The Ethereum roadmap now consists of Merge, Surge, Scourge, Verge, Purge, and Splurge.
Disclaimer: This article has corrected previous incorrect statements that suggested the roadmap sections were consecutive phases, rather than parallel.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has added a new milestone category to the Ethereum technical roadmap, which aims to improve censorship resistance and decentralization of the Ethereum network.
Buterin revealed the updated plans for the Ethereum network in a Twitter post on Nov. 5, which introduced a section called Scourge in a now-expanded six-part technical roadmap.
The updated technical roadmap now inserts Scourge as a new category, and is accompanied by other previously known segments: Merge, Surge, Verge, Purge, and Splurge.
Updated roadmap diagram! pic.twitter.com/MT9BKgYcJH
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) November 4, 2022
According to the Ethereum roadmap, the goal of Scourge is to “ensure reliable and credibly neutral transaction listing and avoid centralization and other MEV protocol risks.”
The Ethereum co-founder’s call for a more “credibly neutral” consensus layer comes as miners are known to exploit transactions on the Ethereum network to their advantage.
Buterin has previously described a credible neutral mechanism as one that “does not discriminate for or against any specific person.”
Miner Extractable Value (MEV) occurs when a miner gets ahead of other network participants in deciding which transactions to put into a block and in what order.
This allows miners to duplicate all winning transactions in the mempool and execute their transactions before arbitrage seekers or anyone trying to profit.
As a result, Ethereum has been associated with a greater degree of centralization and censorship following its transition to proof of stake.
Following the network’s transition to PoS, the percentage of blocks that are compliant with the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) reached 73% on November 3, a figure many consider too high.
Ethereum bull and The Daily Gwei founder Anthony Sassano previously said in a Twitter post on Oct. 15 that censorship resistance is “more important than scaling” at the current time.
Ethereum protocol updates in order of importance over the next 6-12 months:
– Beacon Chain withdrawals
– PBS/crLists/censorship resistance related updates
– Wet Proto-Damage (EIP-4844)
Just my humble opinion: censorship resistance is more important than climbing right now
— sassal.eth (@sassal0x) October 15, 2022
While the full details of Scourge have not been revealed, the Ethereum co-founder recently proposed a “Partial Block Auction” solution in which a block builder only has the right to decide some of the block contents.
Other proposals have been put forward to combat censorship at the consensus layer, such as the Single Unifying Auctions for Value Expression (SUAVE) solution from Ethereum research and development company Flashbots.
Related: “Not even a single TX has been censored on ETH” – founder of Cyber Capital
Buterin also confirmed a Verge upgrade, which will now involve the integration of Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge (SNARK) technology into Ethereum.
The addition of SNARK will add much-needed privacy-preserving features to the Ethereum network while also allowing anonymous transactions to be traced.
Buterin also noted that a “more explicit role for quantum proof” would be implemented at various stages of the Ethereum roadmap as a necessary component of the “end game” protocol.