December Report: Ethereum 2.0
Since the establishment of the Ethereum network, it has always been the focus of the cryptocurrency industry. On December 1, the launch of the Beacon Chain marked the arrival of the Ethereum 2.0 era. Ethereum 2.0 may be a watershed for digital currencies, bringing the cryptocurrency industry into a new era.
Ethereum development history time course
In 2013, Russian programmer Vitalik Buterin was inspired by Bitcoin and proposed the concept of Ethereum. In the same year, Vitalik Buterin released the first edition of the Ethereum whitepaper, convened a group of developers who recognized the concept of Ethereum in the cryptocurrency community, and started the project of Ethereum. Ethereum entered the Frontier stage.
In February 2014, after completing the code, business infrastructure, and legal strategy of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin made the first public Ethereum project at the Bitcoin conference in Miami. So far, the core development team of Ethereum has become a world-class encrypted digital currency development team. From March to July, Ethereum released three test network versions, POC3, POC4, and POC5.
In July of the same year, the Ethereum Foundation was established. Ethereum carried out a 42-day ETH pre-sale, and this ICO raised a total of 31,531 Bitcoins. Whether it was then or now, more than 30,000 bitcoins are a huge number.
In May 2015, the Ethereum team released the last test version of POC9. Members participating in the test network will receive ETH rewards from the Ethereum team. The rewards mainly include test mining rewards and bug submission rewards. In July of the same year, the official version of the Ethereum blockchain was launched and it has been in operation ever since.
On March 14, 2016, Ethereum entered the Homestead phase. At this stage, Ethereum created a wallet with a graphical interface, also known as the IMTOKEN wallet. The release of the wallet provides investors with a good easy-to-use interface, and both developers and ordinary users can use the Ethereum network anytime and anywhere.
On March 1, 2017, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) announced its establishment, aiming to create an enterprise-level blockchain solution and jointly develop industry standards.
In September 2017, the Ethereum Foundation released more details of the “Metropolis” plan through the core development conference. The “Metropolis” hard fork is an update of the Ethereum network implemented by the Ethereum Foundation. It is divided into two core stages, “Byzantium” and “Constantinople”. Among them, “Byzantium” is the first phase of the Ethereum hard fork, which aims to improve the ability of anonymous transactions and improve the predictability of Gas Charge.
On December 10, 2018, Vitalik announced on Twitter that in the future, a consensus mechanism based on PoS proof of rights will be used to replace the existing PoW mechanism, and fragmentation technology will be used to improve network transmission efficiency. This is also the first time Vitalik Buterin has issued a statement on the concept of Ethereum 2.0.
In 2019, Ethereum carried out a hard fork in the Constantinople phase, announcing that Ethereum has officially entered the Metropolis phase. This is a code that stimulates the Ethereum network to change its core consensus mechanism algorithm. After the code is started, the difficulty of creating new blocks on this network will be greatly increased, and will eventually stop completely.
The Serenity phase is coming, and Ethereum 2.0 starts
The Ethereum system has experienced multiple upgrades such as Frontier, Homestead, Metropolis, etc. With the launch of the Beacon Chain on December 1, Ethereum officially entered the Serenity stage.
“We are currently in the transition from Metropolis to Serenity”. Vitalik Buterin once stated before the launch of Ethereum 2.0, “This is a good proof for the Ethereum community.” As the founder and soul of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin entered the countdown mode of starting 2.0 early in the morning, even more excited than many Ethereum users.
Ethereum 2.0 is generally divided into four stages. The beacon chain launched on December 1 marks the beginning of the first phase of Ethereum 2.0. According to the official statement, the four phases are:
Phase 1 (some people call it Phase 0 because developers like to start counting from 0) called Beacon Chain. This stage is mainly the change of consensus mechanism.
Ethereum 1.0 extends the consensus mechanism of Bitcoin, which is PoW (Proof of Work). Unlike Ethereum 1.0, Ethereum 2.0 uses a PoS (Proof of Stake) mechanism.
To become a verifier of the Beacon Chain, you need to pledge a certain amount of ETH, and each verifier needs to pledge at least 32 ETH. The main role of the verifiers is to verify and process the transaction data of Ethereum 2.0. The verifiers replaces the miners in the PoW mode.
