--- tags: newineth2 description: The latest update on Ethereum 2.0 development image: https://benjaminion.xyz/f/favicon-96x96.png --- <style> a {text-decoration: underline;} a {color: #0000ee;} a:visited {color: #551a8b;} </style> # What's New in Eth2 - 15 January 2021 ![My avatar](https://benjaminion.xyz/f/ms-icon-144x144.png =32x32) Ben Edgington (Eth2 at [ConsenSys](https://consensys.net/) — all views expressed are my own) Edition 60 at [eth2.news](https://eth2.news/) ## Top picks Danny Ryan was the guest at an excellent [EthStaker community call](https://youtu.be/mRn-nxq8yF4?t=519), which I highly recommend. Unfortunately I couldn't attend live, so missed out on the POAP 😢, but the YouTube recording is great. ## The Beacon Chain All continues peacefully! As I write, there are 61,641 active validators, with the participation rate continuing to be around 99% - it could hardly be running better. The rate of deposits has slowed a little, so the [entry queue](https://eth2-validator-queue.web.app/) is down from three weeks to 18 days, being now 16.5k validators. 2.5 million ETH [has been staked](https://www.duneanalytics.com/hagaetc/eth2-0-deposits), worth $3 billion, plus or minus, depending on the time of day. Etherscan has identified many of the [top depositors](https://bi.etherscan.io/public/dashboards/KH9jbP687szqlAnHiNEfNictrwNhvdOEQl0PwB6m?org_slug=default). Kraken leads the (known) pack, with 15.2%. If you were among the cohort of Genesis Validators, then you can now [claim your POAP](https://poap.delivery/eth2-genesis/). If you were among the first 1024 deposits or the first 1024 block proposers, claim your additional POAP [here](https://poap.delivery/beacon-chain-first-1024). I understand that POAPs for proposers among the first 32768, who used the POAP graffiti, will be claimable soon. ### Slashings Four more validators were [slashed](https://beaconcha.in/validators/slashings) during the last two weeks, each one isolated, and on different occasions. I've got info on a couple of them, and as expected the slashings were due to running the same keys in two validator clients due to misconfiguration. A total of 36 validators has been slashed so far, 0.06% of all validators. Reduced slashing penalties apply during the current start up period, so the penalty is only about 0.6 ETH per validator (plus the remaining stake being locked until the merge). ### Testnets [Pyrmont](https://pyrmont.beaconcha.in/) continues to run fairly well. It is bumpier than Mainnet: participation is lower, which is typical for testnets, and there are occasional periods of non-finalisation as client teams tinker with their nodes. But that's probably not a bad thing for a testnet. The plan is for Pyrmont to continue to operate as the main testnet until mid-year. ### Tooling If you want to access beacon chain data, there are two more tools to add to the list: - Web3.&#x200D;py [now supports](https://snakecharmers.ethereum.org/web3py-meets-eth2/) the Eth2 beacon node API! - [Bitquery](https://bitquery.io/) is offering beacon chain [GraphQL APIs](https://bitquery.io/blog/eth2-api), and a [dashboard](https://explorer.bitquery.io/eth2) to showcase them. And, calling all staking pools! The excellent [beaconcha.in app](https://beaconcha.in/mobile) now supports [dedicated views for staking pools](https://twitter.com/etherchain_org/status/1349472045793505283). ## What's next? ### Upgrade 1 A minor network upgrade is planned for "mid-year". (This is what's commonly known as a hard fork, but I am hoping we can [move away](https://github.com/ethereum/eth2.0-pm/issues/198#issuecomment-760170970) from that terminology for planned, non-contentious upgrades. The word "fork" is heavily overloaded in blockchain usage. In fact, there _should't even be a fork_ when this upgrade is done, in the sense of the network ending up with multiple competing chains. So calling it a fork is just weird. If there is a fork, then it will have been due to a failure in either governance or implementation failure, and we can retrospectively call it a fork. Rant over.) The draft contents of the upgrade are as follows. - Reset slashing penalties and the inactivity leak to their original values. - Introduce [sync committees](https://github.com/ethereum/eth2.0-specs/blob/dev/specs/lightclient/beacon-chain.md) for light client