Ethereum 2.0, the Ethereum blockchain’s next major iteration, may be partially launched in early January 2020. This idea was proposed by Justin Drake, Ethereum’s Foundation Researcher, during a bi-weekly coordination call with the developers of Ethereum 2.0. During the call, Drake mentioned that the developer team was working on code specifications for Phase Zero and that the codes are expected to be released on 30 June.
During the call, Drake commented, “We still have quite a bit of time before the end of 2019, so I think looking at a target genesis date towards the end of 2019 could be realistic. One thing that could work well is the 3rd of January 2020.”
While speaking about the requirements needed for a stable launch of Phase Zero, Drake highlighted that the researchers are at present targeting the 2 million ETH which has been staked on the Ethereum 2.0 network. This would imply that the Ethereum blockchain, which is revamped, would be launching with more than $500 million in ETH, which has been locked by the prospective validators of Ethereum 2.0. It is envisioned that they would assume the same role as miners on the current Ethereum blockchain.
Danny Ryan, the fellow Ethereum Foundation Researcher, stressed via email that the proposed date would be finalized only after additional work on testing Ethereum 2.0 is completed. Ryan further stated:
Although it is feasible, the client teams are not yet ready to commit to a date, especially considering we haven’t entered into multi-client testnets yet. With each phase of development, there are plenty of unknowns so we will just keep … tackling them as they come.”
The first transition stage of the Ethereum network is termed as ‘Phase Zero.’ It transitions from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake consensus algorithm. The block validation function will be passed on from miners to special network validators. Since the inception of the network, developers have been looking ahead to a transition to the proof-of-stake consensus model which has been dubbed as ‘Serenity.’
In proof-of-stake, rewards are generated for both transaction validation and block creation for users attesting to the validity of the blockchain where they lock up a portion of their tokens holdings on the network. In proof-of-work, the model which Ethereum currently leverages, the amount of tokens staked depends on how the users compete for network rewards. Drake also spoke about the issue of deposit contracts and mentioned that the deposit contract ceremony would be held at Devcon, an annual Ethereum Developers conference. He mentioned that deposit contracts would be launched ahead of the targeted genesis block, thereby giving time for validators to make deposits. This would ensure a safe on-boarding experience for current Ethereum miners who are looking to transition as validators to the proof-of-stake blockchain of Ethereum 2.0.