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Imagine what Ethereum will be like in 2025?

Ethereum will serve as the global settlement layer, or from a more technical perspective, the global security and data availability layer. 

At that time, there was a thriving external execution ecosystem on Ethereum, such as Rollups and Volitions, where all users and dApps were located. 

These executives are not just “scalable solutions”, they are also vibrant communities with their own culture, identity, governance, and economy. This is where all innovation will take place, and Ethereum has transformed into a somewhat rigid settlement layer. These different communities will communicate and compete with each other, but will also work hand in hand for Ethereum as a whole.

The picture below is a good visualization made by Reddit user u/emkoscp, which can illustrate this point well:

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As shown in the figure above, some execution layers will choose to become Ethereum-based Rollups, which are completely protected by the Ethereum L1 mainnet; some may choose to become Validiums with centralized data availability, and some Validiums have semi-decentralized data availability. That is, it has its own data availability consensus mechanism; others will give users choices. 

Some will choose to be independent and sovereign side chains. These side chains have a relatively centralized consensus mechanism and do not need to submit any proofs to Ethereum L1. In this case, it may be an independent L1 public chain that has nothing to do with Ethereum (such as Bitcoin), or it may actually be an Ethereum sidechain that is hostile to Ethereum (such as BSC), or it may be friendly to Ethereum. Ethereum sidechain (such as Polygon PoS). Although this is a technically poor solution compared to Validiums or Volitions, its marketing, memes and network effects will continue to exist. In view of this, some of the more pragmatic L1s will become Volitions or Rollups in 2021, but as mentioned earlier, other L1s will stick to their monolithic blockchain model, despite this The model has serious inefficiencies. One possible exception is zkL1s (L1s using zero-knowledge proofs), provided they are sufficiently decentralized.

What about the user? 

1. Ordinary users: They will use some form of centralized aggregator, which will settle on Rollups or directly on Ethereum. You can think of them as similar to CEXs (centralized trading platforms), but they will expand their functions to integrate DeFi, NFTs, and social functions.

2. Tech-savvy users: Tech-savvy users who can self-custodial will use smart contracts to socially recover their wallets. These wallets will be very advanced, with various aggregation mechanisms behind them that can aggregate smart contracts across multiple Rollups. Imagine a scenario where a user deposits legal currency in a smart wallet and hopes to earn interest. All they have to do is deposit funds into it. The smart wallet will a) convert fiat currency into StableCoin, and b) automatically deposit StableCoin into the opportunity with the best interest income. Of course, there may be multiple interest aggregation pools like Year. All of this will be taken away from the user side, and users will only see the interest income they are earning! Similarly, most popular dApps will be integrated into smart wallets, so you don’t need to jump back and forth between the front end and Rollups.

3. Application-specific users: Some applications will be completed entirely on the front end, while the back end will not be visible to the user. In fact, we have already seen this in Sorare (an Ethereum-based NFT fantasy football game): the front end of the application is no different from a centralized fantasy football game, while the back end uses StarkEx-based Validium. NFT settlement.

4. Enthusiast users: These users will most likely use Rollups to trade directly; and enthusiasts who are more cost-sensitive will use Volitions or Validiums solutions.

5. Financial institutions, governments & whale NFT collectors: In the end, only a very limited number of participants will directly settle on Ethereum L1, some of which are aggregated to submit user/citizen activities to Ethereum L1 for settlement; Others hope to use Ethereum to eliminate their data responsibility. For example, Libra (now renamed Diem) will encounter this problem: if they deploy a Rollup chain on Ethereum instead of creating their own consensus mechanism, the project may have been successful (of course, Rollups did not exist at the time) ).

Another way of thinking about users is: 

Who will use Ethereum? Financial institutions, governments, companies, whales. And obviously, Rollups, Volitions and Validiums will be settled on Ethereum, and the sidechain/other L1s chains will be bridged to Ethereum. 

Who will use Rollups? Those hobbyists who prefer to be self-hosted and interact directly with the Rollups chain. 

Who will use Validiums or Volitions? Same as above, but more likely to be users who are more concerned about costs and want to conduct transactions safely at a lower cost. 

I expect most people will use smart wallets and centralized aggregators; people will rarely interact with discrete front ends as they do now.

application 

I don’t think we can imagine what types of applications will be built on Rollups. This is a completely open design field, and there will be many applications that are simply impossible to achieve on the traditional L1s blockchain. Significant progress will be made in non-consensus data availability, as will “Login with Ethereum”, both of which will be critical. A brand new innovation door will be opened and innovative applications will be built that will change the way people and society operate.

The boundaries between social networks, games, identity, governance, and financial systems will become increasingly blurred. All of these will come together to form what many people now call the “meta universe”, most of which will be settled on Ethereum-even if users may not be aware of this. They will be users of Ethereum, even if they have never used Ethereum directly.

Ethereum: base layer 

In the Ethereum base layer, there will be hundreds of data shards active. State expiry (state expiry) will be online, making the Ethereum execution layer more sustainable. The block builder/proposer is separated, and the beacon chain has a single Slot finality. In addition, there is the last major project in the Ethereum Foundation and the broader Ethereum research and client development community-to implement zk-SNARK/STARK for everything!

We may even see some non-EVM zkVMs (zero-knowledge virtual machines), which may be a zkVM shard built specifically to settle zero-knowledge proofs from Rollups or other advanced cryptography, parallel to the existing EVM. In the end, the Ethereum EVM execution layer and the beacon chain itself will implement zk-SNARK/STARK. This is an arduous project, and it will take several years to complete. 

There are many more things I am thinking about, but that’s it. What do you think Ethereum will be like in 2025? 

This article only represents the views of the original author and does not constitute any investment opinions or suggestions.

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