INTERNAL POLITICS IN CRYPTOSPACE – (PART TWO)

by Lumai Mubanga; mlumai@gmail.com


In this article, we continue to discuss what is termed the “internal politics” within the crypto space. These debates are regarded as healthy because of their potential to shape the progress and future of the blockchain implementation worldwide.

As part two, we will consider debates centered on the ethereum split and its likely repercussions.

The Ethereum split debate – The Major Players.

The Ethereum split can be confusing sometimes. This is because the potential splits are on many fronts. For example, a DAO Hack triggered an earlier split. That split resulted in the formation of ethereum and ethereum classic. However, other splits center on other cardinal issues like governance, mining power, and software upgrades. A closer look however, reveals that these are related in a way.

After the DAO break-in, ethereum split into ethereum classic and ethereum. The original version attained the name ethereum classic and is well below in value to the second version ethereum. The split discussed here is in relation to the ethereum and not the original version.

That said, what is the second potential split all about? Can it be avoided? If not, what are the potential damages this split could lead to?

Software Upgrade.

Within this realm, there is the EIP 999 and the EIP 1057 debates. Ethereum has an excellent way of reaching consensus especially in relation to software upgrades. This process is called Ethereum improvement proposal (EIP). EIP 999 proved to be a controversial code in 2018. The code proposed to undertake a technical fix on the software. Remember that ethereum is a platform were different app developers develop many applications. Among the notable players in this debate were Parity and Geth, the two most powerful software companies on the platform.

Here are some excerpts of the debate as reported on the coinmastery.com website:

While parity was for the upgrade idea, Geth objected. Geth serves a larger majority of developers and users while parity, which agreed, had lesser users. This was a head on collision between the two software giants. But where was the contention?

Both companies communicate with ethereum virtual machine platform which takes their smart contracts. These are translated into a more general code. However, Geth and parity accomplish these in two different programming languages. But to stay on the same blockchain, they need to stay in sync through keeping up-to-date with each other’s software upgrades. Any differences will result in a big clash. Thus, any disagreement on their part sets the stage for a big debate.

What could be the worst scenario? If parity agrees and Geth denies, that would set a big split on the blockchain itself with undesirable effects.

Among these effects would be the split of ethereum a second time resulting in a major fracture on the block chain. This will set a chain reaction that would affect how your private key operates.

Whichever turn this debate takes, we can be assured that it will be for the benefit of all players, the miners, merchants and the industry at large.

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