--- 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 - 2 July 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 72 at [eth2.news](https://eth2.news/) ## Editorial - Eth2 considered harmful? It began when Danny Ryan renamed his Ethereum Foundation updates from "eth2 quick update" to "Finalized". It's a perfectly fine name (apart from that "z"), but explicitly a [move away from saying "eth2"](https://blog.ethereum.org/2021/03/11/finalized-no-23/). The estimable [Week in Ethereum News](https://weekinethereumnews.com/) swiftly followed suit in completely dropping Eth2 terminology. Meanwhile, over on the Ethereum Foundation's [eth2 Discord channel](https://discord.gg/yqYgmvqmsV) (ha!), Micah [writes](https://discord.com/channels/595666850260713488/598292067260825641/855683736616173568): > I cannot express enough urgency at dropping the "ETH2" and "Ethereum 2" from everything we do. And, this week, Prysmatic Labs began [removing all traces](https://github.com/prysmaticlabs/prysm/pull/9104) of Ethereum 2 from its codebase and [urges us](https://twitter.com/rauljordaneth/status/1409527167302656006) to do likewise. The cachet of the Ethereum 2 name is dropping faster than $ICP's token price. So I feel the need to explain why I will be unashamedly continuing to say Eth2. And it's not (just) because I am an inveterate reactionary. Of course I understand the reasons why some want to dispense with the Eth2 moniker. I [wrote about](https://hackmd.io/@benjaminion/wnie2_210328#Editorial) the background a few months ago in a piece that became the introduction to the [Beacon Book](https://stateful.mirror.xyz/). I've reflected much on this since, and my thinking has clarified. My considered view is that deprecating the Eth2 brand is a futile and confusing waste of a great resource. Ethereum 2 has been with us a very long time, going back at least as far as [April 2014](https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7554923). We have an `ethereum-2_0` Slack channel in ConsenSys that was started by Joe Lubin on the 8th of October, 2015 for "Discussions regarding building Ethereum v2.0". Ethereum 2 is a great brand; it has serious meme-power. It engages people. As an example, when Week In Ethereum News [renamed](https://twitter.com/benjaminion_xyz/status/1401510283609264128) What's New in Eth2 to remove the "Eth2" mention, readership dropped by _half_. That's 5,000 fewer people accessing accurate, up to date information about what's actually going on. Do we really prefer people to be uninformed? I'd far rather y'all had good information, even if under arguably wonky branding. The Eth2 brand is so powerful that it is impossible to eradicate. Rather, we should embrace it and fill it with new content. Eth2 has meant many things over many years. Once again the content is changing, but it's too late to kill the meme. To summarise: I do not believe that dropping the Eth2 name will help people in general to become better informed about the future of Ethereum. Quite the contrary. Fwiw, here's my take on what "Eth2" means today. - What is Eth2? A broadly defined set of rolling upgrades to the existing Ethereum chain, certainly comprising consensus and scalability upgrades, and possibly embracing state expiry and others. - When Eth2? It's not a single deliverable. We will know Eth2 is done when people start unironically working on Eth3. - What's the relationship between Eth1 and Eth2? They have converged and together comprise a unified roadmap for Ethereum. Nonetheless, the terminology remains useful (see, for example, this quite [interesting thread](https://twitter.com/jessewldn/status/1410371381783638017) on data availability). Thus, I will be sticking with Eth2/Ethereum 2.0. Rather than deprecate it, I believe we should continue to build on this powerful brand, ever striving to fill it with accurate and up to date content. Thank you for listening. ## The Beacon Chain The beacon chain continues to perform flawlessly as we enter its eighth month. For those who like decimal milestones, over 6 million Ether are now locked in the [Eth2 deposit contract](https://etherscan.io/address/0x00000000219ab540356cbb839cbe05303d7705fa). This is over 5% of the [total Ether supply](https://etherscan.io/stat/supply). (Other protocols have [much higher percentages](https://www.stakingrewards.com/) of their