Imagine your favorite gaming console is out with updated features and provides more than an immersive experience. Now, imagine that happening to the Ethereum blockchain!
Yup! Ethereum is updating to Ethereum 2.0, and it’s only going to get better from here!
Let’s take a look at what we already have, and explore the features planned for the future.
Ethereum: The Present
Ethereum is a blockchain platform that stores transactions of Ether in blocks. Many blocks connect to form blockchains. Hashes encrypt these blocks.
Hashes are a string of numbers. The hashes ensure the encryption of the blocks is highly secure.
Consequently, this technology avoids mediators getting incentivized. It also ensures the payment is secure and that no one can tamper with the transaction history.
The most notable feature of Ethereum is the ability to be programmable. This allows users to create decentralized applications, smart contracts, and more. It permits the creativity and innovation of novel dApps that are transparent and secure.
But, if Ethereum works in a smooth flow, and allows innovation amidst security, then why Ethereum 2.0?
Why Ethereum 2.0? It’s An Evolved Form.
Ethereum 2.0 focuses on 3 main goals: Scalability, Sustainability, and Security.
Scalability: Currently, Ethereum deals with about 15 transactions on the blockchain – PER SECOND! That’s slower than the writer writing this post!
Ethereum 2.0 wants to achieve a speed of ~1000 transactions per second. That’s 1/8th of orbital velocity when measured in m/s (as per SI standards).
Sustainability: From a bird’s eye view; having 15 transactions per second consumes a lot of time and energy. Suppose the blockchain is busy and you have to transfer around 20ETH; you may end up paying 30 ETH as the transaction fee and that’s more than what you wanted to transfer.
You’d end up spending 50ETH!
Speculations are that the energy consumed for validating these transactions in the blockchain – over 24 hours – could supply power to over 7 million households in the US.
The energy spent on validating every transaction on the block is a lot more than what the planet can afford.
Security: This evolved form plans of securing the blockchain by a method called Staking and will bring the Proof Of Stake method. The 3rd generation of blockchain now ensures a more secure platform against threats. Moreover, it is more secure against 51% attacks that unfortunately occur.
Why Ethereum 2.0? Because it's better with three main goals: Scalability, Sustainability, and Security. Ethereum is going to scale up by increasing the number of transactions that occurs in the blockchain. Sustainability tries to reduce power consumption to validate the transactions in the blockchain. Security is taken care of by the PoS system introduced.
What is Ethereum 2.0?
Ethereum plans to bring a better version of the decentralized web for all developers. dApps will be more secure and transactions will be faster and energy efficient.
In addition, due to less traffic, the transaction fee would be lesser. Validators will be rewarded and a stronger firewall against 51% attack will implement itself to avoid the disruption of the blockchain and mining monopolization.
Ethereum 2.0 is a version of Ethereum that is scalable to handle more transactions, highly secure against threats, and sustainable for the future, consuming less power.
Features of Ethereum 2.0
The 3 main features of Ethereum 2.0 are:
- Beacon Chain
The Beacon chain is a chain of Eth blocks that doesn’t change anything about Ethereum as of the present. It is merely a consensus layer.
However, the Beacon chain will be the first to welcome the Proof of Stake (POS) into Ethereum’s ecosystem.
Consequently, the network is reinforced to work under the POS condition.
More importantly, the Beacon Chain will function as a precursor to all improvements and features.
So far, the Beacon chain has the Proof of Stake protocol integrated. During the Merge, the Beacon Chain will merge with the Mainnet chain or the main Ethereum chain.
Thus, providing us a complete new Ethereum based on Proof of Stake rather than Proof of Work.
Furthermore, this means Ethereum is now ready for the final stage – Sharding. In addition to the preparation, Merging also ensures the power consumption is down by ~99.95%.
🚨NOTE: The term ‘Docking’ is used synonymously with ‘Merging’, implying the same process.
Just as glass breaks into many shards, similarly, during Sharding, the Ethereum main net will break into as many as 64 pieces and facilitate faster transactions in the Ethereum 2.0 platform.
This functions to distribute the data load amidst different nodes and data storage, making rollups for affordable operable nodes.
Moreover, considering the importance of Sharding as the last piece in making Ethereum 2.0, it is going to be released in multi-steps post the Merge.
There are three main features of Ethereum 2.0: The Beacon Chain, The Merge, and The Sharding. The Beacon chain behaves as a consensus layer for Ethereum 2.0 that will welcome the PoS method into the network. The Merge is when the Beacon Chain and Ethereum Mainnet become one chain. The Sharding is when the Mainnet chain breaks up to 63 more pieces, increasing more transactions in lesser time and transaction fee.
