Seven years after Vitalik Buterin published the Ethereum whitepaper in 2013, Ethereum has evolved into a thriving financial ecosystem. In 2020, the network is on pace to settle nearly $1 trillion in annual transactions for the first time, and currently supports over $100B in assets and tens of thousands of applications.
Despite Ethereum’s undeniable success, its aspirations are loftier still. It aims to secure a significant base of the global economy, all while remaining globally accessible to individual users at its base layer. Achieving this under Ethereum’s current throughput of 15 transactions per second is simply not feasible.
Ethereum 2.0 is a major network upgrade, years in the making, that if successful will scale Ethereum’s throughput by more than 1,000x, without sacrificing decentralization. It will also transform the network’s native asset, ETH, by bestowing it with new properties while bringing its long term inflation rate down below 1%.
With the numerous layer-1 competitors eying Ethereum’s market share and the recent surge in DeFi activity pushing Ethereum to its limits, the stakes could not be higher.
The first major phase of ETH 2.0 will kick into high gear tomorrow at 12pm UTC (7am EST) with the launch of Phase 0 and the Beacon Chain.
Ethereum 2.0 essentially boils down to creating a new blockchain from scratch with a new consensus mechanism (proof of stake) and new architecture (sharding) before porting all of Ethereum’s existing applications to the new chain without disruption.
The Beacon Chain is Ethereum 2.0’s proof of stake blockchain. Where Ethereum is currently secured via Proof of Work miners, the Beacon Chain will be secured through Proof of Stake validators. Where proof of work involves running specialized hardware that consume vast quantities of electricity, proof of stake requires downloading some software and committing a stake of 32 ETH to a smart contract.
While the launch of the Beacon Chain will capture much of the excitement in the near future, outside of bootstrapping a network of proof of stake validators, this chain will have little functionality. Sharding and smart contract support will not be introduced until later phases.
Before Ethereum can port existing applications over to Ethereum 2.0, it’s next phase will need to launch which won’t occur until a year from now at the earliest.
Once Phase 0 has been completed and ETH 2.0’s validator set is firmly in place, Phase 1 wi... keep reading on reddit ➡
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