Ethereum 2.0: “New Year- New Me” in 2020

Since ethereum’s initial launch in 2015, the open source, public, blockchainbased distributed computing platform and operating system – hailed for its smart contract functionality – is soon to get a fresh new look tag-lined “Serenity”. Serenity is predicted to launch in early 2020.

“We still have quite a bit of time before the end of 2019, so I think looking at a target genesis date towards end of 2019 could be realistic. One thing that could work well is the 3rd of January 2020,” said Ethereum Foundation researcher Justin Drake in a bi-weekly coordination call between ethereum 2.0 developers. This date, however, is not set in stone as emphasised on by fellow Ethereum Foundation researcher Danny Ryan in email to CoinDesk. “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.”

As of now it has been confirmed that ‘Phase 0‘ , the code freeze of the first iteration of ethereum 2.0, is on course for the 30th of June 2019.

What’s coming with Ethereum 2.0 a.k.a ‘Serenity’?

Serenity – the name given to  Ethereum 2.0 – promises to simultaneously trigger a thousand-fold increase in scalability and also improve the security, speed and energy usage of the Ethereum blockchain. The most awaited development however – and what is essentially the most critical shift that enables all the aforementioned advancements to take place – is the move from the proof-of-work system to proof-of-stake.

The Difference between PoW and PoS and why the switch?

What’s more, these high energy costs that also act as a persistent off-setter on the value of of Ether – Ethereum’s cryptocurrency. Moreover, with the rising global concern of climate change, the need for a greener, cheaper, more energy efficient system takes top priority amongst developers, hence opting out of the outdated PoW model. The energy consumption of the system is especially alarming as research suggests that bitcoin transactions may consume as much electricity as Denmark by 2020.

This October at Devcon, the deposit contract for staked ETH – set to be at a minimum amount of 2 million ETH ($500 million) – is scheduled to be opened up to ensure a safe on-boarding experience for current ethereum miners that would be moving over as validators on the new proof-of-stake blockchain.

“The idea here is to try and launch the deposit contract ahead of the targeted genesis [date] so that we allow time for validators to make their deposits,” explained Drake. “One idea is to do a deposit contract ceremony at Devcon. One of the reason of having this very public ceremony is so that we can all agree on the exact address of the deposit contract and avoid scam deposit contracts.”

Though the timeline for the Phase 0 is yet to be officially finalised, it can be assumed that the suggested January 2020 target is well within the capability of the Ethereum developers based on their previous track-record.

With all the hope and promise that Ethereum 2.0 (Serenity) brings, the world of cryptoeconomics has the stage set for a totally new era: one that will offer a new means of validation and security as well as a new crypto-finance model based on transaction fees.



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