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Ethereum has come up with its latest update about Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0 with Beacon Chain specification having already been published on January 31, 2019. While claiming the journey has been an amazing experience, most of the specifications were already transferred to GitHub during the middle of September last year. There were as many as 41 contributors and more than 900 commits among them.
Flurry of Activity
Ahead of the 0.1 release, there was enough activity going on with improved docstrings on helper functions, explanations, simplifications, typos, refactoring, and bug fixes. Since the specification coverage is reaching its final stage, major changes are rare.
There was some interesting simplification example. For instance, GENESIS_SLOT changes from zero to 2^19 and Justin has proposed it as 2^63 thus guaranteeing the arithmetic underflow will have to happen during the subtraction of quantities. As a result, implementation becomes not only safer but also simpler.
Similarly, there is a much bigger simplification, i.e., epochs promotion that touches several places. At the same time, there is a clean end result. Aside from that, moving epoch transitions until the last slot meant resolving a number of issues. Last time, a change was flagged to the intended Ethereum 1.0 Mainnet contract, which is merged.
As far as the simplicity theme, every material surrounding the VDF and most of the custody proof handling were eliminated from Phase 0. As a result, there was a discussion on key aspects like future changes, technical debt, and the relationship among the phases that attracted keen interest.
The Beacon Spec for Eth 2.0 is getting closer to completion everyday! 🚀
I created a schematic to help everyone understand the technicals of the spec.
SVG on GitHub (contributions welcome): https://t.co/EPHcjbNFMf#ethereum #eth2 #beaconchain pic.twitter.com/E7EMgTitcv
— protolambda (@protolambda) January 29, 2019
Today marks the very first ETH2.0 version release. Congrats everyone! 🎉 https://t.co/8lh2x0TPyJ
— Terence Tsao (@terenc3t) January 31, 2019
In a post, Ethereum said,
“The discussion mentioned last time about what quantity will be signed by proposers to create the RANDAO reveal has been decided in favor of the epoch number.”
It further said,
“And changes to enable light clients have been merged.”
In respect of shard chains specification, there was no update though expectations are in favor of the change.
There are also issues lined up for discussion. For instances, there are alternatives to SSZ that keeps pouring as a topic while “Prysmatic will use protobuf for prysm-to-prysm communications.” Vitalik said that now the Phase 0 is stable and that effort will be taken on Phase 1 (Shard Data Chains).
According to Vitalik, the big research subject is the proof of custody game and that the challenges are minor by comparison. He is also working on to flesh out the ideas for Phase 2, which is basically a research challenge. Account abstraction, wasm, and rent model are some of the key topics.
The List of Ethereum 2.0 Phases
Ben Edgington, the team member of Pegasys, did a very informative and clear presentation on Ethereum 2.0 (the slides available here). On slide #32 he shows this list of Ethereum 2.0 phases:
To explain Phases in a more specific manner see this: