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Buterin has been quite vocal recently and voiced his opinion on many topics including the future of Ethereum in Canada and his thoughts about the future of Bitcoin. His most recent take caused some controversy. He voiced his concerns with the current consensus protocol used by the network and its vulnerabilities that are innate to the BTC’s proof of work mechanism.
At some point, the whole hard supply of Bitcoin will be mined and the security of the whole network will rely on transaction fees and nothing else meaning that it will not have sufficient revenue to support an ecosystem with the value of several trillion dollars. The lack of fees means that the network may be vulnerable to attacks from users willing to sacrifice more than the sum of all fees generated at any given moment.
Ball part calculation by Buterin puts the number at $5 billion if the network reaches the total evaluation of $5 trillion. It means that with less than 0.1% of value someone could topple the whole system. Vitalik says that such vulnerability makes it close to impossible to maintain the current layout of the network, but switching to the proof-of-stake mechanism is not something aligning with the politics of the Bitcoin community.
The comment comes amidst the news about the merge that will change the consensus to proof-of-stake. While some critics try to talk it down by saying that it will concentrate power in hands of several power validators who will have more control over the network. Buterin firmly dismisses such speculations by stating that the proof-of-stake is not a governance mechanism. It is just a way to validate transactions.
While it is not a bad argument in general, it seems that Buterin is more focused on trying to hype up the merge which is understandable. Many believe that Bitcoin does not have the weakness described by Buterin, but we simply don’t know yet. Only time will tell. However, we should not take everything Buterin says as the last truth. Up until September 15, many news stories revolving around Ethereum and its co-founder should be taken with a grain of salt.