The launch of ethereum 2.0 is now not to be expected before January 2021 according to an update by ethereum developers.
“With Thanksgiving on November 26 and the December holidays I’d say the latest practical opportunity for genesis in 2020 is mid-November, 4 months from now.
As such, I’m now inclined to say that the earliest practical date for genesis is something like January 3, 2021 (Bitcoin’s 12th anniversary),” said Justin Drake, an ethereum 2.0 developer.
Before launch a full public testnet needs to run for three months, he said, and an incentivised “attack net” for 2-3 months.
That is in addition to the public testnet which everyone can run and test, they are also to launch a stable testnet operated by client teams to invite people to break it with successful attacks receiving eth rewards.
In addition Drake (pictured right) said there will be “a bug bounty program similar to bounty.ethereum.org running for 2-3 months” and “serious differential fuzzing across clients.”
According to Danny Ryan (pictured left), the ethereum 2.0 coordinator, the testnet launch is expected within weeks.
“In recent conversations with eth2 client teams, clients plan to be ready for a re-launch of a larger public testnet in a matter of weeks,” he said.
Devnets have been running for now months with people able to join them but they often require restarts.
In addition there have been a number of changes to the specification this year, requiring upgrades and code changes, but work has been progressing. Ryan says:
“Delivering on eth2 is a balance between meeting the time demands of the community and crypto ecosystem at large, while at the same time balancing the incredibly high security needs that the value of the existing Ethereum ecosystem demands. Doing it quickly is important but doing it securely is critical,” emphasis his.
Staking eth won’t be transferable as far as we are aware, and thus will be locked for potentially two years as having a two way peg is a difficult endeavor, if at all possible, with the stated aim being to somehow merge eth1 with eth2.
That would be in phase 1.5, which would follow the genesis block launch with staking in phase 0, and then phase 1 which adds storage sharding.
Beyond phase 0 however much is in flux, with the current ethereum blockchain expected to run for some more years in its current state depending on when, and if at all, they merge it in eth2.
That merger requires a lot of work from the eth1 team, says Ryan, with the maintainer of the eth1 client, Geth, complaining many devs have gone to work on eth2 as that is perceived to be more shiny.
There are about 100 people working on eth2 according to both Drake and Ryan, with Drake stating:
“There’s about 50 people directly working to get Eth2 out of the door. We have about 40 ‘core’ folks (e.g. from the EF and the Eth2 clients) dedicated to Eth2.
There are also various teams (e.g. libp2p, Supranational, TXRX, WASM) that have a significant focus on Eth2 but may not be 100% full-time on Eth2 specifically.”
Eth1 is in the process of upgrading itself to add BLS signatures which are needed for the deposit contract for eth2, as well as other features.
Due to increasing demands it also needs optimizations to address bottlenecks as miners have increased capacity and may continue to do so.
Then to transition to eth2, it is not clear what eth1 devs need to do but Ryan says it would require a lot of work, and only after that do we finally have full sharding and the full launch of ethereum 2.0.
A time estimate would be futile as much is in flux for phase two, but the next halving would be an optimistic timeline for sharding scalability.
Update: Vitalik Buterin disagrees, thinks it can launch in November.