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A Summary of

The history of Casper 

by
Vlad Zamfir
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March 2013 - April 2014

  • The “Cyprus crisis” run up of Bitcoin piqued Zamfir’s interest, and he started to learn about key terms in Bitcoin -- the experience was intellectually stimulating
  • Ethereum made decentralization accessible to everyday people -- after winning second place in a hackathon, Zamfir was offered a volunteer position in the company 

May 2014 - September 12, 2014: The move from naive proof-of-stake to modern proof-of-stake

  • Slasher, the idea that you could lose your block reward if you sign blocks at the same height on two forks, gave Vitalik the ability to address the nothing-at-stake problem 
    • The nothing-at-stake problem is that the PoS miners best strategy is to mine on all forks, because signatures are very cheap to produce
  • After continuing to work on Proof of Work problems, Zamfir understood the power of security deposits for proof-of-stake
    • You place a deposit to play, and if you play nice you make a small return on your deposit, but if you play mean you lose your deposit. It is programmable because it is economically ideal. 
  • Adding deposits to slasher solved the nothing-at-stake problem
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