support. These build on much of the existing committee infrastructure. - [Accounting reforms](https://github.com/ethereum/eth2.0-specs/pull/2176). Rather than processing all attestation rewards and penalties at the end of the epoch, this would spread processing throughout the epoch. One goal is to reduce the number of incorrect attestations at the starts of epochs. There are also some minor changes to rewards. - [Global quotient penalties](https://github.com/ethereum/eth2.0-specs/pull/2177) is an efficiency improvement. Penalties for not participating are currently applied individually to each validator. This change would define a global divisor via which all validators' balances can be adjusted together by changing only the divisor. - Fixes to the fork choice rule as a result of some recent research. This upgrade will be a nice warm up before we tackle the big ones later (sharding and the merge). ### And beyond I'll write more about all this in future editions, but, now that we've got the chain running and everything seems stable, it's time for we implementers to look ahead. I've noted before that the previous, neat, linear roadmap (Phase&nbsp;0$\rightarrow$1$\rightarrow$2) [no longer cleanly applies](https://www.theblockcrypto.com/post/90818/ethereum-2-eth2-whats-next-2021). In it's place we have a number of parallel threads. This is likely to accelerate the delivery of the remaining components of Ethereum 2.0. In addition to Upgrade&nbsp;1, above, the following are the main, fairly independent, threads: 1. Sharding of data and data availability. 1. The merge of Eth1 and Eth2 (getting Eth1 onto proof of stake). The prime candidate for this at present is the [Executable beacon chain](https://ethresear.ch/t/executable-beacon-chain/8271?u=benjaminion). 1. Light clients for Ethereum 2. Research and design of each of these is fairly well advanced. The goal is to work towards stable specs for each of these during Q1 this year, and then decide how to sequence the implementation and delivery. It's a close call as to whether to prioritise delivery of Sharding before the Merge or vice-versa. We'll be consulting widely. One recent innovation in the sharding work is the likely adoption of Kate ("kah-tay") commitments for [data availability sampling](https://notes.ethereum.org/@vbuterin/r1v8VCULP). Protolambda spent his Christmas holidays making an [experimental implementation](https://github.com/protolambda/go-kate) in Go. See the links there to some source info about Kate commitments, including Dankrad's [explainer](https://dankradfeist.de/ethereum/2020/06/16/kate-polynomial-commitments.html). Here's Proto's [single-tweet-explainer](https://twitter.com/protolambda/status/1349738935287648260) if you just want the headline. ## The Great Explainers My first choice in this section is not so much an explainer as a call to action. Daniel Hwang of Stakefish is [Making the Case for Decentralization Transparency](https://medium.com/stakefish/making-the-case-for-decentralization-transparency-443375991e83). This is the first of three articles that Daniel is writing, and argues that transparency from the large staking operators will be critical to the ongoing health and success of the Ethereum 2.0 network. He is very down on "security through obscurity", and overall I find much to support in his goals. I highly recommend giving the article a thoughtful read. There's a [tweet form](https://twitter.com/danhwang88/status/1350141392555810816) summary for those with Twitter-sized attention spans. Jim McDonald has hit 2021 running, with two articles out already. [Examining Ethereum 2 Network Performance](https://www.attestant.io/posts/examining-ethereum-2-network-performance/) looks at the metric$\smash{\frac{\text{rewards obtained}}{\text{maximum rewards}}}\$ as a measure for how well individual validators and the network as a whole are doing. [Exploring Net Issuance](https://www.attestant.io/posts/exploring-net-issuance/) looks at the amount of new Ether being created by the operation of the beacon chain. Attestation rewards and validator performance have also been [on Adrian Sutton's mind](https://www.symphonious.net/2021/01/10/exploring-eth2-attestation-rewards-and-validator-performance/). Amidst all the complexity, there is a very nice way to access this data for your own validators if