Staking on Ethereum 2.0 Takes First Step With Test System for Validators
Ethereum creator Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin at ETHDenver 2020. (CoinDesk video)
The transition to Ethereum 2.0 and its proof-of-stake consensus mechanism is finally underway.
- Announced Monday, Ethereum developers have released a “validator launchpad” on the Medalla testnet to educate and prepare future validators as part of a multi-year, multi-stage roll out of the Ethereum network’s most important upgrade to date.
- Eth 2 will radically transform the world’s largest smart contract platform as it shifts from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS).
- In PoW, miners do the job of validating transactions through complex math solved by computer hardware and then adding them to a data block in a series, or chain, that is cryptographically secured.
- PoS, on the other hand, lets entities known as validators lock up holdings of a network’s cryptocurrency as collateral for the right to validate a transaction without the need for computer hardware. Validators are rewarded based on how much crypto they initially stake.
- The transition to PoS is aimed to improve Ethereum’s scalability issues that arise from its inability to handle a large quantity of transactions under PoW. PoS also expected to be more cost-effective than mining.
- Three phases of the roll out are planned, with the first, phase 0, focusing on the underlying tech behind staking by tracking validators and their balances.
- The launchpad, which comes before phase 0, will enable validators to track and deposit test stakes on the upcoming Medalla multi-client testnet.
- When phase 0 arrives, validators will start securing Ethereum 2’s network with real stakes.
- Phases 2 and 3 will revolve around adding and storing Eth 2 data and enabling programs to be run on the network, respectively.
- The legacy Ethereum platform will exist for some time as its own independent PoW chain, but the developers stressed the “transition toward PoS starts now” in yesterday’s announcement.
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