Ethereum’s proof-of-work (POW) era is almost over.
In the last minutes of June 30th, the Phase Zero of the “Eth 2.0” specification was frozen, meaning the code for the Ethereum blockchain’s long-awaited transition to proof-of-stake (POS) consensus has been finalized and is now ready to be implemented in a production environment.
The freeze was first announced back in May 2019 by Ethereum Foundation researcher Justin Drake, who said at the time the early summer was the completed spec’s target date:
“I’ve been continuing to fine comb Phase Zero in preparation for the spec freeze which we’re targeting for the 30th of June. We’re still very much on track […] simplifications are coming through which is great and the process of fine combing is also for finding final bugs.”
As the so-called “SubZero” freeze was explained in its release, the update means Ethereum’s evolved rendition is closer than ever materializing, and multiple network testnets can now proceed forth with clarity:
“This release marks the end-of-june phase 0 spec freeze,
v0.8is to serve as a stable target as implementers work toward multi-client testnets in addition to on-going efforts in formal verification, fuzzing, and audits.”
ETH 2.0 activity is surging as of late. In May, the forthcoming updated Ethereum blockchain received its second testnet via Prysmatic Labs, who have developed the Prysm client, an addition to the network’s inaugural Nimbus testnet made by the Status project.
Eth2 spec release v0.8 — SubZero
The phase 0 spec freeze is here! Thank you to everyone for all of the incredible work that has gone into thishttps://t.co/XuSHr4NCnP
— dannyryan (@dannyryan) July 1, 2019
Earlier this month, the aforementioned Drake said during the 19th ETH 2.0 Implementers Call that the builders of the smart contract platform were eyeing an end-of-June POS spec freeze.
The finalization was to take place ahead of the release of the Beacon Chain deposit contract at Devcon5 in October 2019, with the formal launch of the ETH 2.0 POS Beacon Chain now being targeted for January 3rd, 2020 — the 11th anniversary of the start of the Bitcoin blockchain.
Ethereum Is In Vogue
The Ethereum blockchain is currently averaging around one million transactions per day.
The last time such a level activity actualized on the platform came in late 2017, when the cryptoeconomy’s last bull run was peaking. The latest movement comes as Google searches for Ethereum are now hitting new highs in 2019.
Just last week, the price of ether (ETH) hit $355, making its short-term performance rather impressive. At press time, the coin, the so-called “fuel” of the Etherum network, was up 84 percent over the last three months and up 2,248 percent over the last three years. Zooming out, that puts Ethereum’s gas down 80 percent from its all-time high of $1,431, last hit in January 2018.
Plenty of Advancements for Ethereum Lately
This month, DeFi enthusiasts just got a new platform to use in PoolTogether, a “no-loss” lottery that allows users to invest ether into a pool that gains interest, with a random investor being selected to win the cyclically accrued interest while everyone else is still returned their initial investments.
During the same timeframe, chatter started to rise as to whether the Ethereum community should put forth an organization backed by a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) to represent Ethereum’s best interests within the Libra Association, the soon-to-be 100-member strong group that will see each individual member running a Libra node.
The proposal, hailing from SpankChain Ameen Soleimani, gained some controversy but was hailed by others as a shrewd move to bootstrap Ethereum’s long-term success.
Also of note is that Cloudfare recently released its own Ethereum Gateway, which allows users to interact with the premier smart contract platform without having to download extra software.
Ethereum also recently received a new layer-two scaling solution in the Phonon Network, a hardware-based second-layer off-chain payment system initially for Bitcoin and Ethereum that relies on smart cards.