Vitalik Urges Ethereum Developers To Target ‘Millions’ Of Users Post-Dencun

Ethereum’s chief scientist said Ethereum is ready to support applications servicing millions of users following Dencun's massive L2 fee reductions.

By: Samuel Haig Loading...

Vitalik Urges Ethereum Developers To Target ‘Millions’ Of Users Post-Dencun

Vitalik Buterin, the chief scientist and co-founder of Ethereum, penned a blog post calling on developers to pivot their focus towards building new applications that could serve millions of users following the activation of its Dencun upgrade earlier this month.

Ethereum’s highly-anticipated Dencun fork went live on March 13, ushering fee reductions of up to 95% on Layer 2 networks supporting EIP-4844 — the main upgrade included in Dencun. The fee reduction also precipitated triple-digit increases in transaction volume on leading L2s.

Buterin described Dencun as the most significant Ethereum upgrade since The Merge, which transitioned the network to Proof of Stake consensus in September 2022.

“As of two weeks ago, the two largest changes to the Ethereum blockchain — the switch to Proof of Stake, and the re-architecting to blobs — are behind us,” Buterin said.

With fees on many Layer 2s now sitting below six cents, Buterin issued a challenge to developers to begin building applications addressing non-financial use cases that could serve “millions” of users.

“Pretty much every crypto application that is not financial speculation depends on low fees — and so while we have high fees, we should not be surprised that we mainly see financial speculation,” Buterin said. “Now that we have blobs, this key constraint that has been holding us back all this time is starting to melt away… What this means to developers is simple: we no longer have any excuse.”

Vitalik described the first nine years since Ethereum’s mainnet launch as a “training stage,” with low fees setting the stage for large-scale applications to take flight on the network. He said the tools are now available to build protocols that are both “cypherpunk and user-friendly,” urging developers to work on new applications targeting mainstream use cases including identity, reputation, and governance.

“Ethereum is no longer just a financial ecosystem,” Buterin continued. “It's a full-stack replacement for large parts of ‘centralized tech’, and even provides some things that centralized tech does not... We are building tools for millions of people to use. Across the ecosystem, we need to fully readjust mindsets accordingly.”

L2s need further development

Vitalik noted that more progress must be made on L2, including further mechanisms improving scalability, the efficiency of blobs, data compression, and security.

Buterin said that just five of the 47 Layer 2 networks tracked by L2beat have reached “stage 1” decentralization, meaning they have only “limited training wheels” in place. In a previous post, Vitalik said stage 1 decentralization means that a network boasts a fraud or validity proof scheme, at least a seven-day delay on upgrades, and a multisig account with at least six of eight signers if a security council can override transactions.

“The ecosystem's standards need to become stricter,” Buterin said. “So far, we have been lenient and accepted any project as long as it claims to be ‘on a path to decentralization’. By the end of the year, I think our standards should increase and we should only treat a project as a rollup if it has actually reached at least stage 1.”

Buterin added that Ethereum’s core developers will continue to work on Layer 1 scaling in the background, describing the introduction of Verkle Trees with Ethereum’s upcoming Pectra fork as the last remaining “truly significant” upgrade still to come to Ethereum’s base layer.