The Protocol: Bitcoin NFT Debacle, Vitalik’s 30th, Farcaster Frames, ‘Private Mempools’

BLOCKCHAIN BOARDS: “Trust the humans” might be the new mantra for Ethereum’s top layer-2 projects. As our Margaux Nijkerk reported this week, that principle stands at the core of a new trend in the blockchain industry, where overseers of various networks are establishing groups of people to help steer protocol changes and ensure security. The goal of these “protocol councils,” sometimes called “security councils,” is to nudge the nascent networks toward increasing decentralization, by gradually removing them from under the control of their original developers. Before cutting the cord completely, where the networks essentially run automatically, or subject to some sort of democratic process, the thinking is that a panel of well-meaning humans can serve as the ultimate guardians – able to step in quickly when emergencies arise, or providing the final sign-off on major protocol changes. Polygon, the Ethereum layer-2 network, has a 13-person “Protocol Council.” Arbitrum, another major Ethereum-focused layer-2, has a “Security Council,” while Optimism also has a “Security Council.” A member of the Polygon council, Mehdi Zerouali, who is the director of Sigma Prime, a blockchain security firm, told CoinDesk that “This is a necessary evil.”


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