Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin is setting a new benchmark for rollups, a key scaling solution for the Ethereum network. In a recent blog post, Buterin proposes that rollup developers prioritize achieving “stage 1 decentralization” by the end of 2.

This push for decentralization signifies a shift in focus for the Ethereum ecosystem. While rapid advancements have been made on layer 1 (L1), the main Ethereum blockchain, the emphasis is now moving towards layer 2 (L2) solutions like rollups. Rollups process transactions off-chain before submitting them to the main Ethereum blockchain for final settlement, reducing congestion and transaction fees.

Buterin acknowledges the ongoing progress on L1 but emphasizes the importance of prioritizing L2 decentralization. He argues that achieving “stage 1 decentralization” for rollups is crucial for ensuring their long-term security and resilience.

What exactly is “stage 1 decentralization” for rollups? Specific details haven’t been rigidly defined, but it likely involves achieving a level of security where rollups no longer rely on any single entity for their operation. This could involve distributing key functions like sequencer duties among multiple independent actors.

By achieving this level of decentralization, rollups become more resistant to censorship and potential manipulation. This aligns with the core principles of Ethereum, which strives to be a secure and trustless decentralized network. Buterin’s proposal has sparked discussions within the Ethereum community. Developers are actively debating the specifics of “stage 1 decentralization” and the best path to achieve it by year-end.

The success of rollups is critical for Ethereum’s future scalability. If rollups can achieve the desired level of decentralization while maintaining efficiency and security, they can significantly improve the user experience on the Ethereum network.

This development comes amidst the recent Dencun upgrade on Ethereum, which significantly reduced transaction fees for rollups. With this infrastructure improvement and Buterin’s call for decentralization, the coming months will be crucial for the evolution of rollups and their role in the Ethereum ecosystem.