How Is Eth 2.0 Different From Eth?
Ethereum 2.0 is advantageous by being highly sustainable – to the developers and the Earth.
It’s more energy efficient as it consumes less power to validate and store transactions in the blocks or create blockchains.
Furthermore, it’s highly secure due to the use of the Proof of Stake protocol alongside the Beacon Chain.
Consequently, it’s also said to have 63 more blockchains (Shards) that’ll run parallel to the main blockchain. These will ensure faster, clearer, cheaper transactions on the Ethereum platform.
The Merging of the Shards and the central blockchain will occur when all the Shards follow POS and the POW has converted to POS.
Well, that’s a lot to achieve at once… so, how does Ethereum plan to accomplish this? By releasing Ethereum 2.0 in phases.
Ethereum versus Ethereum 2.0? Well, there are only three main differences. Coincidentally, they are also the features of Ethereum 2.0. It's Scalable, Sustainable, and Secure! The Beacon Chain is a consensus layer that brings the PoS into the network. The Shards ensure faster processing, and The Merge enables the PoS method in the entire blockchain.
Release & Working of Ethereum 2.0
Ethereum will release in 4 phases: Phase 0, Phase 1, Phase 1.5, and Phase 2. Phase 0 is live.
Phase 0 consists of the Beacon chain running parallel to the Mainnet chain and was out in the world on 1st December 2020.
The Beacon chain functions as a consensus layer to the existing Eth platform (the execution layer), and a precursor to future additions. The Shards are kept in sync across the network.
Phase 1 consists of The Shard Chains running the Ethereum. It will follow the POS system and create blocks while interacting with the main Beacon Chain.
Phase 1.5 executes the Merging of the 2 blockchains that work on Proof of Work and Proof of Stake. It will ensure the blockchain completely transits to a POS environment. Casper will replace the POW in Eth with POS and that’s how it’ll be delivered to Eth 2.0.
The Merge will occur in 2 parts: a Bellatrix upgrade and a Paris upgrade. The Bellatrix update and Paris update have tentative dates around 6th September and 15th September this year.
On August 11th, Ethereum successfully completed the last testnet phase of The Merge. The Merge is one of the most important events in Ethereum’s development.
Phase 2 will observe the final Ethereum that’s got Shards increasing the speed of transactions and a Beacon-facilitated secure POS environment. The Shards will be upgradeable to include new features. It’s also speculated that the EVM will receive an upgrade too.
The Release of Ethereum 2.0 is going to occur in four phases. Phase 0 has the release of Beacon Chain that occurred on 1st December 2020. Phase 1 has the Shard chains running with the aid of Beacon Chain and carries faster transactions. The Merge in Phase 1.5 between the Beacon Chain and Mainnet Chain ensures the network runs on PoS. Finally, the last touch-ups and upgrade to the EVM are Phase 2.
Ethereum 2.0 aims to be more secure, highly efficient, and eco-friendly to maintain. Ethereum will release its evolved version to the world in phases. Phase 0 had its release on December 1st, 2020.
This version has the Beacon Chain acting independently, carrying out transactions in the blockchain using the Proof of Stake (POS) protocol.
Phases 1 and 1.5 will release either in late 2022 or early 2023. These phases will bring the integration of POS to the entire Ethereum blockchain and function under the POS system as the Merge takes place.
Finally, Phase 2.0 will release the complete version of the novel Ethereum, which brings aboard the Sharding system. Enabling faster, more secure, and more sustainable transactions in 2023-24.
Following the completion of Phase 2.0, the Ethereum that we know today will cease to exist. Until Merging, the 2 blockchains will run parallel.
What are your thoughts on Ethereum 2.0? Let us know in the comments below! Share the EtherLove with your friends on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram!
- What is Proof of Stake?
Proof of Stake is a method where the blockchain runs on random validators approving the transactions at a stake of 32 ETH. Every validator has to spend 32 ETH as collateral to validate transactions.
- Will the EVM change in Eth 2.0?
Well, as of now, speculations are the EVM will run on Ethereum 2.0 until the Ethereum WebAssembly (eWASM) is ready. The Ethereum WebAssembly will integrate into Ethereum 2.0 just before the final launch of the blockchain.
- When will Merging occur?
Merging, or Docking is a process where the Beacon chain merges with the Mainnet chain of Ethereum 1. It is bound to occur after the integration of 63 Shard chains work under the Proof of Stake environment autonomously.