With minimum practical enshrinement, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has suggested a middle ground strategy for incorporating functionality into the Ethereum protocol. Buterin recently wrote a paper in which he acknowledged the distinctiveness of blockchains as social systems and promoted minimalism based on the Unix philosophy. In his view, enshrinement can assist prevent the hazards of centralization that might arise when complexity is pushed to outer layers. However, excessive enshrinement poses systemic dangers and can undermine the protocol’s confidence and governance.
Enshrining the bare minimum functionalities allows for easier deployment without putting too many restrictions on it. As an illustration, consider changing the staking penalty rules to allow for trustless liquid staking or instituting EVM-MAX and SIMD for effective operations. Buterin also makes the case that de-enshrinement of infrequently used features might be required to maintain backward compatibility and a leaner protocol.
Buterin emphasizes the difficulties in validating Ethereum-like blocks within ZK-SNARKs, with a focus on ZK-EVMs. He questions whether Ethereum can add the protocol feature known as “verify EVM execution in ZK,” which would enable the social consensus of Ethereum to deal with extraordinary circumstances and lessen the need for additional governance in the rollup ecosystem.