In line with the success of the “Topaz” testnet for Ethereum, which is currently running a phase zero spec for the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade, the founder of the blockchain Vitalik Buterin has claimed that the upgrade is on track for a first-stage launch in the coming three months.
Ethereum 2.0 Staking Still on Track for July Launch: Vitalik Buterin
For years now, investors have been waiting for Ethereum 2.0 — a new version of the blockchain that will implement technologies such as Proof of Stake, sharding, and more to increase the speed and decentralization of the blockchain.
The issue is, the upgrade is complicated. Due to the technologies being implemented, ETH 2.0 is technically a separate blockchain from the first, meaning a transition process needs to take place.
It’s no surprise then that the upgrade has already been delayed and more delays have been expected. But investors recently got some reassurance from a prominent member of the cryptocurrency community.
In a comment made at the Consensus: Distributed event, Buterin said that Ethereum 2.0 is on track to see its first phase, meaning ETH staking on a separate chain, by July.
This lines up with previous comments from other prominent members of the Ethereum community like developers Justin Drake and Ben Edgington both proposing July as a likely launch time.
As aforementioned, this latest comment comes in the wake of news that the Topaz testnet has been performing well. Prysmatic Labs’ Terence Tsao, who is one of the individuals behind the testnet, recently announced that there were a number of milestones reached for the network, indicating that the software is operating as expected.
???? Milestone! 100k slots at Topaz testnet! ????
????3200 finalized epochs
????@prylabs controls less than 53% of the network
????Some nodes with 300 peers pic.twitter.com/LDZxiC8a0r
— terence.eth (@terencechain) May 1, 2020
BitMEX Research Is Not Convinced
The researchers explained that due to the compatibility issues that could arise with Ethereum 2.0’s data structure and old smart contracts based on the original virtual machine, it may take “many years” before a “significant part of the Ethereum ecosystem” can make a switch to the new chain.
And this “many years” prediction is if nothing goes wrong.
Baked into BitMEX Research’s conclusion is that something will go wrong, causing even more delays:
Ethereum 2.0 is exceptionally complicated. With so many committees, shards and voting types it seems reasonably likely that something will go wrong and that there will be significant further delays.
Don’t Understate the Importance of Ethereum 2.0
Even though there may be delays and setbacks, analysts have made it clear that the importance of this upgrade should not be understated.
Speaking in a panel at the Ethereal Virtual Summit last week, Galaxy Digital CEO and former partner at Goldman Sachs Mike Novogratz argued that the upgrade is so important for the blockchain due to the “network effects” it will provide.
That’s to say, by implementing Ethereum 2.0, the functionality of the network will increase at a rapid pace due to the abolishment of many scaling concerns, thereby boosting adoption and the price of the cryptocurrency:
One of the things for the Ethereum narrative is valuing the network kind of like we do with Facebook — the more network effects you get, [the better]. […] And that’s why the progress that is being made by ConsenSys, by others in moving from ETH 1 to ETH 2 — that story, that growth is wildly important for Ethereum.
The importance of the upgrade has been echoed by Adam Cochran, an angel investor in the crypto space. He wrote in an extensive Twitter thread that he thinks the implementation of ETH 2.0 will be one of society’s largest-ever economic shifts, referencing how strong the cryptocurrency could rally in the wake of the upgrade.