Justin Drake, a researcher at the Ethereum Foundation (EF) working on sharding, has suggested for discussion July 30th 2020 as the date for the launch of the ethereum 2.0 genesis block.
“July 30, 2020 is Ethereum’s fifth anniversary, a natural candidate schelling point for genesis,” Drake said with Preston van Loon, an eth2.0 client dev, saying:
“If this is discussion about choosing a date, maybe we should restart the conversation on production readiness and then come up with estimates.”
Danny Ryan, eth2.0 coordinator at EF, agreed with Loon, stating in the discussion:
“It would be much more productive to define the criteria we need to launch rather than just posting a date in this repo.
I, personally, continue to be much more optimistic than the date in this PR. More importantly, these are conversations that should be had with the engineering teams doing heroic work currently delivering production grade testnets.”
Heroic. Drake said one criteria was a long-standing multi client testnet. Defining it, he stated eth2.0 genesis launch requires :
“A multi-client (ideally 3 clients) public testnet be stable for 3 months without reboots or downtime…
My hope is that such a stable multi-client testnet will be deployed in Q1. With a 3-month stability requirement we’d be looking at Q2 launch at the earliest.”
Jim McDonald, Managing Director at an investment company Weald Technology, pointed out the phase 0 spec needs to be lockdown too, stating:
“If I remember correctly the ‘freeze’ was 0.8.0 but that’s significantly different from 0.9.2. There needs to be a 1.0.0 release so the spec stops being a moving target, and before that the idea of what additional changes may be introduced so that client teams know where to focus their efforts.”
Vitalik Buterin, ethereum’s co-founder, proposed some last minute design changes at Devcon for sharding and phase 0. That led to spec changes, and thus new code, with Danny Ryan “to make another release soon, also specifically designed for long-standing testnets,” according to Drake.
Meanwhile the deposit contract is waiting for an audit report, with it now appearing quite unlikely this will launch in Q1 of 2020.
Q2 is probably at the earliest, with Drake kind of trying to set a target date of at least by July 2020.
Ryan thinks it might launch earlier, and he turned out to be right about the January 3rd date Drake initially set, which was changed to sometime in January, then sometime in Q1, and now maybe sometime before July.
This is the very first stage of just Proof of Stake (PoS) in a “dumb” blockchain that can’t do anything much but read Proof of Work (PoW) blocks.
There are suggestions that it could write the PoW blockchain as well with a finality gadget. That’s quite difficult because the PoS chain would become kind of a decentralized side-chain with quite a lot of work required to achieve it, if it can be done at all.
Where sharding stands isn’t clear. We might get a better idea during summer perhaps, but for now it appears to be at very early stages still.
So it doesn’t look like there will be any base layer capacity any time soon on the ethereum blockchain, but extensions of sorts through snarks and the like are now in deployment.