The biggest upgrade of any public blockchain since their invention has now reached the stage of a “software development slog,” according to Vitalik Buterin, Chief Scientist at the Ethereum Foundation.
Speaking in an interview at EthSanFrancisco, part of the ETHGlobal events, Vitalik Buterin said there is no significant unsolved theoretical problem left for Ethereum 2.o.
In providing a time line estimate, he compared it to Ethereum 1.0. He said currently Ethereum 2.0 is at the stage Ethereum 1.0 was during fall 2014. As you may know, Ethereum then launched on July 30th 2015.
We quote at length with some small cosmetic modifications related to auditory speech, starting with Buterin’s explanation of Ethereum 2.0. He says:
“Ethereum 2.0 is this catch-all term for a combination of different paths towards seriously and fundamentally revamping the ethereum blockchain that we’ve been working on over the last few years.
Where one of those is Proof of Stake Casper. One of those is sharding. One of those is the switch from the current EVM Ethereum Virtual Machine to eWASM, the Web Assembly based one. And one of them is a set of miscellaneous improvements, including things like abstraction, improving protocol economics that I wrote a paper on recently, among other things like that.
Ethereum 2.0 is basically the new version of ethereum that will take all these different improvements and put them together and essentially create what we believe is the best possible design for a general purpose blockchain given what we know in 2018.
The goal is to have a roadmap to migrate ethereum over into being that in the next few years.”
Buterin has authored quite a few papers recently, so which one he is referring to is unclear, but the interviewer asks what the timeline look like regarding ethereum 2.0. Buterin says:
“One of the big things that’s made me a lot more optimistic about the whole thing over the last maybe four months specifically, is that the research side has really congealed and stabilized a huge amount.
It feels like the research side at this point is… like there’s no significant unsolved theoretical problems left. It’s basically all details and safety checking and verification.
Right now it’s basically a software development slog and we’re familiar with software development slogs. Like if you recall Ethereum 1.0, going from the original first step of the Ethereum whitepaper to Ethereum 1.0 being released, altogether took 19 months.
Right now we’re actually very significantly ahead of the initial whitepaper release. I would say right now Ethereum 2.0, with where the protocol is and where the software development is, it’s probably where ethereum 1.0 was possibly maybe in the fall of 2014.
That means… there are already independent companies like for example Prysmatic, Lighthouse, Status with Nimbus and a couple of other, Consensys, Parity, starting to work on independent implementations of the Casper and Sharding spec.
I expect testnets to be coming out fairly soon. Then we’ll have in-parallel work happening on testnets along with formal verification of the protocol, auditing of the protocol, auditing of the code and implementations, and that all at some point culminates in some form of mainnet release.”