Vitalik Interprets Ethereum 2.0 Development Route

Ethereum founder’s outlook on the network and how to contribute to the development of the beacon chain in 2020.


What will happen to Ethereum 2020? In case you miss it, Vitalik Buterin tweeted a future roadmap for Ethereum. Do you want to know what his chart means? And what will be expected this year? The author annotated the link in the picture and previewed what Ethereum might usher in 2020.

Merger: Extend Ethereum to Proof-of-Stake (POS) and Sharding Technology (shards)


From the top to the bottom of the figure, it mainly covers four aspects:

  • eth1.x other
  • eht1.x statelessness
  • Ethereum 2.0 (eth2.0) stage 0 starts, and eth1.0 gradually converges to eth2.0 (abandon PoW) (this part is called the “core”).
  • Ethereum 2.0 Phase 2 and subsequent development

The horizontal axis in the middle represents time. Along this axis is a “core”, from the start of phase 0, to the start of phase 1, to “merging of eth1-> eth2”. There are three dependencies for the merger. 

  • Start of the first phase of Ethereum 2.0
  • Ethereum 1.0-> Ethereum 2.0 merge specification and implementation
  • eth1.x statelessness

Through the merger of the two chains, the system will abandon the PoW chain. Users will no longer need to run both the Ethereum 1.0 client and the Ethereum 2.0 client to track the two blockchains. The consensus mechanism of Ethereum 2.0 will be transformed into PoS. There will be an Ethereum consisting of Beacon Chain and shard chains. The state of Eth1 is stored on shard 0 (Shard 0), and users can continue to trade and use applications.

The merger of the two chains is a huge leap forward in the scalability of Ethereum. In order to make the merger possible and perform it safely, a lot of engineering is required. The three dependencies mentioned above classify most of the work involved in the merger. 

There are many things worth discussing about the merger of the two chains and other projects, but this article will focus on the “core” and “eth1.x other” in the chart because these two parts contain the content of Ethereum 2020. We start with Ethereum 2.0 stage 0.

Phase 0 of Ethereum 2.0 

The most likely to be put into use in Ethereum 2020 is the beacon chain.

Phase 0 includes a running PoS network, but does not include the ability to shard or process transactions (except for verifier operations)


The prerequisites for the start of the beacon chain are: 

  • Deploy an Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract on the Ethereum 1.0 mainnet
  • At least 2 (preferably 3) Ethereum 2.0 client teams are able to release product versions of their software.
  • Once the mortgage contract is released, at least 16,384 validators are mortgaged in the contract (the mortgage is at least 524,288 ETH)

Why does Ethereum 2020 make the beacon chain possible?

Danny Ryan, Diederik Loerakker and four other teams have been developing high-quality eth2 clients in alphabetical order. They are: Lighthouse, Nimbus, Prysm, Teku and Trinity.

Contributors from the Ethereum Foundation and other teams (such as Artemis, Harmony, Lodestar, Nethermind, Parity) also participated, as well as companies that have established “Staking-as-a-Service”, and Some “newcomers”. Some audit work has also been completed.

The task of delivering the beacon chain in 2020 is clear, and the power is also very concentrated. Most work is also done in a distributed manner. 

From a socioeconomic perspective, an annual interest rate (APR) of more than 20% is an attractive ratio for free market organizations and the activation of 16,384 validators (mortgage 524,288 ETH). (The more validators, the lower the annual interest rate)


How to contribute to Ethereum 2020

The product version of the beacon chain client is expected to be released after more reviews, and the multi-client test network will be stable for a period of time; although more optimization and testing are required under high load, the single-client test network has been stable run. 

Welcome more contributors at any time. Contributed areas include the client’s peer-to-peer network, client interoperability, and common aspects of client and network testing, security, performance, and stability.

For hackers, security, VM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) and smart contract experts, the work of reviewing the deposit contract and Runtime Verification (a formal verification project for dynamic analysis audits such as Ethereum) is the most important of. Although bytecode has not yet been deployed on the mainnet, since the mortgage contract will not change, these tasks can be started in advance. 

