The Ethereum proof-of-stake transition takes another step towards completion.
Ethereum 2.0 is ready: block of genesis beacon chain is shining NEWS
After literally years of construction, the genesis block of the beacon chain Ethereum 2.0 finally saw the light of day.
The scalability and security upgrade solution of the second largest cryptomeda by market capitalization took its first breath as planned, just after 12h UTC on December 1st.
Vitalik Buterin joked about how the first block did not include any meaningful message „about some giant leaps for mankind or something“.
The biggest change is the introduction of a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus, which was previously purely based on the same Bitcoin proof-of-work consensus
PoS aims to provide a more energy efficient method of protecting the network by requiring validators to lock Ether (ETH) into a contract, rather than solving cryptographic puzzles using computing power.
The planned release date was confirmed only a week ago, as the seven-day countdown could only start after a total of 524,288 Ether was deposited into the staking contract.
After a painfully slow start, the total staking was reached a few hours before reaching the target on 1 December.
The transition to PoS paves the way for future planned upgrades to be implemented, such as sharding to improve scalability.
The currently staked ETH is likely to be locked in until Phase 1.5 of the Ethereum 2.0 release, currently planned for late 2021 or early 2022. This will see the current Ethereum mainnet merge with the new beacon chain and fragmentation system.
Expectations for the launch of Eth2 have grown throughout 2020 and have been reflected in the price of Ether, which started the year at just $130, but is currently up: over $600.
The launch will be especially welcome by those in the decentralised financial community. The DeFi explosion during 2020 saw a big increase in traffic and gas rates on the Ethereum network.