On December 1, 2020, Ethereum’s proof-of-stake transition has taken a significant step towards completion. After spending years in the making, the genesis block of the Ethereum 2.0 beacon chain is finally operational.
The often-delayed security and scalability upgrade to the second-biggest crypto by market cap has confidently taken its first breath as scheduled, at just after noon GMT today.
The launch encountered no challenges and instantly reached the needed stake participation rate to set in stone this blockchain. Vitalik Buterin commented on how the first block did not feature any significant messages “about some giant leaps for mankind or whatever.”
Normal people: we should really put something profound in the first block of the ethereum PoS chain, something about giant leaps for mankind or whatever.
Ethereum community: pic.twitter.com/cOu94fUPE9
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) December 1, 2020
Notably, the largest change is the introduction of a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus to the ETH network that has in the past operated entirely on the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus similar to bitcoin.
PoS strives to offer a more energy-efficient strategy of securing the network by needing the validators to lock Ether into a staking contract instead of solving cryptographic puzzles using their computer power.
Today’s launch date was confirmed just a week ago since the seven-day countdown may just get initiated after 524,288 Ether had been deposited and locked in the staking contract. After experiencing a slow start, the staking total was realized with a few hours left to hit the hoped-for target of December 1.
The shift to PoS ushers in the future planned upgrades set for implementation. Among the upgrades is sharding which is meant to improve scalability. The currently staked Ethers might get locked up until Phase 1.5 of the Ethereum 2.0 rollout.
Developers say that the rollout is planned for late 2021 or early 2022. When launched, it will see the current ETH mainnet merge with the newly introduced beacon chain and sharding infrastructure.
Throughout the whole of 2020, anticipation for Ethereum 2.0 launch has been building. The anticipation has been reflected in the price of Ether that kicked of the year at around $130 but it is currently hovering around $600.
This launch will be highly welcomed by the individuals participating in the decentralized finance (DeFi) community. The DeFi boom that happened in 2020 saw massive traffic and gas fees come into the Ethereum network.