What can we do to help Eth 1.x public understanding and development?

#1

In chatting with some folks on Twitter, there are legitimate concerns that Eth 1.x is not getting the attention it deserves, with respect to coordination, funding, and manpower.

Here are some recent Tweets on this topic:

Some suggest that the broader community focus on Eth 2.0 (which is actually not even that strong, IMO) may be detracting from the community’s focus on Eth 1.x. I don’t understand how existential the risk is, but Boris brings up some urgent concerns.

What do you all see as some of the key issues? What are some potential consequences? What are some possible actions / solutions we can pursue?

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#2

Thanks for starting the thread. I really appreciate it.

Let’s do a call late next week after we’ve wrapped up and gathered all the notes from Core Devs Berlin.

ETH2 teams also need support and funding - so think of my comments here as being “yes, and”.

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#3

Thanks for bringing the chatter from Twitter over to the forum @DCinvestor and @boris.

Very keen to see how we can fix the “branding” issue around Eth1.x and Eth2.0 and formulate some sort of coherent message that we can spread to the wider community regarding how critical Eth1.x is for both the continued sustainability of Ethereum 1.0 and its importance for Eth2.0.

I’ll be monitoring this thread + collating relevant Eth1.x info from the recent meetings in Berlin too!

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#4

@boris do you have any kind of definitive data list on Eth 1.x initiatives, and possibly associated funding requirements? Or perhaps a team list or something similar? This isn’t something I’ve tracked super closely.

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#5

Under discussion right now and we have a list coming out of the Core Devs Berlin.

Here is a rough list and will flesh this out this coming week when I am back from travel:

  • State Rent
    • sub areas, but effectively the larger efforts of reducing state size to maintain decentralization & sync times
  • VM
    • virtual machine / execution engines that give new functionality to the smart contract layer so ETH1 maintains its lead, prepare forward compatibility & transition for ETH2
    • eWASM
    • EVM Evolution
    • Precompiles
  • Finality Gadget
    • Using beacon chain ETH2 to finalize ETH1 which opens up many opportunities but especially light clients
  • Red Queen Sync (new)
  • Testing & Security (infra)
    • unit tests esp. for consensus
    • end to end networking
    • testnets
    • security audits
  • Operations (infra)
    • hardfork cadence / timing
    • release management

OK turns out this list is a useful first draft for me :wink: It’s not complete AND I haven’t told the larger narrative of impact but it’s a start.

Areas labeled “infra” are long term ecosystem resources that need process and systems in place so we can execute secure, performant software on a regular basis.

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#6

I am working with some people on this thread to collect a definitive list of who’s working on what and what funding they need to be successful through Istanbul (and Istanbul +1). PM me if you want a link to the doc (currently just a google spreadsheet)

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#7

@owocki I’d like to take a look at the doc and will PM you. A couple of quick thoughts on funding:

Regarding GitCoin, I had some thoughts on how we might use that as an avenue to think about the Eth 1.x (and Eth 2.0) funding problem, what do you think about the idea of creating a featured “Ethereum Infrastructure Development Fund,” supporting development of both of these efforts?

The idea is that a plain old user could go there and donate some tokens and have it go to those causes without having to think too much about individual efforts, and it could also be tied to some form of “campaign” to drum up calls for funding- both from individuals and perhaps project/corporate donors. The hard part here though is figuring out how to do the curated split up the incoming funding between various efforts / individuals. But I think it’s a problem worth trying to solve.

Also, is a GitHub account still required to use GitCoin or is that requirement gone now?

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#8

Infrastructure development fund is an excellent idea. It’s something I’ve been toying with for some time and it seems like now is the time to do it - since we have the urgency, the critical mass of projects and folks such as @boris, @owocki and myself to work on it. Seems like collating data on the initiatives and how much funding each needs is a good first step. I’d like to go further and help teams draw up reasonable budgets, communicate best practices, and ideally even help with recruiting so that the engineers can focus on what they do best.

For now I don’t think allocation of funding will be that hard or that contentious - it’s a fairly short, focused list of things that need to be done for eth1x and I think we have rough consensus on what those things are. It might be harder to scale this into something that works for a broader range of projects.

