Vitalik Eyes Better Ethereum UX Through Faster Confirmations

Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin explores methods to bring down the network’s confirmation time in a move that promises to bolster adoption.

Vitalik Buterin talks Ethereum plans.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin
  • Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin believes the network can improve user experience with faster transaction confirmations.
  • Buterin has explored several ways the network can achieve this UX boost.
  • The fix will likely have implications for Layer 2 chains.

A great user experience is often critical to any technology’s adoption and sustained growth. It is no different for leading Layer 1 blockchain Ethereum.

Amid growing adoption, it has become apparent that if the network intends to maintain its place as “DeFi King,” it needs to bolster its user experience. So far, efforts to do so have been focused on scaling, which entails offering fast and low-cost transactions through major upgrades and a rollup-centric roadmap.


Against this backdrop, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has released a post exploring methods to reduce the network’s transaction confirmation time, a move that promises to bolster adoption and create more novel and user-friendly applications.

“There Is Value in Improving User Experience Further”: Vitalik

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin believes the network can improve user experience with faster transaction confirmations. In a June 30 blog post exploring how this faster confirmation time can be achieved, Buterin argued that Ethereum had made significant progress in the past five years and had achieved a confirmation time of between 5 and 20 seconds but could do more.

“… there is value in improving user experience further, and there are some applications that outright require latencies on the order of hundreds of milliseconds or even less,” he wrote.

A transaction is confirmed on a blockchain when it is included in a new block, which is confirmed on the network. This single confirmation is often referred to as a slot, and it takes 12 seconds to complete, as highlighted by Buterin. More confirmations come when more blocks are added, with finality coming when this transaction is deemed no longer reversible.


Buterin outlined three major ideas that are often considered when it comes to facilitating faster transaction confirmation times, including single slot finality, rollup preconfirmations, which would require Layer 2 chains to have a native validator set that would commit stake to sign blocks in milliseconds, and based preconfirmations, which would create a protocol for users to offer an extra fee to block proposers for expedited transaction confirmation.

Still, the Ethereum co-founder highlighted some downsides associated with the individual techniques. For example, single-slot finality only brought down the finality time but did nothing to bring down the confirmation time. At the same time, rollup preconfirmations placed a high demand on rollups to all have decentralized sequencers, which he likened to creating an entirely new Layer 1 chain.

Despite these issues, he tipped a combination of single slot finality with either rollup preconfirmations or based preconfirmations to bring down confirmation time to as much as 2 seconds.

Whatever combination developers choose will likely have implications for the Layer 2 chains building on top of Ethereum.

What Layer 2 Chains Should Do

According to Buterin, there are three strategies Layer 2 chains can take at the moment. They can be based, delegate sequencing to the Layer 1 chain, be “a server with blockchain scaffolding,” which refers to the strategy employed by validium chains, and rely on fast nodes to reduce latency.

The developer appeared to favor based rollups, but several proponents have questioned the incentives of rollups to be based.

Crypto researcher Ittai Abraham contended that Layer 2 chains, instead of being based, had a greater incentive to be more like Layer 1, an approach that offered greater independence and could increase the value of their native coins.

Read this for more from Vitalik Buterin:
Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Urges for Regulatory Shake-Up

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Okoya David

David Okoya is a crypto news reporter at DailyCoin based in Nigeria. He covers various topics related to the cryptocurrency industry, including exchanges, regulations, and price movements, and strives to bring fresh angles to breaking news. With experience as a freelance crypto news writer, David upholds the highest journalistic standards, telling complete stories and answering lingering questions whenever possible.