This year’s Ethereum developer conference, Devcon4 ended somehow different than ETH enthusiast used to. It ended with Ethereum developers and conference speakers singing about five years of failed ideas during the Ethereum research.
During Devcon4 conference that was held in Prague, co-founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin mentioned the issues about the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade and the basic idea behind the new platform. The project named ‘Serenity’ encompasses multiple projects Ethereum developers have been working on since 2014.
He explained it as:
“…combination of a bunch of different features that we have been talking about for the past several years. We have been actively researching, building, and now, finally getting them all together.”
Among Serenity’s constituent parts Vitalik mentioned Casper, the Proof Of Stake (POS) protocol that the platform will be using for the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade via a process known as sharding, as well as various other protocol enhancements. This, as he called it “100 percent genuine pure organic Casper” presents a great deal for the Ethereum platform, alongside scalability improvements.
“Serenity is ‘the world computer’ as its really meant to be, not a smartphone from 1999 that can play snake.”
The truth is, that the Serenity has a rocky path behind. After Ethereum took the technology behind Bitcoin, it substantially expanded its capabilities. Now, it has its own network, with its own Internet browser, coding language and payment system. Most importantly, it enables users to create decentralized applications on Ethereum’s Blockchain.
For this second largest cryptocurrency, it’s normal that a lot of proposes and concepts have failed, including ‘super-quadratic sharding,’ aborted attempts at solving Casper and the failed ‘consensus-by-bet.’ Just few weeks ago, Nouriel Roubini popularly known as Dr. Doom, claimed that Vitalik Buterin and his partner, Joe Lubin became billionaires by skimming Ether coins prior to their public release. This accusation led to a series of tweets by Buterin and others in the crypto space.
Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has claimed that he is not a billionaire and didn’t get his wealth via unfair pre-mining of Ether. The developer holds no more than 365,003 ETH, currently worth just under $72 million. In 2017, this amount would have been worth more than $500 million, but according to the Ethereum founder, he had less than 0.9% of all ETH at the time. According to Buterin, the Ethereum Foundation currently holds around $660,000, and owns around $3 million.
With Serenity, however, Buterin believes Ethereum will soar. Its implementation will see a major switch to a proof-of-stake model that promises to make the network far more scalable and energy efficient. Abandoning proof-of-work, users will instead “stake” their own ether to run the network and earn block rewards.
In September, senior blockchain developer at Rocket Pool – Danner Langley – unveiled the roadmap for Ethereum 2.0. In addition to addressing issues regarding scalability, the Ethereum 2.0 also considers other important aspects including efficiency, sustainability, and flexibility. The Ethereum 2.0 combines important projects like Proof-of-Stake (PoS), Sharding, and eWSAM.
During this conference, Buterin explained that there will be four phases of Serenity introduction:
First phase will represent an initial version with proof-of-stake beacon chain. This will be the new POS based blockchain that should co-exist alongside ethereum itself and will allow Casper validators to participate.
“This is halfway between testnet and mainnet.”
Second phase represents simplified version of Serenity with limited features. That means there will be no smart contracts or money transfers from one shard to another.
Third phase includes amplified version of Serenity with cross-shard communication where users can send funds and messages across different shards.
Fourth and final phase will exist as a version with various tweaks and optimized features
1000X Higher Scalability is Coming
This update should lead to “hopefully 1000x higher scalability”. This would truly increase Ethereum transactions at about 14,000 per second, a huge growth than the current 14.
Buterin also added that before the “big launch,” developers will make some final tweaks. These will include stabilizing protocol specifications and cross-client testnets – a testnet integrating at least two implementations of Ethereum 2.0.
He said that ethereum development definitely won’t end with Serenity and that the issues of transaction fees and governance will remain. He confirmed that he works with other core developers on mapping out future tweaks to the proof-of-stake model, along with other technical improvements.
Vitalik also expressed interest in updating the blockchain to starks, a cryptographic mechanism that allows for the trustless aggregation of transactions into verifiable batches, while also offering a privacy-enforcing component. The method is being pioneered by a for-profit company named Starkware that recently received a $4 million grant from the Ethereum Foundation.