Ethereum's Proof of Stake Code Nearing Completion, to Be Finalized Next Month

Omar Faridi

The developers of Ethereum (ETH), the world’s largest platform for building and deploying decentralized applications (dApps), have revealed they’re preparing to finalize the blockchain network’s proof-of-stake (PoS)-based consensus protocol.

During the last bi-weekly meeting between Ethereum’s Core developers Justin Drake, a researcher at the Ethereum Foundation, said the code specifications for the initial phase of Ethereum’s transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to PoS was “on track” to be completed by June 30, 2019.

Phase Zero To Be Completed By End of June

Commenting on the latest developments related to Ethereum’s planned PoS transition, Drake remarked: 

I’ve been continuing to fine comb Phase Zero in preparation for the spec freeze which we’re targeting for the 30th of June. We’re still very much on track. Still, [codebase] simplifications are coming through which is great and the process of fine combing is also for finding final bugs.

In addition to preparing for a switch from PoW to PoS,Ethereum’s developers are working on a major systemwide upgrade, called Ethereum 2.0. According to its development team, the changes that will be activated with Ethereum 2.0 will drastically change how the multi-billion dollar crypto network generates and validates new blocks.

Ethereum 2.0 Consists Of “Two Major Flagship Components”

As noted by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin in an interview held recently at an Ethereum conference in South Africa (ETHCapetown), Ethereum 2.0 consists of “two major flagship components.”

Buterin explained:

One is Casper, which is our proof-of-stake algorithm which replaces mining…with something that we consider to be much more efficient. The second part is sharding which is this massive scalability improvement which happens because you don’t need every computer in the network to process every transaction in the network any more.

“1,000 Factor Increase In Scalability”

Buterin further noted that after sharding has been integrated on the Ethereum blockchain, it will likely result in a “1,000 factor increase in scalability” of the Ethereum network. As confirmed by Buterin, sharding will be activated in the final two phases of Ethereum 2.0’s deployment.

In the initial phase, referred to as “Phase Zero,” the platform’s developers will launch Ethereum’s newly developed PoS algorithm. During Phase Zero, which is also called “Beacon Chain,” Ethereum’s development team will activate a new type of blockchain validation system. It will allow validators, instead of miners, to begin staking tokens on the Ethereum network. Validators will also be able to vote on various block proposals.

Ethereum’s “Beacon Chain”

As explained by Ben Edgington, an Ethereum developer, the Beacon Chain has been developed in order to manage the blockchain network’s validators and their respective stake amounts.

The Beacon Chain will also help in organizing validators into different committees, which will vote on proposed blocks. Moreover, the Beacon Chain will assist in applying network consensus rules and also in distributing rewards or assigning penalties to validators.

According to Buterin: 

By the end of Phase Two, it’s a complete system. But for Phase Zero and Phase One, it’s still useful for some things. Currently, Phase Zero is very close to completion.

Meanwhile, Drake stated:

One of the things that might be possible when we do a spec freeze – thanks to all these simplifications both cosmetic and substantive – is that we might be able to fit the state transition function of Phase Zero in 512 lines of code…All of Ethereum 2.0 in terms of state transaction function including both the Beacon Chain and the shards might fit into 1,000 lines of code which is amazing.