Undoubtedly Blockchain’s biggest upgrade since its 2015 genesis, Ethereum 2.0 launched on Mainnet on 1st December 2020. With this, the deployment of the Beacon Chain sees Ethereum begins its transition to a proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism – a next-level one, to be honest.
The initial stage of the Serenity upgrade, also known as Phase 0, involved the deployment of the Beacon Chain. The current update sees Ethereum beginning to move to a POS mechanism in which validators staking at least 32 ETH are rewarded interest for providing security to the network.
This update was much-awaited and was in talks since 2015 (or even early 2014, when Vitalik Buterin first shared his thoughts on PoS). This is the most radical change to Ethereum since it’s launch, and is a significant milestone for the entire Blockchain community.
The Ethereum Foundation ran a live stream of the Beacon Chain’s genesis block, while millions of Blockchain and Ethereum enthusiasts and experts got together to celebrate the event. 881,569 ETH was locked up for staking, equating to 27,549 validators. The total value of the locked ETH is over $540 million at today’s prices.
A minimum threshold was set as a security precaution to prevent any attacks, so the deposit contract needed to accrue 524,288 ETH before 12 pm UTC on Nov. 24 to launch on time. The initial uptake for staking for relatively slow, and initially there were suggestions to implement a maximum launch date, in case the threshold wasn’t met. In the final 24 hours before the final cutoff, the contract received more than 7k validators, which allowed them to comfortably push the number of ETH above the maximum limit.
Also Read: Blockchain Development Services
The pathway to ETH 2.0
The next step from here is creating shard chains. This should be done by ideally 2021, and it will theoretically allow Blockchains to handle way more transactions per second than PoW Ethereum which often faces the problems of congestion. Phase 1.5 should hit by 2021 or 2022 and should cover this concern, at which point Eth1 and Eth2 converge and the new blockchain should become broadly usable.
Ethereum community members who want to contribute in the meantime can do another thing except just staking ETH to the nascent network, and that is running a client and earning bug bounties by testing each upgrade before it goes live.
This extended rollout will mean that anyone who staked ETH during launch need not do anything except waiting, things will be settling down in a while.
But what happens if you have your ETH in an exchange?
Several prominent exchanges, including Coinbase and Huobi, have recently announced support for Ethereum 2.0, so if that’s the scenario, you’re covered for the time being.
Also Read: Cryptocurrency Exchange Development
2020 has been a year full of horrors, but as it comes to an end, it shows a possible bright light for the future of the Blockchain domain. As more minds collaborate towards solving problems, we’re sure to see many exciting implementations and use cases of this tech. Till then, let’s wait for the next big thing!