Web3 investment firm Paradigm has released a Rust implementation of Ethereum, according to a Dec. 7 announcement from the company’s chief technology officer, Georgios Konstantopoulos. The new software, called “Reth,” allows Ethereum validators to launch their nodes using Rust instead of Go, Java, or other programming languages.
A previous Rust implementation had been released in June, but developers stopped supporting it in November when they learned that Reth was under development, according to a post by the Erigon team.
In the announcement, Konstantopoulos stated that the software has been released in order to “[contribute] to Ethereum’s stability by improving client diversity,” as well as to provide node software that will perform well.
Excited to be open-sourcing Reth, an Ethereum execution layer in @rustlang— Georgios Konstantopoulos (@gakonst) December 7, 2022
Reth is a new Apache/MIT-licensed full-node implementation of Ethereum by @paradigm and the community, focused on contributor-friendliness, modularity, and performance.https://t.co/hgzkDk9FhL
In the Ethereum developer community, “client diversity” refers to the idea that no single version of node software should dominate the network. Developers believe that if a single version of the software dominates, this could lead to network instability from bugs or exploits. The Ethereum documentation puts it this way:
“Multiple, independently developed and maintained clients exist because client diversity makes the network more resilient to attacks and bugs. Multiple clients is a strength unique to Ethereum - other blockchains rely on the infallibility of a single client. However, it is not enough simply to have multiple, clients available, they have to be adopted by the community and the total active nodes distributed relatively evenly across them.”
A chart within the Ethereum docs shows that over 80% of Ethereum validators currently use Geth, which is a version of Ethereum written in Go. The docs state that this percentage is “problematic” for the network.
The developers of Reth agree that Geth’s dominance is a problem. In a blog post, they say:
“The Ethereum protocol benefits from client diversity when no client has >66% dominance [...] With Reth, we hope to grow the pie of clients in the ecosystem to contribute to the network’s health while keeping our consensus-critical adoption in check.”
In September, Ethereum completed The Merge, an event that eliminated mining and allowed Ethereum holders to stake their coins for additional rewards. But it still suffers from high transaction fees during bull markets. A series of upgrades is planned that developers believe will allow it to handle millions of transactions per day with low fees. Its founder, Vitalik Buterin, has recently written about his excitement for the future of the network.