The Ethereum 2.0 network had its first major event on Saturday; Vitalik plans to carry out more upgrades in the future after the merger of Ethereum
The first major event occurred on the Ethereum 2.0 network on Saturday, April 24. An error was found in the software client Prysm, which prevented approximately 70% of verification programs on the network from generating blocks. As a background, there are four main Eth 2.0 software clients: Prysm, Teku, Lighthouse and Nimbus. In order to become a validator and get rewards on the network, the user must download and run one of these software clients on his or her computer device.
Last Saturday, the Eth 2.0 software client Prysm was unable to correctly extract data from the Ethereum blockchain. As a result, all validators running the Prysm client missed the block reward.
Prysmatic Labs, the developer team behind Prysm, said in a tweet that the incident resulted in a total loss of approximately 15 ETH (-11.76%). On average, each validator running the Prysm client loses approximately 122,950 gwei, which is approximately worth $0.30 at today’s price.
In this process, no verification procedures will be cut, which means that users will not be forcibly removed from the network due to malicious behavior. The damage is limited to the rewards of missed validators.
Any validator that has not been upgraded to the latest version of Prysm runs the risk of losing network rewards. Although the impact of the vulnerability was most widespread on April 24, it appeared on a smaller scale as early as January 20 and most recently on April 25.
New field: Eth 2.0 after the merger
For all Eth 2.0 verification programs that are not running the Prysm client software, no action is required. CoinDesk’s verification program (called “Zelda”) runs on the Lighthouse client software. As a result, we found that the daily operation and rewards of validators have hardly changed.
On Friday, April 23, Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, gave a speech at the Scaling Ethereum Summit on the development route of Ethereum after it merged into Proof of Stake (PoS).
In his speech, Buterin outlined a grand three- to five-year plan for subsequent upgrades and optimizations of Ethereum, even after the network has completely transitioned to an environmentally friendly and energy-saving PoS protocol.
Clean up after merge
Developers currently estimate that the merger will start at the end of this year or early next year through a backwards-incompatible system-level upgrade (also known as a “hard fork”). Buterin described the need for “post-merging cleanup (hard) branches” shortly after the code was released.
Due to the accelerated timetable for activating PoS on Ethereum, developers will ignore the problems of redundancy and network inefficiency in order to speed up the upgrade. After the merger is completed and the network is stable, the clean up hard fork after the merger will solve the unnecessary legacy functions of the hybrid Proof of Work (PoW) and PoS model.
It will also enable long-awaited new features for the verification process on Eth 2.0, such as the ability to withdraw and transfer its ETH.
Then there is another long-awaited feature of Ethereum: sharding. By dividing its database into 64 new mini-blockchains, sharding expands Ethereum’s ability to process transactions. These micro-blockchains or “fragments” can process transactions and data in parallel. In addition to sharding, summarization can also compress multiple transactions and reduce the number of transactions on any given shard.
As 64 shards process Ethereum transactions at the same time, and each shard uses aggregation technology to further optimize the speed of writing these transactions into blocks, it is expected to solve the problem of high fees and network congestion in the long-term.
Since Ethereum’s “most promising strategy” for long-term scalability is potentially dangerous and risky, Buterin emphasized the need to treat it as a separate upgrade to all other upgrades.
In the case of simultaneous implementation of PoS and sharding, the next step is to make further adjustments to enhance the security of the Ethereum protocol. This includes adding anonymity features to conceal the identity of validators after block proposals. It also includes the use of new technologies such as Verifiable Delay Function (VDF) to further ensure the randomness of assigning verifier responsibilities, making it more difficult for malicious actors to disrupt the network.
More large projects
Even if PoS is successfully activated, Ethereum still has a long way to go before it enters the “maintenance mode” and reaches the same level of protocol stability currently maintained by the Bitcoin network. The main takeaway from Ethereum’s new and updated roadmap is that the transition to PoS is only the beginning. This is the starting point, not the end, and there are more important protocol level changes on the network.