethereum. Then it is on the entities connected to Ethereum, such as the nodes and the miners to implement the code or not. That is why, all core devs meetings also have to ensure that they are listening to these stakeholders before implementing any updates. They need to make sure that they do not risk a full on rebellion and lose a massive amount of users just because they do not want to use the updated code.

Most of the EIPs simply get stuck because the larger Ethereum community is not comfortable with it being rolled out or having been made a part of the main blockchain. In order to avoid a hard fork and repeating the Ethereum Classic incident, Ethereum core devs have to ensure that everyone related to the blockchain is on board with the planned updates and that no one has any issues with the upgrades that they have planned.

While navigating the jagged pathways of off-chain governance, Ethereum developers, who have digitized so many day to day processes through smart contracts, still stick with the traditional. They choose to go through older and conventional methods of gathering, discussing and processing opinions in order to make sure that the concerns of stakeholders are being addressed in a timely manner. There are both advantages and disadvantages to this process.

In off-chain governance, you can make use of many social cues and discuss matters in a more conventional manner. Between these two meetings, you may have shown them a quality or two or explained your point in a manner which had them turn to your side.

On the other hand, if they had been simply presented with the option of choosing your proposal or not during the very first meeting, then you would have never gotten that chance. But that upside also comes with its own disadvantages, the biggest drawback of which seems to be the time that is involved within the process. Instead of EIPs being proposed on the blockchain, being considered for a few days and then being called for voting, they are considered for days, weeks or even months on end before their fate is decided by the Ethereum core developer team.

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Blockchain Governance with Vlad Zamfir (Ethereum Foundation) at Ethereum Meetup 2018

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