Ethereum 2.0 Upgrade, Roadmap, and Terminology: Making Sense Of It All
Ethereum 2.0, formerly known as Serenity, is a massive multi-year upgrade for Ethereum started back in 2015 that introduces proof-of-stake (PoS) as the consensus mechanism. This is a much-needed enhancement, especially since the rise in popularity that we have seen last year within the ecosystem. In 2021, Ethereum witnessed its biggest saturation so far due to the sheer amount of new users following the NFT train, which led to transaction fees skyrocketing, alongside an overall increase in the average waiting time for the transactions to go through. The PoS model aims to solve all of these scalability problems.
But how does Ethereum 2.0 (Eth2) differ from the current Ethereum 1.0 (Eth1) exactly? As the roadmap for Ethereum has evolved, Ethereum 2.0 has become an inaccurate representation of Ethereum’s roadmap. This is why the core developers of the network decided to phase out those two terms to avoid confusion. “Eth1” and “Eth2” will become “Execution layer” and “Consensus layer” respectively. The general idea behind this decision is that in the new architecture we have Execution layer (Eth1) + Consensus layer (Eth2) = Ethereum. Thus, it becomes clear that Eth2 is not just the successor of Eth1, but a part of this new system.
Eth2, also called Beacon Chain, is the new component that will introduce staking, and it went live on December 1, 2020. Eth1 is what we currently refer to as Mainnet, which, for now, is still using proof-of-work to secure the network. Ultimately, the current Ethereum Mainnet will unite with The Beacon Chain in an event called The Merge (formerly called The Docking), denoting the transition to the new proof-of-stake system.
Maybe at this point you are thinking “What will happen to my ETH when the merge goes live? Should I do anything to prepare for this event?!”, but worry not! If you are a Mainnet user or an ETH holder you don’t need to do anything as the Beacon Chain doesn’t change anything about the way we use Ethereum today!
I hope this post helps to shed some like on this topic as I see a lot of people being confused by the terminology, which is normal considering the everchanging and fast-paced nature of emerging technologies like cryptocurrencies and blockchain!
Would you like to know more about staking? Maybe you are a new user who’s eager to learn more about DeFi and blockchains? Or perhaps you find yourself asking the question “What’s a consensus mechanism anyway?!” and you feel like you should scratch that itch? If that’s the case, let me know in the comments below what topics you would like me to cover next!