Ethereum Core Dev Call #55: ProgPoW audits and Vitalik's Phase 2 updates

This week's Ethereum core developer call was relatively light on updates. Here's our quick notes:

  • Looking ahead to Constantinople in ~2 weeks: The "Cat Herders" will be reaching out to miners in about a week to ensure a smooth transition on node upgrades ahead of the delayed Constantinople fork.
  • Report of new bugs/create2 delays in Constantinople were false: Constantinople is not rescheduled, and no further bugs in the code going into the upgrade have been found since the original delay. On the topic of Create2, Vitalik added, "something to keep in mind for the future, when thinking about rent and deletion, that can lead to contracts not being in state changes...not something we need to figure out in the next few weeks. But it's useful to keep in mind when getting the ETH 2.0 sharding to a VM spec very soon."
  • Update on ProgPoW audit: Devs have found a company for benchmark testing whether performance boost impacts AMD/NVDIA cards to see if ProgPoW works. However, having trouble finding an impartial auditor to determine how long ProgPoW ASIC resistance will actually last, given experts that could offer an opinion have potential conflicts of interest because they're looking into ProgPoW mining themselves.
  • Istanbul hard fork roadmap: Nothing has changed here, the group agreed the one month Constantinople delay shouldn't impact timing of other forks, and are proceeded as is.
  • Research updates: Phase 0 is well into refinement, Vitalik is now starting phase 1 research which includes sharding of data and not computation. Vitalik noted Phase 1 is actually fairly simply outside of specifying "full proof of custody game." He suggested running Phase 1 and Phase 2 research in parallel to speed up roadmap, adding, "we should not fall into the mindset in thinking step-wise /non-parallel work on these phases.. because if we do things will really take until 202x or whatever the trolls are saying." Concluding by declaring his intention to reach out to a lot of 1.X people to solicit feedback on what an ERC20 replacement would look like on top of whatever phase 2 ends up shaping into.

About Author

Ryan Todd is a research analyst at The Block where he focuses on the convergence of fintech and digital assets. Previously he worked at Deutsche Bank as an equity analyst covering consumer finance and payments companies, and also spent time at ConsenSys exploring the broader Ethereum ecosystem. Ryan holds a BS in Economics and Accounting/Finance from Florida State University, and MS Finance from Vanderbilt University.