Ethereum 2.0: Attempt to Address Scalability Without Sacrificing Decentralisation and Security

Here’s a look into the number of different projects done by Ethereum developers as a part of the Ethereum 2.0 development.

Photo: tiendientu vietnam / Flickr

Photo: tiendientu vietnam / Flickr

Earlier this month on September 7, 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. Before moving further, let us take a look into what each of these three mean.

    • Proof-of-Stake (PoS): The Ethereum blockchain network is currently moving its consensus protocol from the existing Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake. The consensus protocol is a set of rules allowing validators to secure the blockchain network. As the name suggests, the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus protocol makes use of digital currency deposits to secure the blockchain. The validators will propose and vote for new blocks of transactions.
    • Sharding: Sharding is the second-layer scalability solution for the Ethereum network. The primary purpose of Sharding is to lessen the burden on Ethereum blockchain by breaking the network into smaller units, called shards. Currently, every device running the Ethereum blockchain has to process the transactions in sequence. There is no provision for parallel processing of transactions despite multiple devices running the blockchain. Sharding solves this issue wherein each shard acts like a separate blockchain with its own account balance, smart contracts, and transaction history. To be noted, unlike another bunch of blockchains, each shard shares the same proof-of-stake consensus.
    • eWASM: eWASM is a replacement to the existing Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) used to compile the smart-contracts. eWASM doubles the transaction throughput rate in comparison to EVM. eWASM is an instruction set designed as an open standard by a W3C Community Group.


Sneak-peek Into Ethereum 2.0

Once all the above mentioned three aspects are delivered, Ethereum 2.0 will facilitate a number of on-chain transactions while at the same time maintaining key aspects of decentralization and security. Note that Ethereum 2.0 is not developed by any specific corporation but is decentralized at every level. Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin explains decentralization like:

“Blockchains are politically decentralized (no one controls them) and architecturally decentralized (no infrastructural central point of failure) but they are logically centralized (there is one commonly agreed state and the systembehaves like a single computer).”

In order to push forward the launch of Ethereum 2.0, a number of Ethereum topics are being discussed currently. Some of the Ethereum developers are also working on beacon chain client. Some of the beacon chain tasks accomplished so far include Beacon chain state data structures and persistence, Per block state transition, Fork choice implementation, Validator shuffling, Block proposer role, Data structure serialization, and P2P protocols.

As reported by Coinspeaker, in yet another important milestone, blockchain researcher Vlad Zamfir along with other developers unveiled a proof-of-concept for the Sharding scalability solution. Zamfir said that the PoC is currently under the production stage but sets a new premise for the further development of the scalability solution.

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