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Ethereum Core Developers Differ on Eth2 Phase 0 Launch Date

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The first phase of Ethereum’s Eth2 network upgrade will expectedly launch in 2021 according to Ethereum Foundation researcher Justin F. Drake.

In a Reddit AMA session on Friday, the developer noted that the remaining time between now and the end of the year may not be enough to check off a bunch of necessary activities that have to be concluded before the network upgrades to Eth2 Phase 0. Drake gave a list of the essential things that must be implemented before the launch date and they are:

  • A public testnet with 3+ clients running smoothly for 2-3 months.
  • An incentivized “attack net” running for 2-3 months (teased here—more details soon).
  • A bug bounty program similar to bounty.ethereum.org running for 2-3 months.
  • Serious differential fuzzing across clients.

Well, according to Drake, “All the above cannot happen in Q3 2020.“ Additionally, he said that “with Thanksgiving on November 26th and the December holidays I’d say the latest practical opportunity for genesis in 2020 is mid-November, 4 months from now. As such, I’m now inclined to say that the earliest practical date for genesis is something like January 3, 2021 (Bitcoin’s 12th anniversary).”

This is a bummer for pro-ether community members who have been promised the migration of Ethereum network from the current proof of work consensus mechanism to proof of stake. Ethereum core developers, led by the network’s creator Vitalik Buterin have been working on this upgrade for years now and for a moment there it seemed as though the launch would happen in 2020.

However, what about the views of the other developers? You will be glad to know that not all is doom and gloom. Buterin himself is still maintaining the initial launch period of 2020. In a comment on Drake’s statement, he said that the launch would happen far sooner than January 3rd.

“I personally quite disagree with this and I would favor launching phase 0 significantly before that date regardless of the level of readiness,” he wrote.

According to Vitalik Buterin, Eth2 is a simpler upgrade compared to the initial launch of Eth1 back in 2015. For a frame of reference, he noted that the period between the launch of the Eth1 testnet to the launch of Eth1 phase 0 was roughly 4 months. This should be shorter for Eth2 whose testnet Altona launched earlier this month. If true this would mean that Eth2 Phase 0 will be launching before November 2020.

Eth2 phase 0 is in some ways simpler than eth1 and in some ways more complex: more complex PoS, but no complicated GPU-oriented PoW; more optimization required, but no complicated VM, etc etc. I’m inclined to say eth2 phase 0 is a little simpler on-net,” Buterin wrote adding “Also, eth2 is not going to have any critical applications depending on it until phase 1, so the practical risks of breakage are lower (though you could argue the ecosystem as a whole is bigger). So on the whole I see no reason to take more time for the eth2 phase 0 launch cycle than we did for the eth1 launch.”

Despite the slight differences in launch dates as anticipated by the core developers, all in all, it seems that the launch date is getting closer and closer.

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