On May 7, we had detailed about the advantages of the hybrid Casper being developed for the Ethereum network. A day later, the Ethereum development team released the Casper FFG (Friendly Finality Gadget) on GitHub. The release marks the beginning of a gradual shift of the Ethereum network from Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus protocol to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) protocol.
Danny Ryan, one of the lead developers in the Ethereum team, posted the version 0.1.0 “first release” of Casper FFG. The Ethereum community responded positively on GitHub and Reddit. The release also carried a message from Ryan saying “tags releases to help clients and external auditors more easily track the contract and changes.”
As mentioned in our previous article about Casper, the Ethereum network would punish centralization through a complex crypto economics system. Once implemented, the network will use PoS model to confirm transactions, a process dubbed as “minting”. As the traditional mining is avoided, energy is saved considerably.
The Casper FFG is the beginning of the number of changes that are going to be carried out on the Ethereum network in order to achieve scalability, without compromising on security. The changes will also ensure that Ethereum network remains decentralized and free from the clutches of centralized mining pools such as Bitmain.
Ryan also commented about the update on Reddit as follows:
“More than just the research team is using the contract now — auditors, client devs, etc. — so we wanted to start issuing clearer versioning and changelogs to help everyone stay organized.”
Developers can test the code by adding Casper’s code to their coding languages and make sure it runs without any glitches across Ethereum’s various software clients.
During the testing process, the Casper code would run alongside the PoW protocol. However, periodically, Casper would handle validations. As of now, running Casper is not possible for ordinary Ethereum users as it requires at least 1,500 Eth, worth ~$1.10 million as stake. However, in the future, when Ethereum network shifts completely to a total PoS system, only 32 Eth would be required to become a staker. The network would undergo a hard fork to run completely on a PoS system.
Similar to any other technological developments, Casper has its share of negative views as well. In particular, systems developer Dahlia Malkhi’s views are notable. While speaking at the Financial Cryptography conference of 2018, Malkhi said “Proof-of-stake is fundamentally vulnerable. You’re giving authority to a group to call the shots. In my opinion, it’s giving power to people who have lots of money.”