Ethereum 2.0 is coming.
The years-long upgrade – intended to radically transform the world’s largest smart-contract platform – is inching closer to deployment. The Ethereum Foundation recently announced “Medalla,” a final testnet before the mainnet launch of the Eth 2.0 beacon chain.
When phase zero of Eth 2.0 does ship, little about Ethereum will change in the near term for users and dapp developers. This is because unlike all other system-wide upgrades in Ethereum history, the Eth 2.0 overhaul will primarily be happening on a different blockchain.
The first phase of development for Eth 2.0 is centered around the creation of a separate proof-of-stake blockchain network called the beacon chain. On this new network, ETH holders with a minimum of 32 ETH can earn rewards in the form of annualized interest on their wealth. To earn these rewards, ETH holders must have the appropriate hardware and software connecting to the beacon chain and a strong understanding of how the technology works.
In a new 22-page report from CoinDesk Research, the technology behind Eth 2.0 is explained as well as the phases of development it will undergo in the years after its launch.
Ethereum as we know it today will eventually be folded into the Eth 2.0 upgrade in its entirety. The report features commentary from Ethereum developers about what benefits – but also risks – this may bring.
The report also discusses the potential market impact of Eth 2.0, including the ramifications of the new system’s economic design on coin supply, velocity and value.
Why it matters
The culmination of over five years of research and development, Ethereum 2.0 is a highly ambitious upgrade.
Never before has the cryptocurrency industry seen a blockchain of the same size and value as Ethereum attempt to transition all users, as well as assets, to an entirely new decentralized network while keeping all operations on the old network active and running.
It will likely take many years for the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade – in all its complexity – to be complete. However, developer commentary featured in this report suggests the biggest hurdle (and perhaps most important milestone) in the Ethereum 2.0 roadmap is its initial launch.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.