supply staked; that's because there is little else to do with their coins.) There was [a slashing](https://beaconcha.in/validator/169440) this week, unfortunately. Unusually, we have quite [a lot of info](https://www.reddit.com/r/ethstaker/comments/oa6m2o/my_validator_got_slashed/) about this one. It looks to be user error when trying to use a new feature on Prysm, though there remain some [mysteries](https://www.reddit.com/r/ethstaker/comments/oa6m2o/my_validator_got_slashed/h3jtrcq/). ### Altair upgrade Altair is an upgrade to the beacon chain that modifies a few parameters and calculations, and introduces sync committees. This is not The Merge. We set out the beginnings of a timeline for the Altair upgrade on this week's implementers' call: - Towards the end of next week, set up a multiclient devnet. - All being well, deploy Altair to the Pyrmont testnet by the end of July. - Deploy to Prater a little while after that. Assuming no serious issues are uncovered, we'd be looking at deploying Altair to the beacon chain during August. ### Surprise of the week. A new beacon chain and validator client implementation has appeared from nowhere. Apparently, [Grandine](https://github.com/sifraitech/grandine) has been silently in development since 2019. It is written in Rust, and comes with some impressive claims. However, it remains _closed source_ for now, and for that reason I would strongly recommend against staking any Mainnet ETH with it. That may change once it is open source and has received proper scrutiny. Commentary: I can't help thinking that closed-source development and near zero interaction with the existing dev community is fundamentally un-Etherean. But permissionlessness is also one of our values, so :man-shrugging: ### Fail of the week The staking platform StakeHound [is suing](https://decrypt.co/74183/fireblocks-faces-lawsuit-alleged-loss-71-million-ethereum) crypto custodian Fireblocks for allegedly losing the Eth2 withdrawal keys for 38,178 staked ETH. Much [finger](https://stakehound.com/blog-post/fireblocks-eth-2-key-management-incident/) [pointing](https://www.fireblocks.com/blog/stakehound-eth-2-0-event/) is going on, and I won't speculate on the rights and wrongs. But it does seem a little premature to be suing anybody: _Nobody_ can withdraw from the beacon chain yet, keys or no keys. Once withdrawals are enabled, however, I do expect more incidents like this as people discover that their withdrawal credentials were not properly backed up. There is [some discussion](https://ethresear.ch/t/simple-withdrawal-credentials-rotation/9555?u=benjaminion) around how the protocol might handle this, but there are no ideal solutions yet. Back up your seed phrases, people! ## The Great Explainers I only just saw this and haven't had a chance to digest it properly yet, but Samuel Shadrach took a pretty thorough look at [ETH 2.0 monetary policy and delegation](https://noma.substack.com/p/eth-20-monetary-policy-and-delegation) a few weeks ago. It's an excellent explainer and has some acute insights. I will be spending some more time in this. Tobias Fan published a two-part Ethereum 2.0 For Dummies on Coinmonks: [Part 1](https://medium.com/coinmonks/ethereum-2-0-for-dummies-part-1-why-upgrade-112d8f5b6d88): Why Upgrade? and [Part 2](https://medium.com/coinmonks/ethereum-2-0-for-dummies-part-2-how-does-staking-actually-work-96bb714e4ad4): How Does Staking Actually Work? These are readable and detailed, and mostly accurate if you ignore some of the roadmap stuff (Ewasm, Eth2 phases, etc.). The Ethereum Foundation research team hosted their [sixth Reddit AMA](https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/o4unlp/ama_we_are_the_efs_research_team_pt_6_23_june_2021/). Great Q&A as ever - lots of good stuff. Also available (partially?) [in Chinese](https://www.ethereum.cn/Eth2/ama_we_are_the_efs_research_team_6_23). A couple of analyses of validator performance: - First, Pintail with [Validator Rewards in Practice](https://pintail.xyz/posts/validator-rewards-in-practice/). The article defines an overall "validator efficiency" score. Spoiler: most validators are doing pretty well! - Second, Cento Validatori with [Are All Eth2 Validators Created Equal?](https://centovalidatori.medium.com/are-all-eth2-validators-created-equal-52faf6122a9e) looking at income and missed