Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has released an update to the Ethereum roadmap, announcing changes aimed to mitigate censorship, block verification, centralization, and other issues.
In a Saturday tweet, the Ethereum mastermind added the Scourge, a new stage to the Ethereum technical roadmap, which strives to improve censorship resistance and decentralization of the Ethereum network.
Ethereum completed its much-anticipated migration from the energy-intensive proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism to proof-of-stake (PoS) on September 15, a phase referred to as the Merge.
Following the Merge, Ethereum entered its second stage — the Surge — with the goal of getting to 100,000 transactions per second through rollups. As per the previous roadmap, there were a total of five stages, with the rest being the Verge, Purge, and Splurge.
However, the now expanded six-part technical roadmap also includes the Scourge as the new third stage, which will then be followed by the previously-known stages — the Verge, the Purge, and the Splurge.
According to the Ethereum roadmap, the goal of the Scourge is to “ensure reliable and credibly neutral transaction inclusion and to avoid centralization and other protocol risks from MEV.”
Moreover, Ethereum block production will be based on inclusion lists or alternative selection mechanisms. Also, Proposer/builder separation (PBS) specifications and MEV burn are included. The milestone in the new phase is “In-protocol PBS.”
The Ethereum creator said the changes reflect “more concrete milestones in every category” and a more explicit role for quantum-proofness as a necessary component of the “endgame” protocol.
Buterin Calls for “Credibly Neutral” Consensus Layer Amid Rising Centralization Concerns
Buterin has been asking for a more “credibly neutral” consensus layer as Ethereum has become associated with a higher degree of centralization and censorship following the Merge.
Buterin has previously described a credibly neutral mechanism as one, which “does not discriminate for or against any specific people. The mechanism treats everyone fairly, to the extent that it’s possible to treat people fairly in a world where everyone’s capabilities and needs are so different.”
However, following the Merge, the percentage of blocks compliant with the U.S Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) has reached record highs of around 73%, a figure many consider to be far too high.
In an October 15 tweet, Anthony Sassano, Ethereum bull and founder of The Daily Gwei, said that censorship resistance is “more important than scaling” at the current moment.