After months of speculation, it has been now confirmed that Ethereum lead developer, Vlad Zamfir will be joining the CasperLabs in a paid role to start working on a separate blockchain protocol.
New York-based CasperLabs, is an R&D startup that is building a new decentralized Proof of Stake blockchain. This week, Zamfir said in a statement,
“I believe that decentralized, scalable, and secure public ‘proof-of-stake’ consensus protocols that are much more usable and secure than existing blockchains are possible, and will eventually make mining and Nakamoto consensus obsolete. However, I am not sure if the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchain communities are going to be able to upgrade their protocols.”
This led him to accept the role of Lead Consensus Protocol Architect at CasperLabs but he will continue his governance and Proof-of-stake work with Ethereum as well.
Conflict of Interest? Then So Be it!
CasperLabs is named after the protocol called Casper itself that was proposed for Ethereum by Zamfir in August 2015. The startup promotes itself as the competitor to Ethereum by offering a more powerful PoS technology and mass scalability.
Late Friday in Manhattan, Zamfir cleared the air around his conflicting role in CasperLabs and Ethereum Foundation. Whether this would show a conflict of interest, Zamfir replied to Decrypt Media, “I think so. I have many conflicts of interest.” He further shared that it was his research, not the loyalty that CasperLabs was buying.
In a press release that was released early Friday, Zamfir also praised the startup’s work and further hopes that this would put pressure on Ethereum to adopt the technology.
“I’m excited that CasperLabs has taken an interest in implementing a scalable blockchain protocol from the CBC Casper family of protocols, and hope that their efforts are both successful and put pressure on other projects (like Ethereum) to adopt the technology. I am very grateful for CasperLabs’ support of my research and look forward to working with them to see it become a reality.”
The development team of CasperLabs is being led by CEO Medha Parlikar and Michael Birch, the Lead Casper developer that, “[Casper CBC] promises to scale the blockchain without sacrificing decentralization … By removing the mining required by traditional proof-of-work protocols, it will be more ecologically and economically efficient and secure than pre-existing [blockchain] systems.”
The startup that also reckons that it has an edge on the Ethereum Foundation on the PoS model that CasperLabs has sought from Zamfir has received $20 million Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital and is funded by ADAPtive Holdings Ltd.