“I feel like my influence in Ethereum keeps decreasing every six months," Buterin said in a recent interview. "I have less now than I did six months ago. Six months ago, I had less than I had a year ago. And a year ago, I had less than I had 18 months ago."
He further noted that there are a lot of people in the Ethereum community, and he has to convince them to push in a certain direction.
“If you watch some of the [Ethereum Improvement Proposals – EIPs] that I personally promote, some of them don’t even make it," the Ether co-founder said. "So for a lot of them, you have to try pretty hard to satisfy all people’s concerns."
Asked what was the biggest initiative he had promoted that never got adopted, Buterin offered EIP-4488 as an example, saying it would have been in Ethereum today “if I had more control.”
EIP-4488 was described by Buterin as “a fairly technical change” that would lead to a decrease in the cost of rollups over the short term.
A rollup is a technology that executes transactions outside the network’s base layer (layer 1) before the data is posted to layer 1 where consensus is reached.
Buterin also admitted in the interview that it is becoming harder to make big changes to the Ethereum protocol due to the many stakeholders that have a say in the decision-making process.
According to Buterin, protocol decisions today “tend to be done” through a bi-weekly call known as the “all-core devs call,” where everyone has to agree for a proposal to move forward.
“Even at the beginning, the research team has to agree. And then in the later stages, the core developers, the people actually writing the code, have to agree as well,” Buterin said.
He added that the process of making things happen on Ethereum is “definitely more vetocratic” than it was three years ago, and “definitely much more than it was six years ago, when we could get a change accepted and it would get included very quickly.”
“Even now, I feel like the window is closing on substantial things. It’s getting harder to do big things even today,” the Ethereum co-founder said.