Ethereum 1.x needs help

The top part of the picture “eth1.x other” is a project related to the current Ethereum mainnet



“Eth1.x other” involves three areas, that is, there are probably three EIPs that require dedicated owners to be deployed on the mainnet in 2020 at a reasonable time. 

The BLS12-381 pre-compilation has been supported by the Matter Labs team’s Alex Vlasov for several months, and EIP 2537 is also being successfully developed. EIP 2537 adds support for the BLS12-381 curve that eth2 is using, and will make smart contracts a light client for eth2. Through pre-compilation, a new smart contract can be written to verify the data from the eth2 shard. The launch of Phase 1 of Ethereum 2.0 will introduce sharding, which will improve the data availability of Ethereum 1.0 rollups. Rollup is a smart contract that removes most of the computing and storage work from the chain, but some data is still on the chain for later use. If not limited by data availability, the scalability of rollup will be stronger. With Alex Vlasov, the BLS12-381 pre-compilation looks likely to be available in 2020 (and may even be available before the beacon chain).

EIP-1559 is exciting for users, because they can ignore the gas price setting, and they can rest assured that they will not pay excessive fees or worry that the transaction will be unfairly delayed. EIP mentioned: “It is expected that most users will not have to manually adjust the Gas fee, even when the network is busy.” In addition, EIP1559 also involves the destruction of some fees, thus offsetting the inflation of ETH without greatly reducing the rewards for miners. Since EIP1559 was proposed a year ago, some work has been done. Unfortunately, there is currently no owner for this EIP.

Account abstraction allows the creation of any logically authorized account. This increased flexibility may have far-reaching effects. Here is a simple example. A multi-signature smart contract wallet can use existing funds to pay for gas. Once the wallet is created and funds are obtained, there is no need for a separate ETH account to interact with the wallet and pay fees. Account abstraction can be traced back to 2015, but a proposal a month ago provided an opportunity to achieve this goal in 2020. 

Tribute to the Geth team

Last week was the 164th release of Geth on Github. Let ’s not forget that the Geth team continues to release new features, improvements and optimizations for Geth. We can easily take their work for granted. Acknowledgements (in alphabetical order): Guillaume Ballet, Zsolt Felföldi, Felix Lange, Gary Rong, Adam Schmideg, Martin Holst Swende, Péter Szilágyi!

Felix, Martin and Péter have been improving and optimizing GETH for many years, dating back to the original network “Shanghai attacks” (with former teammates Nick Johnson and Jeffrey Wilcke). 

A few months ago, Péter participated as a guest in a ConsenSys developer roundtable. He shared some opinions about eth2, statelessness, motivating contributors, and appreciating people (approximately from the 49th minute of the video). Thank you Péter for your reminder, as well as Péter and other members of the team for their important work and dedication.

2020 Ethereum’s move and subsequent development

Currently, what may happen in Ethereum is roughly as follows:

1. Beacon chain launched in 2020 (Ethereum 2.0)

2. Precompile BLS12–381 in 2020 (it may be completed before the beacon chain is launched)

3. If EIP 1559 and account abstraction can have owners, then they may also be implemented in 2020

4. Ethereum enters the first stage

5.eht1.x statelessness

6. Ethereum 1.0 merges with Ethereum 2.0

7. Subsequent execution models, privacy and security improvements, and the introduction of more advanced encryption technologies 

In 2020, many people are working hard to launch the beacon chain. “Ethereum 2.0 looks very good, its phase 0 is very stable, and the client team is also doing its best.” In Ethereum 1.0, the release of Geth articles will continue, and the pre-compilation of BLS12-381 looks likely to be completed in 2020 (maybe even earlier than the launch of the beacon chain). However, the owner of EIP1559 and the account abstraction needs to appear soon, and the processes in the roadmap above are processed in parallel by many people.

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