Despite the hurdles facing the platform, the Ethereum network could end up emerging stronger and accomplish the milestones it set out to achieve in 2017, especially those related to smart contracts.

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, in his paper “Opportunities and Challenges for Private and Consortium Blockchains” released by the R3 Consortium earlier this year, highlighted some of the milestones, which include:

Serenity (‘Ethereum 1.5’): the release of the proof of stake (Casper) version of the Blockchain, also including Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) 101 and 105. Expected in early 2017.
Web Assembly release (‘Ethereum 1.75’): faster virtual machine. Expected in 2017.
Ethereum 2.0 (yet unnamed): initial scalability release. Expected in late 2017.
Ethereum 3.0 (yet unnamed): ‘unlimited’ scalability release. Expected in late 2018.