One of the milestone events in the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency took place at the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris - Europe (ESCP) on 17-18 February 2017 called The EDCON.
The European Ethereum Development Conference (EDCON) was organized by LinkTime with the support and cooperation of developers from the Ethereum Foundation and the wider Ethereum community, as well as ADETIF, the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris - Europe (ESCP), the Asseth (French Ethereum, nonprofit), La ChainTech (French blockchain, nonprofit).
The conference covered information on Ethereum base-layer technology, Ethereum research (PoS, scalability), Privacy (eg. zero knowledge proofs), Formal verification, Ethereum consortium chain development, Applications being built on Ethereum, Growing the Ethereum community and Cryptoeconomics.
Vitalik Buterin (founder of Ethereum) spotlighted the study of 'Cryptoeconomics', the union of cryptography and economics at the heart of public blockchain R&D.
"Cryptoeconomics is about using a collection of cryptographic and economic building blocks in order to build systems that have some desirable informational security properties." - Vitalik Buterin
Buterin explained how he is using cryptoeconomics to analyze where blockchain-based systems can go wrong. His point was that cryptoeconomics can be the frame of mind for finding new solutions. Together cryptography and economics can be used to goad actors to act the right way, he said.
According to Buterin, Bitcoin's proof-of-work, is vulnerable to something along the lines of a P + epsilon attack, a way that miners can fool the system. "This is one of the reasons why people want to push over to proof-of-stake," he said. The main reason that Ethereum is pursuing proof-of-stake is because it could prove to be a greener, fairer alternative to Bitcoin's proof-of-work consensus mechanism and that the proof-of-stake might also be more secure, at least in some ways.
Despite the claims that proof-of-stake works better, it's worth noting that proof-of-stake hasn’t been deployed on a large-scale network, and some technical experts still doubt that it will work.
He provides a big picture overview why he considers the study of the subject core to his work on Ethereum, the second-largest public blockchain by market capitalization.