The change in the consensus mechanism is a pioneering move for Ethereum. PoS mechanism allows Ethereum 2.0 to remove complex and computationally intensive calculations, and elect blocks to be verified by equity token holders. This can avoid a lot of waste of resources, and can also reduce the environmental impact of a large number of miners’ operations.
Vitalik Buterin posted an article on Twitter on November 6, 2020 called: “Why Proof of Stake?” Vitalik Buterin believes that the blockchain network under PoS (Proof of Rights) consensus mechanism is more secure than PoW (Proof of Work), and the defense against attacks is more complete than the latter, and the threshold for participating in verification is lower.
Although the PoS mechanism of Ethereum 2.0 has begun to operate, at this stage, Ethereum 1.0 and 2.0 are completely parallel. Even for a long time in the future, Ethereum 1.0 and 2.0 will co-exist. The co-existence is because that Ethereum 2.0 does not currently enable the account transfer function. Only after the account transfer function is opened, the ETH tokens of Ethereum 1.0 and ETH tokens of Ethereum 2.0 can be interconnected.
Therefore, in the beacon chain stage, 32 ETH tokens pledged from Ethereum 1.0 will be destroyed on the Ethereum 1.0 network, and new Ethereum ETH tokens will be generated on Ethereum 2.0. This token can be called ETH2, but everyone is more accustomed to calling it BETH.
Phase 2: Shard Chains. Introducing the data layer, this stage is just a trial run of the sharding structure, rather than trying to use sharding to expand Ethereum.
The congestion problem of Ethereum 1.0 has become an existence that cannot be ignored, and there are many disputes in the cryptocurrency industry about the gas transfer fee of Ethereum 1.0.
Due to the increasing congestion of the Ethereum network, the mining fee of Ethereum has gradually increased, and it was even unacceptably high at one time. Especially at the peak of the big market or daily transfers, if you want to ensure that the transfer is successful, the transfer Gas value of each order needs 0.02 or 0.03 Ethereum ETH, which is undoubtedly a sky-high handling fee. Calculated based on the current price of Ethereum at around US$600, a transfer fee requires a handling fee of more than ten US dollars. If the congestion problem cannot be solved, the future of Ethereum is worrying.
In the Shard Chains stage, the main solution is the congestion problem of the Ethereum network.
Shard Chains will initially be arranged into 64 shards.（The sharding chain has not been officially launched yet, at this time the Ethereum network still has a high degree of verification）At this time, the entire Ethereum network will have 65 blockchains operating in parallel, and there will be two-way communication and reference channels between the beacon chain and the new shard chains.
Phase 3: eWASM virtual machine. Introducing the execution layer, at this stage Ethereum 2.0 will realize all the functions of Ethereum that we are familiar with.
At this stage, all important functions of Ethereum 2.0 are gathered, shard chains are upgraded, wallet transfers are allowed, and contracts are executed.
In other words, Ethereum 2.0 is basically fully upgraded in the virtual machine stage, and all existing functions of Ethereum will be implemented on Ethereum 2.0. At this time, the new token BETH can realize account transfer, and the smart contract we are familiar with will also return here.
Phase 4: State storage under the chain. In the virtual machine stage, Ethereum 2.0 can already achieve all the functions of the current Ethereum. This stage is more like an expected state.
At this stage, the Ethereum network will transfer as much state as possible to off-chain. This stage aims to reduce the state on the chain. When storing on the chain, it is not necessary to store the entire state, only some state information and aggregators are stored. The user will be responsible for storing the complete state off-chain.
When the user interacts with the state, it will include proof of the current state in the transaction. In this way, the resource requirements for running the verification node will be relatively low. Although some aggregator designs have appeared, the performance characteristics of aggregators are not the same, so Ethereum has not yet made a specific choice. According to Vitalik, Phase 4 will be the adjustment and optimization of the New World Computer.
The launch of Ethereum 2.0 is great news for developers and ordinary investors. For developers on Ethereum, the overall performance improvement provides a more powerful basic environment for application development. For the majority of investors, the scalable network will bring a better user experience.
At the beacon chain stage, crypto exchange may become an important factor in the future of ETH
As a new token generated in the beacon chain stage, BETH cannot be circulated for a long period of time and can only be used by Stakers (coin holders or users) on the Beacon chain. There are only two ways to obtain BETH, one is to pledge from Ethereum 1.0 to Ethereum 2.0, and the other is token rewards obtained by validators.
