Co-founder of ConsenSys Andrew Keys announced in January 2020 that Ethereum’s Serenity would be launched before the end of the year. The PDF attachment introduces ConsenSys.
Among several predictions for 2020 made by Keys was the forecast that the technology would move into Phase 1 of Ethereum 2.0, which will include the launch of shard chains. This layer two technology will continue to develop and turbocharge Ethereum, according to Keys.
Domen Zavrl has taken cryptography courses at Stanford University and has a keen interest in developments in this field. However, not everyone is as confident about the timescale for launch of Ethereum 2.0 as Andrew Keys, given the state of development it is currently in.
Before understanding Ethereum 2.0, it helps to understand the Ethereum platform as a whole.
Ethereum is a relatively new technology that seeks to be part of the solution to a decentralised internet, whereby information is stored, verified and secured through a decentralised network of peers rather than relying on a single central authority.
At present, most of the data that is held online is stored within clouds and servers, which are essentially computers belonging to other people. Big companies control the places where all of our passwords, data and financial information are stored. While there are certain benefits to this system, such as lower costs to the end user, there is also a vulnerability.
Ethereum aims to be a ‘world computer’, removing the requirement for a central authority that exists within the current client-server model.
The World Computer
The vision of a world computer includes a future where one entity cannot have complete control over anyone’s data. Volunteers around the world each play a role in running Ethereum, with a network of thousands of interlinked nodes replacing traditional servers or cloud storage.
At present, almost everything we do on the internet relies on third-party services for secure transfer and storage of information. The vision of Ethereum is to deliver the same level of functionality to people using the network from anywhere in the world, with the capability to add services that will make the network competitive on top of the basic blockchain infrastructure.
The embedded infographic contains some statistics for the global blockchain market.
The initial launch of Ethereum took place on the 30th July 2015. It is often referred to as a cryptocurrency but, while it works in a similar way, there is more to the Ethereum platform than simply storing and transferring digital currency.
The cryptocurrency part of the Ethereum system, Ether, is backed by a comprehensive blockchain platform that is open-sourced and public, featuring smart contracts. The definition of a smart contract can be found in the short video attachment to this post.
The Ethereum platform cuts out all requirements for a middleman, which makes the information stored within the network less open to mismanagement or abuse.
Ethereum 2.0: Serenity
ConsenSys created a roadmap for Serenity that was released in mid-2019, which predicted implementation of Serenity’s Phase 0 before the end of the year. However, other industry experts pushed the timescale back, with expectations for Phase 0 in the final quarter of 2020.
Phase 0 of Serenity includes the Beacon Chain, which is the first blockchain to be powered by Proof-of-Stake validators. However, the beacon chain block explorer that was released simply tracks a testnet version of the technology.
Ethereum developers revealed in February 2020 that they hoped to launch by the end of July in the same year.