attestations. AGStaking has produced some [very nice resources](https://www.reddit.com/r/ethstaker/comments/o3sjk2/eth_20_staking_guide_educational_resources/) to introduce new users to staking, including a beginners' [introduction to Ubuntu](https://agstakingco.gitbook.io/ethereum-2-0-ubuntu-for-beginners/), [Eth 2.0 Key Generation](https://agstakingco.gitbook.io/eth-2-0-key-generation-ubuntu-live-usb/), and [setting up a client](https://agstakingco.gitbook.io/eth-2-0-staking-guide-prater-lighthouse/). And Avado released a [nice 4 minute video](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FEttfq0sq8) on setting up staking with their [Avado hardware platform](https://ava.do/). ## Media and stuff Dankrad Feist appeared on the [Epicenter podcast](https://epicenter.tv/episodes/397) with "An Eth2 Progress Update #2". I appeared on the [Zero Knowledge podcast](https://www.zeroknowledge.fm/187) with "The Evolution of ETH 2.0". Adrian Sutton of the Teku team recorded a Peep an EIP session on [implementing the Altair changes](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv643dgRmMI) in a client. There is a handy [playlist](https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4cwHXAawZxoEw29YmqJtNoFaENUUAREn) of recent Peep an EIP sessions related to the beacon chain. Here's your fortnightly reminder of Christine and my weekly [Eth2 podcast](https://www.coindesk.com/podcasts/mapping-out-eth-2-0) for Coindesk. We [spoke to](https://www.coindesk.com/podcasts/mapping-out-eth-2-0/allnodes-eth-staking) Konstantin, founder and CEO of Allnodes, and [we discussed](https://www.coindesk.com/podcasts/mapping-out-eth-2-0/ethereum-test-network-and-potential-protocol-changes) the ins and outs of lowering the required stake from 32 ETH, among other things. Also, Christine's [Valid Points](https://www.coindesk.com/newsletter/valid-points) newsletter continues to be excellent. Contributer copies of the [Beacon Book](https://stateful.mirror.xyz/) are [being](https://twitter.com/caymannan/status/1409619513553850368) [sent](https://twitter.com/JonnyRhea/status/1409607628402085890) [out](https://twitter.com/ChazSchmidt/status/1409618288875761664). The Royal Mail tells me that mine is on the way! There's still time to win one [via Gitcoin](https://gitcoin.co/blog/meme-lords-earn-eth-win-prizes/), or there will opportunities to [bid for copies](https://twitter.com/trent_vanepps/status/1411023628506996748) later. ## Research Alex Vlasov of the ConsenSys TX/RX research team is continuing to apply formal engineering methods to the Python Eth2 spec. He recently published a proposal to [modularise](https://hackmd.io/@ericsson49/rk5MAszuu) the beacon chain specification, and a study on how versions of the spec can be [combined](https://ethresear.ch/t/how-to-combine-beacon-chain-phase-definitions/9953?u=benjaminion) as we move through upgrades and implementation phases. I am putting Vitalik's impromptu technical AMA on [statelessness and Verkle trees and state expiry](https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/o9s15i/impromptu_technical_ama_on_statelessness_and/) here, under research, as it is definitely more "out there" for now, although swiftly moving towards practicality. ## Regular Calls ### The Merge Merge call #7 took place on the 1st of July. * [Agenda](https://github.com/ethereum/pm/issues/345) * [Video](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6d944TCNpqc) * [Notes](https://notes.ethereum.org/@protolambda/BJdsuHjnO) from Protolambda Lots of discussion about the API between the consensus side and the execution side. Mikhail [documented](https://hackmd.io/@n0ble/consensus_api_enhancement) some proposed API enhancements after the call. There was also some planning around Q3 development work. This call may soon be integrated with the PoS implementers' call (below) and/or the normal Ethereum All Core Devs call. ### Implementers Call #67 also took place on the 1st of July. * [Agenda](https://github.com/ethereum/eth2.0-pm/issues/224) * [Video](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNXk4ScqHn0&t=167s) * My [quick notes](https://hackmd.io/@benjaminion/BJSvvGs2O) This was Grandine's debut call, and we did a bit of Altair planning, summarised above. * * * [![[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. 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