Ethereum engineers have been working on making the blockchain more energy-efficient, secure, and scalable for quite some time.
They can now work with an official Ethereum Improvement Proposal.
Mikhail Kalinin of ConsenSys has submitted a pull request for EIP-3675, which would change the blockchain’s consensus method to proof of stake, which allows users to confirm transactions and produce new blocks according on how much ETH they contribute. Instead, “miners,” who strive to be the first to validate transactions, are used in the present proof-of-work system.
At Friday’s core developers meeting, the proposal, which lays the groundwork for “the merge” to Ethereum 2.0, will be considered.
However, contrary to popular belief, this does not imply that ETH2 will take place this year. According to Tim Beiko, an Ethereum Foundation developer who oversees updates, a 2021 integration is unlikely. He stated, “Everything would have to happen perfectly.”
Ethereum 2.0 is designed to allow for more—and faster—transactions on the network. The blockchain has long been plagued by congestion, as it can only execute roughly 15 transactions per second. Every purchase and sell order on Ethereum’s network adds strain on decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, which use blockchain-based technology to replace financial middlemen. As a result, transaction fees skyrocketed this year, reaching triple digits for single-digit transactions in certain cases.
Miners, who run software that processes every transaction on the blockchain and creates new blocks, are being phased out of Ethereum’s network in order to make it more useful. Instead of miners consuming electricity in order to solve cryptographic issues and create new blocks, “validators” will be chosen using a pseudorandom process who have locked up at least 32 ETH in the new proof-of-stake system.
EIP-3675 is simply one of many tasks to check off the list, according to Danny Ryan, who has been coordinating ETH2 initiatives. “We’re ensuring that key requirements are in place so that the engineering process can continue quickly after London and Altair,” he said.
The next two enhancements to the present proof-of-work network are referred to as London and Altair. The long-awaited EIP-1559, which would decrease the supply of ETH, will be unveiled in London on August 4th. Altair, which is expected to be released before the end of October, modifies the Ethereum 2.0 network, which is already operational but not fully functional.
Regardless of how quickly the draft of EIP-3675 is approved, developers are facing a tight timeline. This is due to the Ethereum “difficulty bomb,” a piece of code added to the network in 2015 that makes mining new blocks more difficult. The goal was to put some pressure on developers to finish ETH2 as soon as possible.
EIP-3554, a code update included in the London upgrade, allows developers some wiggle space by delaying the bomb’s explosion from this summer to December. Devs will still have to upgrade the network if the merging isn’t ready by then.
And it’s unlikely to be. Last week, Beiko stated that merging in December would only be possible “in the most hopeful of scenarios.”
There’s still “much to do,” as Ryan phrased it.