you are running Teku. Meanwhile, Jacek Sieka wants to talk [peers](https://www.symphonious.net/2021/01/10/exploring-eth2-attestation-rewards-and-validator-performance/). Lots of good insights here: you may be surprised at how much is going on under the hood on the network layer. Stakewise teamed up with Collin Myers to write about [The Tokenomics of Staking Pools](https://stakewise.medium.com/the-tokenomics-of-staking-pools-what-are-staked-eth-tokens-and-how-do-they-work-2b4084515711) - What Are Staked ETH Tokens and How Do They Work? This is a great review of an increasingly complex and fragmented area. If you are interested in staking and validating but have no idea where to start, a couple of decent short video intros came out recently: - [Nugget's News](https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLo66QVfEod0nNM_GzKNxmQ) has 20 minutes on [Beginner's Guide To Proof Of Stake Clearly Explained](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d240ipBzzlc), and - [Bitcoin for Beginners](https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi7egjf0JDHuhznWugXq4hA) has a 12 minute introduction to [How to earn ETH by validating for Ethereum 2.0](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gj83fDNJRo4). ## Media Vitalik talks "Why Proof of Stake" on Bankless: [podcast](http://podcast.banklesshq.com/vitalik-buterin-on-why-proof-of-stake); [video](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2QQiCKqjNY). (This was recorded before the beacon chain launch, but only recently made available, I think.) As mentioned at the top, Danny Ryan was recently a guest on the [EthStaker community call](https://youtu.be/mRn-nxq8yF4?t=519) with a nice overview of what's coming up in the next little while for Eth2. There's a good [write-up](https://www.reddit.com/r/ethstaker/comments/ksoz3u/ethstaker_is_holding_a_community_call_with_danny/gj3xsom/) of the call on Reddit by [u/Coldsnap](https://www.reddit.com/user/Coldsnap/). Me in the news :slightly_smiling_face: I wrote an op-ed for the Block, [What's Next for Eth2](https://www.theblockcrypto.com/post/90818/ethereum-2-eth2-whats-next-2021), and got a few quotes in CoinTelegraph, [Ethereum 2.0 optimism is high, but the road is long](https://cointelegraph.com/news/speed-vs-quality-ethereum-2-0-optimism-is-high-but-the-road-is-long). ## Regular Calls ### Implementers Call #55 took place on the 14th of January. * [Agenda](https://github.com/ethereum/eth2.0-pm/issues/198) * [Video](https://youtu.be/xNt6MmEV3JI?t=130) * My [quick notes](https://hackmd.io/@benjaminion/BJ2TO360v). ## And finally... Feel free to take the following with a pinch of salt: I am, after all, Teku's product owner :wink:. But I am pretty happy about where we are right now. Here's a chart of earnings of Teku on mainnet versus earnings of validators run by the other client teams. Block rewards are excluded as these are random (i.e. noise) and can lead to weird swings although they make up only 3% of rewards on average. The chart shows the last day, the last week, and the last two weeks. <p style="text-align:center"> <a href="https://benjaminion.xyz/images/210115_EarningsRelativeToTeku.jpg"><img width="526" height="335" alt="Bar chart that shows that Teku has the best earnings performance among clients so far this year." src="https://benjaminion.xyz/images/210115_EarningsRelativeToTeku.jpg"></a><br> <i>Earnings relative to Teku (click image to enlarge)</i> </p> If your staking service provider is not running [Teku](https://consensys.net/knowledge-base/ethereum-2/teku/), I suggest you ask them why they are losing you money :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: * * * [![[Twitter]](https://benjaminion.xyz/newineth2/img/twitter.svg =40x40)](https://twitter.com/benjaminion_xyz) Follow me on [Twitter](https://twitter.com/benjaminion_xyz) to hear when the next edition is out 🙌. [![[RSS]](https://benjaminion.xyz/newineth2/img/rss.svg =32x32)](https://benjaminion.xyz/newineth2/rss_feed.xml) We also have an [RSS feed](https://benjaminion.xyz/newineth2/rss_feed.xml). [Advertising](https://hackmd.io/@benjaminion/eth2_news/https%3A%2F%2Fhackmd.io%2F%40benjaminion%2Fadvertising) on this newsletter. [Give Feedback](https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfkESc4CmNfRGHHjWfNeF3ceLwrXDvynetda4sKfJFJ71Oabw/viewform).