On the Brink…

Raul Jordan
Mar 13 · 4 min read

It now costs $3100 to become a staker for eth2…oh wait now it costs $2900…wait coinmarketcap.com, let me just finish this sentence! The point is, cycles come and go, but small picture distractions take a huge toll on everyone psychologically, and ETH just had one of those days that makes you wonder if this is all just magical Internet money that’s all in our heads, is this even real? what is money…what is life?

Yet, as we speak, we have crossed over 450,000 slots in our eth2 public test network, the longest-ever a chain has run uninterrupted. Amidst the panic, we have over 51,000 validators actively creating blocks, voting, being assigned, slashed, joining, exiting, you name it. At Prysmatic, we wake up and go to work knowing what we’re building is securing an asset so dear to our hearts and to those of the Ethereum community. Ethereum gave us a home, a community that focuses on working hard and letting actions speak louder than words. Now, more than ever, I believe leadership needs to step up, and we, the community, are this project’s leaders.

what a stable network looks like

Just how cool is that? You have these crazy servers on different part of the world that can agree on transactions, transfer value between people, can never be stopped, and are purely driven by folks who see a different tomorrow. People that look at the world today and know that something needs to change, be it a currency, the Internet itself, or something as important as financial autonomy. This is what drives us.

We started Prysmatic Labs after the crash of 2017, when there was a lot more noise than signal on the streets, the loudspeakers went quiet, and lights were dim. We started this company because we were enthralled by Ethereum’s resilience, its promise, and its sheer brainpower to keep pushing the needle in the blockchain industry. It was back in January of 2018, when I first found my Prysmatic teammates after posting on a lone Gitter thread for the go-ethereum project regarding contributing to a sharding implementation. I assembled a list of people who responded, put together a basic front-end on Github Pages while I was in my living room, never imagining someone would care or see it. The next morning, I wake up and see a new talk from Vitalik at a conference in Singapore and see this pop up on my screen:

“there’s an up and coming team implementing sharding called Prysmatic Labs”

That second, I felt my stomach drop, not just because of the surprise, but because it truly hit me how critical it is to scale Ethereum…how important it is to proceed with a real implementation of research ideas that have been ongoing for years and require real code to be shipped.

Yesterday, the “Black Thursday” of Ethereum’s history, was no different to us than the day we started this company. The lights on the street were dim, social media was full of noise, yet, code is still being pushed…We are still chugging along with resolve, conviction, and excitement for what’s ahead.

Ethereum truly gave birth to programmatic stable coins, money legos, serendipitous gatherings of Internet strangers we only recognize by their Github handles, and more. Blockchain works, at its core, due to programmatic coordination. Lest we forget, the world is comprised of compositions of coordination problems at its core, and there is a lot to learn from this industry as a whole. Market forces, fear, greed, innovation, and progress are all pieces of the same pie, in constant flux with each other in a dynamic often times far too vast to understand. What we do know is that we are in control of the future, and we shape it. The code we push today, the resolve we can show towards building something meaningful, will directly influence the success of Ethereum’s future.

Eth2 is happening, it is shipping, and we’re going to make it a reality no matter what.

We have agency and urgency. We understand the weight of our responsibility on this project. Our project, the Go implementation of the Ethereum 2.0 protocol, is stable in our test network, already interoperating with another team’s testnet in preparation for a full-fledged multiclient effort. There have been dozens of bright minds that have made this possible on all fronts, from education, to security research, to our contributors that hop into our discord chat and simply want to give a helping hand. Despite this all being magical Internet money, the relationships we have built along the way are as real as they can get. At Prysmatic, we know Ethereum is on the brink of greatness, and we’re going to give our best to push it over the edge over the coming months. Stay tuned.

Yes: we are dreamers. For dreamers are those who can only find their way by moonlight, and their punishment is that they see the dawn before the rest of the world— Oscar Wilde

Raul Jordan

Written by

Building Ethereum 2.0 @prylabs | CS @Harvard

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