Innovation 101: Challenges & Triumphs of Ethereum
Forestlyn founder Lucy Lin chats with Lane Rettig, an Ethereum core developer, about the world of Ethereum, gaming, blockchain, governance, what the industry needs to do to grow, and how to get involved in the tech scene.
THE BIRTH OF ETHEREUM
Lane Rettig is a core developer of the blockchain-based platform, Ethereum. Growing up on an isolated farm in New Jersey, Lane has been fascinated by computers and programming for as long as he can remember. However, it was only after experiencing the Wall Street Crash while working in finance that led him to realise that he wanted to explore finance economics and business more broadly. This ignited his career as an entrepreneur, which saw him start a health care technology company.
“Entrepreneurship allowed me to be at the cutting edge of value creation and innovation by reimagining and reinventing pieces of the world around me that I thought could be better and could be fairer,” says Lane.
After selling his health care technology company Lane became involved in Ethereum. His vision for Ethereum involves a far more diverse community than its current state. Both Lane and Lucy want to see emerging technologies to become more accessible. Part of this is about bringing more beginners into the emerging tech space to foster diversity and allow everyone can benefit from innovation.
SOVEREIGNTY THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
Ethereum can be seen today most commonly in decentralised finance and gaming. Lucy likes decentralised systems like Ethereum for the way they allowing individuals to have complete sovereignty over their personal data and information.
The benefits of decentralised systems are starting to become recognised globally, but Lane believes the full potential for the uses of Ethereum are yet to come. He believes that while right now Ethereum is being used predominantly for finance and gaming, long term use cases will include building better democracies and voting systems.
“Ethereum is the technological product in the world today that has the greatest potential to do the greatest good - period,” says Lane.
WHAT’S AHEAD FOR ETHEREUM?
However, before Ethereum can reach its potential there are challenges that need to be overcome. According to Lane, the key barriers faced by Ethereum and similar innovation technologies right now are:
Of these challenges, Lane believes that scaling is being well addressed in Ethereum right now, whereas governance has attracted the least attention. He explains how currently there is no formalised governance in Ethereum today, which has led to the emergence of a de facto system. Lane warns that this ad hoc arrangement could result in the exclusion of valuable voices in the future of Ethereum. He fears that without proper governance that the technology will only benefit a cross-section of the current Ethereum demographic, which is not reflective of the wider world.
“The role of governance is to make sure all voices are heard.”
Of the other challenges, Lane believes that scaling is being well addressed in the Ethereum space. However, adoption has been a key issue, which is tied to the usability of these technologies. This is why it is essential to bring more people into the community to enable growth.
GET ON THE CUTTING EDGE
For those wanting to learn more about Ethereum, Lane recommends work by Vlad Zamfir, Ethereum foundation researcher, and Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder and inventor of Ethereum. However, another key issue pertaining to the adoption phase is that due to the cutting-edge nature of this technology minimal literature or educational material has been developed.
“Ethereum today is very developer-focused. It’s very difficult for non-developers to get on board, both using it and even joining the community because of all the buzz words.”
For this reason, Lucy is passionate about educating others about blockchain and emerging technology. Innovation 101 is a Forestlyn series aimed to diversify the industry by allowing anyone who is interested to become involved and gain knowledge.
Lucy Lin - Forestlyn https://www.forestlyn.com/
Lane Rettig - Ethereum http://ethereum.org
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