The march toward proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus is continuing according to plan for the Ethereum network.

On May 2nd, Ethereum Foundation researcher Justin Drake noted during the 17th “ETH 2.0” Implementers’ Call that the code specification for the first phase of the PoS transition — “Phase Zero” as it’s been dubbed — was expected to be completed by June 30th, which is under two months away.

Phase Zero is the first in a series of development phases that constitute the forthcoming Serenity upgrade, which will see Ethereum embrace a trio of scaling innovations in the technology of Casper, Plasma, and sharding.

Ethereum

Phase Zero will be responsible for creating the foundation of the Serenity upgrade by instituting the so-called Beacon Chain, which will facilitate PoS block validation via Casper and atop which latter Serenity developments will be hoisted, e.g. Phase Two’s sharding mechanism.

Like Bitcoin, Ethereum currently leverages proof-of-work (PoW) mining to achieve consensus on its chain. But unlike the OG crypto network, Ethereum’s builders have only ever used PoW for bootstrapping purposes ahead of their planned transition to PoS, which is now figuratively on the horizon.

“By the end of Phase Two, it’s a complete system […] Currently, Phase Zero is very close to completion,” Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin noted at the ETHCapetown conference last month.

The aforementioned Drake said the interim period will be centered around putting the finishing touches on the Phase Zero design:

“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.”

Back in January, the Ethereum development community first published the v0.1 release of the Serenity spec, which hosted the inaugural designs of ETH 2.0. Since then, buzz has been building about the nearing of the project’s long-awaited PoS shift.

Justin Drake noted during the 17th “ETH 2.0” Implementers’ Call that the code specification for the first phase of the PoS transition — “Phase Zero” as it’s been dubbed — was expected to be completed by June 30th, which is under two months away.

“Phase 0 in v0.1 is relatively feature complete and approaching stable,” the v0.1 spec declared at the time.

Ethereum Has Been in the Headlines Lately

Ethereum has enjoyed an enterprise adoption boon so far in 2019.

In February, banking giant JP Morgan announced its JPM Coin would be released on Quorum, Morgan’s permissioned fork of Ethereum. Last month, major French bank SocGen issued a tokenized bond via Ethereum, and Samsung reportedly started working on what may be a private fork of the blockchain.

Also in April, “Big Four” accounting powerhouse EY released to the public domain its Nightfall protocol — a zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) transaction system that allows enterprises to make private transactions on the public Ethereum network.

Some big wigs have accordingly seen their curiosity piqued, too. This week, Tesla and SpaceX CEO asked Vitalik Buterin what should be developed on Ethereum, and Buterin obliged with a series of notable possibilities.

Zooming out, community stakeholders have been racking their brains over how best to actualize sustainability among open-source developers working on Ethereum, with options like block issuance funding, independent decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and microdonations having been debated in recent weeks.

Another dynamic that’s caused ETH proponents to recently rack their brains has been the proposed ProgPoW consensus change.

Eyed as a means to mitigate ASIC miners during the swan song days of the ETH 1.0 PoW chain, the Ethereum Cat Herders contributor group has secured an audit of the ProgPoW code, and if all checks out, the code is being aimed to be implemented in Ethereum’s forthcoming Istanbul maintenance upgrade.

A bit of a stir has also been caused over the fresh update to the ethereum.org website. Many had said the site was long overdue for a makeover, but critics argue the redesign has left much to be desired. Further fixes may be coming in kind.


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Posted by William M. Peaster

William M. Peaster is a poet, novelist, and cryptocurrency editor. He is not a financial adviser. He enjoys covering both the promise and warts of the emerging cryptoeconomy. Follow him on Twitter: @WPeaster


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