The day has finally arrived and the long-awaited first phase of the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade is about to begin with the genesis of the new blockchain.
In around seven hours’ time, the Beacon Chain will be born heralding a new Ethereum blockchain and the culmination of five years of research and development. Staking on the deposit contract which was launched last month was slow to start, generating a lot of concern that the target would not be met in time.
The Beacon Chain explorer reports that there is currently 872,416 ETH staked which equates to roughly $528,000 at today’s prices. It has reached 166% of the target within the time frame proposed.
Vitalik Speaks Out
In a recent video by David Hoffman’s Bankless, Vitalik Buterin commented on the launch and the future of the network. When asked about the next milestone after the deposit contract has met its threshold and the launch has occurred, Vitalik responded;
“We hope that proof-of-stake runs smoothly for some time but we would like to add more functionality […] The big ticket items are sharding and the merge between ETH 1 and ETH 2 […] There are also some smaller things like adding more client support quickly.”
The Ethereum co-founder was also asked about the possibility of a ‘failed launch’, responding that it is always possible but there are more participants this time (when compared to the testnets) with a lot of experience and a greater motive in real profits.
Buterin continued to elaborate on issuance and the economic value of the network which he said should be viewed over the next couple of years as it evolves, rather than today. He also mentioned EIP 1559 which is designed to alter the current ‘bidding’ system for block validation in order to reduce gas prices.
Beacon Chain will not actually function as much more than a staking blockchain for validators, all of the heavy lifting, smart chains, transactions, and dApp operations will continue on the ETH 1.0 chain until the two are merged during Phase 1.5.
Ethereum Price Update
Ethereum prices have returned to their 2020 high of around $620 just hours before the launch. There is heavy resistance here as there was back in early 2018 when the asset was falling from its giddy ICO driven peak of $1,400.
At the time of press, ETH prices had pulled back 2% to trade at $608 but the momentum and potential are still with it and a successful launch could send prices to the next level.