Stateless is the new direction of Eth 1.x research, so we’re going to do a pretty deep dive and get a real sense of the challenges and possibilities that are expected on the road ahead. For those that want to dive even deeper, I’ll do my best to link to more verbose resources whenever possible.

The State of Stateless Ethereum

To see where we’re going, we must first understand where we are with the concept of ‘state’. When we say ‘state’, it’s in the sense of “a state of affairs”.

The complete ‘state’ of Ethereum describes the current status of all accounts and balances, as well as the collective memories of all smart contracts deployed and running in the EVM. Every finalized block in the chain has one and only one state, which is agreed upon by all participants in the network. That state is changed and updated with each new block that is added to the chain.

In the context of Eth 1.x research, it’s important not just to know what state is, but how it’s represented in both the protocol (as defined in the yellow paper), and in most client implementations (e.g. geth, parity, trinity, besu, etc.).