At this stage, users cannot withdraw BETH from the beacon chain. Given that the beacon chain is only the most primitive stage of the entire Ethereum 2.0 network, and most of its functions are under test, it is reasonable to assume that it will take about two years for BETH as an independent non-transferable asset type. Before BETH realizes the shard transfer, if the liquidity of ETH and BETH cannot be better increased, during this blank period, it will cause an irreversible economic blow to Ethereum. To put it more bluntly, this will lead to a sharp drop in the price of ETH. Therefore, at the current stage, whether the exchange can increase liquidity for ETH becomes more critical.
For example, Filecoin, for a long period of time before the Filecoin mainnet was launched, FIL, as an unsound token, could only be issued on the eve of the exchange in the form of IOU futures products. The well-known FIL6 and other futures products are just like this. Only with the participation of many users in the secondary market can the circulation value of FIL tokens be ensured after the Filecoin mainnet is launched.
BETH also needs the participation of exchanges. Without the intervention of exchanges, the launch of Ethereum 2.0 will become difficult. In the past, the biggest difficulty for users when exchanges intervened was the trust of the new token. Users may have certain doubts about the demand for the new token. However, for BETH, there should be no trust issues in theory. As a behemoth in the currency circle, Ethereum is more convincing than other tokens and even FIL.
After the exchange intervenes, how to get more users to participate should imitate the existing verification rewards of Ethereum. The reward mechanism of the exchange and the rewards of Ethereum 2.0 validators should be roughly the same or exceed the rewards of Ethereum 2.0. From the current point of view, the annualized reward rate of Ethereum 2.0 should not exceed 18%, and the theoretical annualized interest rate should be between 4.1% and 21.9%.
ETH2.0 staking service offered by top exchanges
After the Beacon Chain was officially launched on December 1. Some leading exchanges have started to launch ETH2.0 Staking products. The formal participation of the exchange also provided market guarantee for the smooth progress of Ethereum 2.0.
ZB.com launches QETH as an alternative of ETH2.0 staking
Like other exchanges, ZB.com, a leading exchange, also launched the ETH2.0 staking business. ZB.com’s ETH2.0 pledge mining exchange is jointly initiated by ZB Pool and QuickCash. Users can exchange theirs ETH to QETH according to the ratio of ETH:QETH=1:1, and lock ETH in the ETH 2.0 pledge contract for mining. Holding QETH means holding the ownership of ETH pledged on the chain and the right to pledge mining income.
The ZB.com platform will start QETH deposit mining at 17:00 on December 10, 2020, Hong Kong time, and start to calculate and issue the QETH mining revenue for the previous 24 hours at 12:00 on December 11.
Users can use ZB.com’s QuickCash cross-chain exchange ZAPP to exchange ETH to QETH at the ratio of 1ETH:1QETH. After the redemption is successful, deposit QETH into QETH Staking, participate in ZB.com ETH2.0 Starking, and obtain ETH2.0 mining income.
ZB.com will open QETH/QC trading pairs to provide liquidity transactions for ETH2.0 Staking. The specific opening time will be announced separately.
QETH exchange participation entrance: ZB.com APP — ZAPP — QuickCash cross-chain exchange
QETH deposit and mining entrance:
1) ZB.com official website: Investment — — Staking — — QETH
2) ZB.com APP: ZAPP — — Staking — — QETH
Compared with other exchanges, ZB.com’s annualized rate of return is between 4%-35%. The upper limit of the annualized rate of return is much higher than that of other exchanges, which is one of the highlights of ZB.com’s ETH2.0 Staking service. In addition, the deposit of QETH will be counted on the whole point, and the workload will be calculated every hour. It takes only 1 minute to withdraw QETH.
QETH is the first 1–3 year option token of ETH on the Ethereum blockchain launched by QuickCash on the ZB.com exchange, providing liquidity mining for the promotion of ETH2.0 development. QETH is issued in strict accordance with the 1:1 pledge, and all pledges are kept in sync with Ethereum 2.0, helping users to participate in ETH2.0 pledge mining at a low threshold. Staking proceeds will be distributed to QETH holders, and QETH can be traded at will.
The introduction of the exchange’s ETH2.0 staking business has solved the problem of Ethereum’s secondary market circulation during the 2.0 blank period. Ethereum 2.0 is developing steadily. Hoping that in the future, it will present a more excellent and stable network to investors in the cryptocurrency industry.