Buterin announced that he has stepped down from his role as a general partner of Fenbushi Capital, which has been one of the most active investors in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector. He noted that he will no longer serve as a full-time partner of the firm, but will remain as an advisor.
During an interview with TechCrunch, Buterin emphasized that although the cryptocurrency market has demonstrated an exponential increase in users and valuation, the practical usability of blockchains have regressed to the rising transaction fees and scalability issues.
To address the growing demand for Ethereum and the high expectations from the global Ethereum community, Buterin explained that he will solely focus on the development of the Ethereum blockchain network and solving scalability issues to provide a better ecosystem for decentralized applications. He stated:
“I expect 2018, at least within the Ethereum space that I’m best able to speak about, will be the year of action. It will be the year where all of the ideas around scalability, Plasma, proof-of-stake, and privacy that we have painstakingly worked on and refined over the last four years are finally going to turn into real, live working code that you can play around in a highly mature form in some cases on testnets, and in some key cases even on the public mainnet.”
The statement of Buterin came after several experts in the cryptocurrency sector including Augur co-founder Joey Krug said that there is a clear lack of developers working on scaling solutions for the Ethereum network. The rise in the popularity of successful decentralized applications such as CryptoKitties, EtherDelta, and 0x have congested the Ethereum network, which is already processing more transactions than all of the blockchains in the global market combined.
According to Etherscan, the Ethereum network is processing around 1.2 million transactions on a daily basis, which is more than 4 times larger than the daily transaction volume of bitcoin.
But, as the developers of Bankex explained, who recently introduced a practical implementation of Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Poon’s Plasma, a scaling solution that uses interconnected blockchains to reduce the congestion of the main Ethereum blockchain network, apps like CryptoKitties are executing hundreds of thousands of transations on regular basis, filling the Ethereum network with large-size transactions.
Some decentralized applications like 0x have off-chain solutions to execute orders or transactions off-chain and broadcast them to the main Ethereum network after batching many transactions into one single transaction. Still, the vast majority of applications still do not have innovative solutions to reduce the congestion of the Ethereum network.
As such, Krug emphasized that developers working on Ethereum scaling solutions are crucial for the ecosystem, and there must be more developers contributing to the open-source codebase of Ethereum scaling solutions.
“Ethereum really needs more developers on problems like sharding, proof of stake, and plasma, right now there simply aren’t enough. It should also hire some more operations people to help orchestrate it all, for instance, Solidity is just now being formally audited. Ethereum would be 100x more kickass with these things [and around] 10 developers each working on all three of those hard problems above.”