Phase zero of ethereum 2.0, which enables Proof of Stake (PoS), is targeted to launch on the 3rd of January 2020, seven months from now.
That would be precisely 11 years after bitcoin’s genesis block was launched on the 3rd of January 2009, with Justin Drake, an eth 2.0 researcher, citing the 11th bitcoin anniversary as one reason for choosing that specific date.
He said they’re on track for phase zero spec freeze this June 30th, in about two weeks.
Thus, for new realistic targets, there are two milestones. First, the deposit contract is to launch ahead of the genesis block to allow validators to make deposits.
They’re hoping at least 2 million eth will be deposited, with a deposit contract ceremony to be held at Devcon in Japan “so that we can all agree on the address of the deposit contract and avoid scam deposit contracts,” Drake said.
The second milestone is the genesis block launch on the day Satoshi Nakamoto did so for bitcoin.
That would be soon after Christmas and after the new year, so symbolizing a new beginning for ethereum.
This would allow three months of deposits to accumulate and 7 months from today for at least two clients to reach production status, Drake said.
Asked to clarify what he means by production status, Drake said it means that there has been a long running cross client testnet that has gone through security audit, fuzzing, parts have gone through formal verification, and hasn’t suffered major issues for a healthy amount of time.
Vitalik Buterin, ethereum’s founder, clarified it would be the same as the eth 1.0 launch. A long running testnet, security audit, fuzzing, and no bugs for a reasonable time.
The current status of at least three ethereum 2.0 clients is a running testnet, but only with the same client nodes.
The second stage is a cross-client testnet. Jonny Rhea, an ethereum developer at PegaSys, the ConsenSys eth 2.0 client, said that the founder of ConsenSys, Joseph Lubin, has put forth a bounty for a multi-client testnet to test consensus.
Such testnet, therefore, may be out in a few weeks, with someone else mentioning someone was looking to arrange the security audit.
All of it suggesting ethereum 2.0 is nearing the final stages of launching, with the process to begin hopefully at Devcon this October 8th to 10th.
This will be just the Proof of Stake (PoS) part that doesn’t allow for much else except depositing and then validation to ensure the rules are being followed.
Initially this will be a one way deposit as far as we are aware. There is talk of a two way peg, but that might be for phase 2.
Phase one is the intermediary phase. This is data, or storage sharding, which can increase capacity but full sharding won’t be until phase 2, estimated to launch in about two years while phase one may hopefully go out next year.
What will happen to eth 1.0 is apparently still being discussed. The initial suggestion was sort of folding it into a smart contract and turning it into a shard of sorts, but that apparently would be “a significant engineering and governance effort,” according to Drake. So he wonders:
“The native integration should be compared to significantly cheaper medium-term alternatives. For example, a two-way bridge between Eth1 and Eth2 can be built using light clients.”
Another thing being discussed more generally by ethereans rather than devs specifically is whether 1 ETH1 = 1 ETH2 if there is no two way bridge.
With a two way bridge obviously you can arbitrage, but if you can’t turn “eth2” into “eth1,” then arguably you can’t arbitrage. In which case the market might give them different values for whatever reason.
What also remains unclear is what changes, if any, there will be to the Proof of Work (PoW) block rewards. The difficulty bomb should be kicking again around the time of the planned genesis launch, so there will need to be some changes to the eth 1 clients.
Previously it was suggested that PoW block rewards would drop to 0.6 eth, with PoS validators getting 0.22 eth per block. Making it effectively a halvening+. Whether that still remains the case, however, we haven’t seen confirmed.
Yet what remains very clear is that ethereum is soon to begin arguably the biggest upgrade of any public blockchain since their invention a decade ago.