Clock ticks for Ethereum 2.0 launch as deposit contract releases

by ImmuneBytes

Ethereum 2.0 is making big news these days as it is all set to launch on December 1, 2020. With the release of its deposit contract, and the first physical implementation of Eth2, people are excited now more than ever. 

Giving you a slight glimpse, Ethereum 2.0, also called Eth2 or “Serenity”, is the next long-planned and much-awaited upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain, giving it the scalability and security it requires to serve worldwide. It is supposed to be released in multiple “phases”, starting in 2020 with Phase 0. Each phase, henceforth, improves functionality and performance. Check out our blog where we have explained Eth2.0 and its different phases in detail.

Currently, we are in Phase 0, in this phase the Beacon Chain, the heart of ETH 2.0’s Proof-of-Stake (PoS) system, is tested and launched.

The Beacon Chain stores and manages the registry of validators, and will implement the Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism for Ethereum 2.0. The original Ethereum PoW chain will continue to run alongside the new PoS chain, making sure there is no discrepancy in data. Eth2 will show a promising reduction in energy consumption, allow the network to process more transactions, and increase security. This is a huge change to how Ethereum works and it should bring equally huge benefits.

But most importantly, you’ll be able to use the ETH you own today in Eth2 too.

What does Ethereum PoS mean?

Ethereum originally is a Proof-of-Work blockchain which means it relies on miners to keep the network secure and in sync by devoting a great amount of computing power to creating new blocks. 

While Proof-of-Stake comes with a number of improvements including- energy efficiency, lower barriers to entry, stronger crypto-economic incentives, and greater revenue-generating capabilities for a broader set of users. PoS keeps the network secure but replaces energy consumption with a financial commitment.

Current status of Phase 0

In April, there were small multi-client networks: Schlesi, Witti, and Altona. But later in the year, we saw other multi-client testnets- Medalla, Spadina, and Zinken

On August 14, Medalla, the biggest multi-client testnet came to a trembling halt when a bug took most of its validators offline. The incident encountered one of Medalla’s six servers report the time and date as being one day ahead, to which the system responded by averaging out the inconsistency— resulting in the time kept by each of the servers being wrong by four hours. As a result, the validators incorrectly proposed blocks and attestations for future slots.

Following the downfall of Medalla, another testnet was launched, named Spadina. It was rolled out for three days so the Eth2 stakers could practice joining the network, said Danny Ryan in a blog. Although, it failed to launch as well due to low user participation and minor client errors.

Zinken, the final testnet launched on 13 October, was a success. It was concerned with getting the genesis right. It represents Ethereum developers’ efforts to ready the blockchain for its big transition to proof of stake. With Zenkin being the last-scheduled ‘dress-rehearsal’, Ethereum 2.0 is finally ready to launch in November 2020. With Phase-0 going out first, the following Phase-1 is estimated to be launched in 2021.

“Genesis went well, which is the main thing we were looking for”, said Ryan.

The smart contract audit company, Quantsamp completed the audit of Teku,  the Ethereum2.0 client for institutional staking, developed by ConsenSys. “Ethereum2.0 is almost ready for launch”, stated Quantstamp.

The release of the deposit contract

Made live at 15:00 UTC on Nov 4, 2020, the deposit contract is the first major step towards making Eth2 public and accessible to everyday users to collect necessary funds and set off staking. 

As long as the network has 16,384 validators, it will go live on Dec 1 at 12 pm UTC. Each validator will need to be staking 32 ETH, currently estimating $12,700—for a total amount of $209 million to set-off the launch.

Phase 1 and Phase 2 transitions, expected to come about in the next couple of years, will at some point shift the existing Ethereum infrastructure and to the new staking-based consensus.

After many anticipations and delays, the big launch finally seems to be hanging right around the corner now that we have a clear date. Ethereum 2.0 is going to be a major improvement to the existing Ethereum mainnet, the two primary features being proof-of-stake and shard chains. It will primarily benefit the scalability, throughput, and security of the Ethereum public mainnet.

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