While almost all eyes have been on Bitcoin over the past year as its market dominance has swelled, Ethereum has been taking some of the limelight as of late.
Mostly, this shift in narrative from being Bitcoin-centric to one more focus on Ethereum and other altcoins has been due to ETH’s extremely strong price performance, with it rallying by over 100% since the December lows. But also, it’s been due to developments on the technological side of the blockchain, with Ethereum’s 2.0 (or Serenity) upgrade drawing ever closer.
Vitalik Buterin, the original creator of the blockchain, recently confirmed that development has been going along smoothly, saying so at one of the Ethereum community’s flagship events.
Ethereum 2.0 Development is Coming Along, Vitalik Confirms
Last weekend, the world’s Ethereum fanatics, developers, founders, and companies descended on Denver, Colorado to discuss developments regarding their favorite blockchain. Naturally, Vitalik Buterin, the Russian-Canadian wunderkind behind the project’s earliest stages was there.
Buterin, during his speech at the event, ETHDenver, on Saturday, mentioned his thoughts on Ethereum 2.0, expressing optimism about the timeline for this blockchain upgrade, which will likely be the biggest upgrade or change made to any blockchain system, ever:
[I] definitely think ETH2.0 has been proceeding quite quickly and regularly in the last few months.
The Block, which reported this quote, did not indicate whether or not Buterin gave an exact or updated timeline for Serenity, though some think the upgrade is rapidly approaching.
A member of the team researching and developing ETH 2.0, Justin Drake, wrote in a recent Reddit “Ask me Anything” regarding Ethereum that he has “95% confidence we launch in 2020.” (Notably, “launch” means the introduction of an early phase of 2.0, which will not activate all the scaling mechanisms that are on the roadmap.)
Not to mention, there have been a few key developments made on the testing side of the upgrade. As we reported late last year, industry data provider Etherscan just launched a block explorer for Prysmatic Labs team’s Goerli-powered Sapphire testnet, a test network implementing a prototypal early-stage Ethereum 2.0 spec.
Even if Serenity Doesn’t Launch Soon, There Is Good Tech
One of Buterin’s points during his talk regarding Ethereum 2.0 and other technological developments was that even if Serenity does not launch entirely in the near future, there are other technical improvements and proposals that may aid bulls.
The blockchain pioneer specifically looked to so-called “rollups,” a second-layer or layer 2 blockchain technology allowing for transactions to be sped up by migrating some processes off the base layer chain.
There are different types of rollups, though one that has been in focus is ZK (zero-knowledge) Sync, built on ZK Rollup. The chief executive of Circle, Jeremy Allaire, said the following about the technology:
“With the Ethereum Istanbul hard fork, zero-knowledge Rollups are now possible and will allow Layer 2 scaling on Ethereum supporting upwards of 3000tps (larger than Visa), while maintaining decentralization and privacy. This is a big win for ETH-based stablecoins, [like USD Coin (USDC)].”
ZK Sync, should it launch successfully, is slated to be a system that will allow for Ethereum to see a “VISA-scale [level of] throughput of thousands of transactions per second while keeping the funds as secure as in the underlying L1 accounts and maintaining a high degree of censorship-resistance.”
Below is a chart describing the technology from Matter Labs, which is the company pioneering this positive change for Ethereum.
Yes, the higher transaction throughput and cheaper processing that rollups promise are not the proof of stake or other ground-breaking improvements that will come with Serenity, but it’s a good start nonetheless.