Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap and is expecting some large updates to its network — Ethereum 2.0. The majority of Ethereum 2.0’s updates are primed to better the platform’s scalability and security. For Ethereum holders, they don’t need to do anything. For developers or those who wish to start staking, there are opportunities to get involved.
Ethereum 2.0 or Eth2 or “Serenity”, is a reference to the upgrades that will make Ethereum more scalable, secure and sustainable, next to its aged counterpart. Said upgrades are being built as we speak from across the Ethereum ecosystem.
Ethereum needs to support 1000s of transactions per second, allowing for more fluid and cheaper use, but it also needs to be more secure. As Eth2 adoption skyrockets, the protocol needs to be even more airtight. And finally, it must prove itself better for the environment. At the moment, Ethereum is inherently too energy-consuming and puts large strains on computing power due to its Proof of Work consensus mechanism.
However, these areas envelop a demand for upgrades and such upgrades are subject to certain dependencies. Nonetheless, let’s take a look at some of the developments on the horizon.
The Beacon Chain is the first major update. It will bring staking to the Ethereum ecosystem and will lay the groundwork for future upgrades. The Beacon Chain won’t change the fundamentals of Ethereum as we know it, but it will help coordinate the network by introducing Proof of Stake to the Ethereum ecosystem. For more information on Proof of Stake, simply check the Cudos Medium homepage for more information.
The merging of mainnet Ethereum with the Beacon Chain is also on the agenda, precluding the end of energy-intensive mingling and the beginning of a new age — staking for the entire network — and Proof of Work will soon be a thing of the past.
Shard Chains will be a multi-phase upgrade to improve Ethereum’s long-term scalability and overall capacity by spreading the load of the network across 64 chains. Following this merge of the mainnet with the Beacon, Shard chains will make it easier to run a node by keeping hardware requirements low, as they typically aren’t today.
Ethereum 2.0 requires a minimum of 16,384 validators, much more than the majority of Proof of Stake networks. This large set of validators increases the network’s security by shifting it to a more decentralized model — and hence, a more secure one.
The updates have been ongoing for some time now. Ethereum 2.0’s Beacon Chain, the first stage in the release of Ethereum 2.0, went live at 12:00 pm UTC on December 1, 2020.
Phase 1 saw the integration of Proof of Stake Shard Chains, Phase 1.5, an interim update due in 2021, will see the Ethereum mainnet officially becoming a shard and transitioning to Proof of Stake. And Phase 2, slotted to launch in 2021/22, will see shards becoming fully functional and compatible with smart contracts.
The Cudos Network is a Layer 1 blockchain, and a Layer 2 computation and oracle network being designed to ensure decentralized, permissionless access to high-performance computing at scale and enable scaling of computing resources to 100,000’s of nodes. Once bridged onto Ethereum, Algorand, Polkadot, and Cosmos, Cudos will enable scalable compute and Layer 2 Oracles on all of the bridged blockchains.
Marketing Executive at Cudos