The next Ethereum system upgrade, Eth 2.0, has been in the works for a long time. The original date for the launch was set for Q2 2020, but now developers are saying that it will launch in July – or the start of Q3. So, Ethereum 2.0 is set to launch in July of this year. Now, here’s what you need to know.
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) December 5, 2019
What to expect from Ethereum 2.0
Ethereum 2.0 is set to launch in July of this year and it’s essentially the answer to the issue of scalability that has been plaguing the Ethereum network. Ethereum was built using a Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm – the same as Bitcoin. However, Ethereum provides a foundation for the building of decentralized applications, or dApps, and the current blockchain is not scalable enough to support dApps and dApp developers to their full capabilities.
With Ethereum 2.0, a Proof-of-Stake algorithm will be implemented, consolidating Ethereum 2.0 Serenity via the launch of the Beacon Chain. The Beacon Chain will run as a parallel blockchain, separate to the current Ethereum network. Customers and end-users won’t really even notice the transition, and operations will continue as normal for them.
Ethereum 2.0 will make the network vastly more scalable, increasing security and stability. Ethereum 2.0 comes after a long series of upgrades, starting with Frontier in 2015. The transition to the Ethereum 2.0 network provides confirmation for the long-term viability of the Ethereum blockchain, as it improves upon the network’s functionality and supports the rapid growth of the ecosystem.
Previous Ethereum updates
Now let’s take a look at all of the system updates that have led to this point:
- Frontier (2015)
Frontier was the launch of the Ethereum 1.0 Blockchain. The whitepaper was released in 2014, but it wasn’t until July 2015 that the blockchain actually launched.
- Frontier Thawing (2015)
Frontier Thawing occurred just over two months after the release of the blockchain. It was implemented to update clients, resolve gas issues, and switch to epoch.
- Homestead (2016)
Homestead was the second major version release of Ethereum. It included a number of protocol and networking changes, which gave the network the ability to do further upgrades.
- DAO Fork (2016)
The DAO fork was intended to address issues following the DAO hack.
- Byzantium (2017)
Byzantium was the first iteration of the Metropolis hard fork. The Ethereum network underwent a hard fork that made several technical changes (you can read about them here)
- Constantinople (2019)
Constantinople was the second chapter of the Metropolis update. Constantinople deactivated EIP (Ethereum Improvement Protocol) 1283, along with implementing several other changes.
- Istanbul (2019)
Istanbul brought updates that altered the cost of various opcodes to prevent spamming blocks. This improved Ethereum and Zcash’s interoperability. Changes to various opcodes will increase scalability performance for solutions based on zero-knowledge privacy technology (SNARKs and STARKs).
- Muir Glacier (2020)
Muir Glacier is the most recent Ethereum update. It was intended to delay the “difficulty bomb” from going off, which would have affected around 4 million blocks. The bomb won’t go off for a few more years, or at least until Ethereum 2.0 features, like the finality gadget, have been implemented.
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ETH 2.0 is on its way
After a long wait, Ethereum 2.0 is set to launch in July of this year. Ethereum has been undergoing upgrades in preparation for this since 2015, and almost exactly 5 years later we’ll be seeing the fruits of the Ethereum developers’ labor. Etheruem 2.0 will improve scalability, security, and functionality, and bring Ethereum to the place that it wants to be in.