Ethereum after DevCon V. The end of the Edo period

Ethereum after DevCon V. The end of the Edo period

In world history, Japan of the Edo period is notable for its extreme isolation from the outside world and, surprisingly, the flourishing of culture, the development of national ideas and statehood in the country. In many textbooks, this period is called the golden age of Japan. I have similar associations with Ethereum 1.0 that now is becoming history as well.

Today, still being in Japan, I cannot help but make references to the history of this unusual country. But it’s still surprising that I so easily associate the period from 2015 to the beginning of 2020 with the Edo period. The world decentralized computer — the first-of-its-kind and so unusual for a modern human — has changed a lot in the world community, has shown a new interesting way of developing decentralized technologies and even social structure.

Exploring the possibilities provided by a decentralized computing network with a blockchain storage, which is under the control of consensus, I was able to draw distant and sometimes fantastic things to the realities of today. My work is generally futuristic: to realize and prove to mankind that the joint economy of humans and machines is possible today and is an important point in the development of the existing economy. On the surface, this idea is more like Sheckley or Asimov’s books, but 4 years after the launch of Ethereum, ics allows you to connect a robot under the control of the decentralized computer and use the digital market as a way of transmitting a signal from a human to a machine. We have proven that it is possible, that it works. Who would tell me in 2010 that a team of 10 people would be able to do this in a few years in 2015 — of course, I would hardly believe it.

On the example of our project, I understand that Ethereum 1.0 gave unique opportunities to humanity, which not many could take. A closed infrastructure was formed — the original and, one might say, almost complete one: smart contracts, stablecoin DAI, DAO on Aragon, prediction markets, exchanges on 0x and, finally, robots as services. And all this is under the control of Ethereum. The golden age of a small state.

But this era is ending, and it seems to me that the next few years will not be simple in the history of Ethereum. Eth is no longer alone. Solving the bandwidth problem and implementing the environment in the more open form for popular web-technologies is what other projects have been doing for the last 2 years. Being the first, Ethereum follows, in my opinion, practically the same way, but with a little delay from the leader of the race.

Shift phases to Ethereum 2.0 through the eyes of the developer of its applications

On the way to Ethereum 2.0, the Ethereum Foundation distinguishes 3 phases — phase 0, phase 1, phase 2.

This phase is characterized mainly by the launch of the so-called Beacon Chain — the coordination layer for the PoS chain in Ethereum. During phase 0, the operation of network validators and the placement of their steaks will be tested.

Note: if you decide to become the Ethereum 2.0 validator in phase 0 and send 32 ethers to the contract in the PoW blockchain (valid today), then you will not have a return trip 🙂 I.e. you will be able to withdraw your deposit only when Ethereum 2.0 moves to the next phase, or maybe only from phase 2. Be careful.

For developers of Ethereum implementation, this phase will practically mean nothing. This will be an important step for developers of the cliens for the eth2 network, and possibly for those who want to become a validator, but not for users.

Phase 0 of shift from Еthereum 1.0 to eth2.

During phase 1, the simultaneous testing of the Beacon chain and the sharding will begin with the PoW chain still alive. I think that this particular phase in the work of users will be the deadliest: a complexity bomb, a lack of desire to do something, when Ethereum 2.0 is about to come — all this will play a big role in the community. In my opinion, the darkest day in the work of the dApp developer for Ethereum will fall on this phase, but it’s fine — about half a year of phase 1 will pass, and phase 2 will begin.

Phase 2 will mark the dawn after a storm in the community. Ethereum 2.0 will not be far off, and I think that the documentation for developers of the dApps for Ethereum 2.0 will be prepared and clients will be ready for users.

Note: generally this time DevCon participants practically did not discuss the main theme of the past Devcon in Prague — the random choice of a validator. But they raised a good question — stateless clients. Vitalik expressed fears that after sharding appears the amount of information, which will be stored in the Eth2 infrastructure, will reach 80 GB per day, so the nodes-executors will not be ready to process such a data stream. So, we need a way to hire a witness who will inform the stateless node that the state has changed at its request, and that something can be executed.

Exactly during phase 2 (probably by the end) the PoW chain will have to go down in history.

Ethereum 2.0 — today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.

Tomorrow I am leaving Japan, having spent the past week as a participant in the Devcon V conference. I am leaving with new slightly unexpected feelings — a sense of detachment and a feeling of uselessness of my work around Ethereum for the next 1.5 years.

The fact is that over the past 4 years I have come to Devcon in Shanghai, Mexico, Prague and now in Osaka to “check the clock” with the developers of the infrastructure where our project exists. I try to carefully listen to the reports on the Ethereum development, communicate with developers of network clients and putting personal experience and expertise in understanding the situation, I develop a trajectory for our team for the next year or two. This year, looking at the roadmap for the shift from Ethereum 1.0 to Ethereum 2.0 in three phases and asking questions to the guys involved in writing clients for Ethereum 2.0, I understand that on our way to the tasks of preparing the project as a user of Ethereum 2.0 there is a dense forest and we still need to cut the road through it.

No, everything is fine with the plans and development of Ethereum. Well, or, so to speak, it’s not bad. ~ 7 teams are currently working on Ethereum 2.0, among which I would single out 3–4 active ones. And this year, work went into active mode, and even there are results of joint tests (several Ethereum 2.0 clients on the same network). But the tasks they solve relate to phase 0 of the shift to Ethereum 2.0.

My team, which should bring the wonders of the decentralized computer to the earthly world, is not offered any work and support so that we can calmly prepare for the end of phase 2 of the shift. Therefore, I will personally monitor the development of each phase and try to test some network clients. But the Robonomics project needs to go forward, and that’s why we will stabilize the current LTS version for Ethereum 1.0 and show to projects that have tokens based on Ethereum how to connect launch using tokens of any IoT-device under the control of Ethereum. But the launch will cost $1.5, and you will have to take into account the limit of ~ 2–3 tx/block. Some projects can work with such parameters, but I want Robonomics to start expanding to the IoT market already in 2020, which means that we need cheaper and more tx/block. But more about that in another publication.

But before there were not

These mountains near Fuji!

A clear autumn evening.


Thanks for translation Mariia Vasileva

Published at Mon, 04 Nov 2019 11:07:18 +0000


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