Ethereum is emerging from a little child to the teenager phase. This blockchain of Vitalik Buterin has hosted thousands of decentralised applications. More than 180.000 tokens have been created, most of them for testing purposes but still 2000 of them still actively traded and found on coinmarketcap.com
The next stage of this blockchain is called SERENITY or Ethereum 2.0. It is the long awaited Proof-of-Stake version, together with some huge upgrades on the scalability side. When you have a more thorough look into Serenity (or Ethereum 2.0!), the first impression is the abundance of completely new terms. What is a crosslink? Is a slot a block? No, it isn’t. Is an “attestor“ the same thing as a “validator“?
Below you finde the most used terms in Vitalik´s new ETH sandbox two point zerooo. This list is focuses on the most prominent details you might have questions about.
one chain to rule them all proof-of-stake chain includes beacon blocks the consensus layer for everything manages validators applies rewards and penalties serves as an anchor point for the shards through cross-links
1024 of them semi independent chains include shard blocks periodically the state of the shard blocks is recorded on the beacon chain through crosslinks once a block on the beacon chain is finalised, the shard blocks referenced in the included crosslinks are considered finalised each shard has a committee of validators attesting blocks
a summary of the shard’s state only reference of the shards in the beacon chain
Slot period of time in which a block proposer propose a block for attestation slots might be empty slots are filled with attested blocks
a number of slots (currently 64) after which validators are reshuffled in committees
users that have deposited 32eth in the validator deposit contract and run a validator node they can be inactive (don’t run as an actual validator yet), active (validating), pending (opted into becoming a validator but stuck in the entry queue) and exiting (no longer want to validate and stuck in the exit queue)
random validators chosen by the beacon chain to propose blocks for validation/attestation there will be one block proposer per slot for the beacon chain and one proposer per slot for each of the shards
votes in regards to the validity of a shard block or beacon
random groups of validators chosen by the beacon chain to attest the validity of blocks (beacon & shard) target of minimum 128 validators per committee
base currency of the beacon chain will be obtained initially from rewards and by locking ETH1 in the validator deposit contract
Validator Deposit Contract
smart contract on the POW chain (in our case, the Ethereum Mainnet) once ETH1 funds are locked in this smart contract, and event log is emitted that should be read by the beacon chain and the same amount of ETH2 should be allocated to the account, now considered a validator this mechanism might change in the future until phase 2 ends the transfer of ETH1 to ETH2 is a one way street, can’t get ETH1 back, but there is an escape hatch to sell your stake
Ethereum 2.0 phases
Phase 0 — The beacon chain
managing validators and stakes organizing and electing committees and proposers applying consensus rules rewarding and penalizing/slashing
Phase 1 — Shards
constructing the shard chains and blocks anchoring (cross-linking) shard blocks to beacon chain
Phase 2 — Execution Environments
based virtual machines for execution.
one per shard. ability to make transactions
ability to run and interact with smart contracts
Authoritative info is hard to come by on this subject so many thanks to Ben Edgington for setting me straight on some of the things above. Would also like to thank Danny Ryan and Everett Muzzy for additional corrections.