The development team behind Ethereum 2.0 held an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on February. 5. The team answered some of the most pressing questions about Serenity, in addition to general topics such as Proof of Stake (PoS).
There have been two other such sessions, six months and a year ago respectively. Although no groundbreaking changes have occurred since the last AMA, the team is taking concrete steps in the direction of the scalability of Ethereum (ETH).
Answering questions about what has changed in Ethereum 2.0 since the last AMA in June, the team generally agreed that most functions remained the same. Although they had committed themselves to the earlier 0.8 Serenity specification, this later changed when 1.0 was revealed.
Danny Ryan van Ethereum Foundation has worked out the following:
“In terms of functions, not much has changed since June, but it was a little too early to fully capture. Since then, the most important changes to the BeaconChain have been beneficial; avoid invalid specifications for phase 1 placeholder, move unnecessary complexity (eg some early optimisations for light customers) to phase 1 when we really need it, and polish what is there. “
Most members of the community were concerned about the deadline for the first step in Ethereum 2.0 – Phase 0. This would introduce the beacon chain, the first with evidence of ring validation.
Justin Drake explained that most of the remaining steps are checks of existing code. The deposit contract, which would handle the betting money, is about to bet. The user interface of the down payment has yet to be completed and checked, which according to the estimated development will take three months.
Ethereum 2.0 clients are developed in parallel and still have to ‘work on production quality’. The polishing and testing procedure will also take approximately three months, although he noted that these are estimates.
Drake then continued:
“I hope we can launch by July 30, 2020 (the 5th anniversary of Ethereum 1.0). I think it is unlikely that we will launch in Q1 or Q2 2020, especially if we want three customers to be ready for production.”
He answered a question about whether he would consider launching a failure in 2021 and said:
“Yes, it would be a failure. I have 95% confidence that we will launch in 2020. “
While the Ethereum community is undergoing the transition to PoS, some people remain skeptical. A user expressed concern about the increasing differences in prosperity in a game model, because it “rewards the rich for more money.”
Danny Ryan argued that PoS is actually fairer than Proof of Work:
“In both bases, owning an asset makes it possible to make a profit on that asset. The difference between the two is that allocating capital to profits in PoS is much more direct and equitable (i.e., buy token, lock token, perform tasks, profit X). “
Mining, he claimed, favors participants with special benefits, such as early access to hardware and bulk discounts, which have little to do with the protocol itself.
The discussion was about sidechain scaling, with some users expressing concern about the scalability of Ethereum in light of 2.0 delays. Vitalik Buterin pointed to Ethereum 1.x as an interim solution, relying on the release of the rollup technologies:
“The fork in Istanbul that reduces gas costs from CALLDATA to 16 per byte is a huge advantage for zkrollup and an optimistic package, increasing the theoretical maximum throughput of both to ~ 2500 tx / sec.”
“So I’m not too worried about scaling up,” he concluded.
The Ethereum community has recently switched to a new family of sidechain scale solutions called ‘rollups’. Although optimistic rollup is considered the favorite, Justin Drake also shared his enthusiasm about zero-knowledge rollups:
“I am personally extremely bullish on zk rollups, and more commonly use SNARKs for scales. With Eth2 we have sufficient data availability, so there is less need for data availability solutions such as plasma and state channels. Now the research for phase 0 and 1 essentially, I spend a lot of time on SNARKs. “
A user also mentioned Plasma and asked if the technology is dead after several articles reported that this could be the case.
The team did not answer the question directly and noted that “Ethereum is agnostic for the layer 2 protocols built on it.” Although the team did not confirm the rumors, they did not deny them either – pointing to a likely disillusion with the technology.
Finally, when asked how Ethereum 1.0 merges into Serenity, the team revealed that it will initially be one of the shards:
“The current plan is that Ethereum 1 will continue to run as a shard of Eth2. This can be phased out as soon as all technology is available to turn it into an implementation environment. “