Yes pretty sure a GitHub account is still a requirement to use gitcoin - is that a problem?

#9

When we first discussed eth1x in Prague, Peter S. suggested that the main chain had a couple of years left in it before the size of the state got really out of hand. I think it’s important also to note that a lot of other scaling technologies are already blocking on this - we could doubtless get a lot more gas into each block if we could bound the state size.

#10

Do you think we should present this just as a Eth 1.x fund? Or combine with Eth 2.0? I sort of lean towards having it as “one” comprehensive fund which the community agrees upon as the best way to fund Ethereum infrastructure dev for Ethereum overall. It could become a powerful rallying point for fundraising campaigns, especially if the split between initiatives is kept up to date. Also, I agree that understanding project budgets / work outstanding is an important step regardless.

Requiring GitHub adds a barrier to some users / non-devs contributing funds, who don’t have GitHub accounts. Also makes it more difficult for anon contributions. If GitCoin campaigns also have a direct ETH contribution link, this could be side-stepped easily enough. Or if Web3 login was allowed instead of GitHub.

#11

I’d also advocate for a single fund. I think fragmentation would be a hindrance, especially for people who don’t have their ear to the rail. It’s already hard enough to get donations from people, so avoiding overchoice is probably for the best.

Agreed, this is definitely the hard part. My initial thoughts go toward voting for fund allocation, but that has its own host of issues.

How do you see this funding effort in relation to Moloch? Complementary?

#12

I am actually a member of Moloch DAO. Our focus is on funding grant requests for the time being; however, there is discussion within the DAO about facilitating other forms of coordinated fundraising to magnify community efforts.

I think Moloch will be quite impactful, but there is plenty of room to drive additional fund-raising efforts for the ecosystem beyond Moloch.

#13

I thought I saw you in the past proposals :wink:

At first glance, it seems a fund structure runs somewhat counter to the general idea of a grant. I see grants as proposals for specific work with a fairly well-defined scope whereas a fund of the nature you propose is much more open-ended. If we have this fund, the question (as you mentioned) comes down to who is deciding where/how to allocate these funds. If there’s some kind of voting mechanism, this starts to look a lot like a second Moloch, which is totally cool.

I’d just like to be mindful of duplicated efforts. But in this context I’m not sure that has the downsides it does elsewhere.

#14

I’m okay with a single “core infrastructure” fund but I also think we should do it incrementally and start with a narrow scope - e.g., let’s secure some funding for eth1x and get an early win under our belt before broadening scope.

To play devil’s advocate, there is probably an optimal fund size or scope, and it’s probably > $1mm and < $100mm. I don’t know where the sweet spot is but “one fund to rule them all” also scares me a bit - that’s sort of the situation we’re in today with EF.

Fun fact, they actually do have direct contribution addresses which do not require a Github login, but this could be clearer and easier. Of course web3 login would be amazing too. CC @owocki

#15

I think the community has a general lack of understanding about what state rent is and the effects it can produce. Creating an informative campaign that covers both options and how the transition to state rent or stateless clients would allow users to understand the pros and cons. Because as it stands, many in the community see state rent as a negative because of the word rent. The informative campaign would have to effectively argue that managing size of the state with mechanisms like rent would result in a net-positive greater than the cost of the rent/stateless client fees.

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#16

This is coming together here https://en.ethereum.wiki/eth1

The purpose of that page is more like project management and an overview.

It is still not complete and continues to be updated, but we have the beginnings of a format - Working Groups for long running research and implementation, Initiatives for smaller bits of work that need to get completed, and Infrastructure for long running operations that always need improvement.

Needs more links and small overview text.

#18

Still required. Its how we do sybill resistence for Grants / CLR

I love the idea. Its not too dissimilar to what we’re planning on doing for having “Tracks” associated with major themes like ETH 1.x and ETH 2.0 or Usability, etc.

Yes, Here is the ETH 1.x Funding spreadsheet. I haven’t had good luck pulling numbers our of the working group teams. Maybe someone with more time to do budgeting could help with this.

We plan to support web3 logins, but I’m not sure how we’ll do sybil resistence in this case.

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