One of the most anticipated upgrade since ethereum launched in 2015 might be closer than some think with Paul Hauner, an Eth 2.0 Developer at Sigma Prime working on the Lighthouse eth2.0 client, stating:
“All implementing teams are aiming for a testnet in March, I see no reason why we can’t achieve that.”
The specification for the Beacon chain has not yet been fully finalized, but “it’s getting close,” Hauner says. While another dev working on the same client, Stan Drozd, says:
“There’s still work to be done on the phase 0 beacon chain spec, which is constantly changing. Changes are made every day, which makes it very hard to pick a definitive deadline.”
Vitalik Buterin says the code still needs to integrate “state transitions [and] fork choice rules,” but it appears to have reached a fairly advanced stage. Describing the above featured image, Hauner says:
“That’s a screenshot of htop, showing that all 6 of my CPU cores (12 logical cores) are running at maximum capacity… it means people are benchmarking eth2 (benchmarking is a relatively advanced stage of development).
Beacon spec is not finalized yet, but it’s getting close. All implementing teams are aiming for a testnet in March, I see no reason why we can’t achieve that.”
Alex Stokes from the same team said “Hauner is running an early version of the lighthouse beacon node that everyone in this channel has been working to bring to term; there is enough in flux that no one wants to commit to any hard deadlines but there are a number of client teams that are all working very hard to get to a testnet as soon as possible.”
A testnet launch is just the first stage of finalization towards a mainnet launch. There will need to be code audits and further reviews with an actual launch potentially by the end of the year.
In the meantime they’ll be working on phase 1, which is midway towards the launch of full sharding perhaps some time in 2021.
That’s all somewhat in flux however with timelines merely an estimate, but Proof of Stake (PoS) will probably go out sometime this year.
That might reduce new supply to about 0.86 eth per block, more than halved from a planned reduction in February to 2eth per block.
It will be a very dummy chain, however, although that might change. As it stands, there will only be a one way deposit to the Beacon chain for stakers. No transactions on the beacon chain or any other use for it as far as ordinary cryptonians are concerned save for acting as a staker to secure the network and gain a circa 8% interest rate on eth “deposits.”
Phase 1 then will be an intermediary stage, with usable sharding to go out in phase 2. However, they’re now facing competition from Parity which is planning to launch a new blockchain with a new coin to be called Dot or perhaps Pol by the end of the year.
The design of Polkadot is fairly identical to eth2.0 as far as scalability is concerned. There are some differences in as far as a shard (or parachain as they call them) in Polkadot is customizable, but as explained in some detail it is fundamentally the same thing.
Gavin Wood of Parity and Polkadot told Trustnodes earlier this month they plan to launch a fully operational and a fully sharded blockchain by the end of the year. “I wouldn’t call it ‘dummy’ or ‘Phase 0’ or whatever,” he said of their Pokadot plans.
So adding pressure on eth devs to move a bit faster because ethereum might face some considerable competition by a hungry team which hasn’t yet secured millions as Buterin has and as the Ethereum Foundation has.
Ethereum on the other hand does have a vast ecosystem, but as current deployed smart contracts and any future deployed smart contract needs to transition, it isn’t very clear how they’ll maintain strong network effects.
In addition, if Parity does deliver, they’ll be working on quadratic sharding while eth would be about two years away from launching “simple” sharding.
So making it one of the most fascinating race since the run to dominate the search engine space in the 90s. The winner may have the world and this time we can all place our bets.