The first phase of ETH 2.0 is now live on mainnet after the initiation of Beacon Genesis, with the dev team behind the upgrade calling the process successful.
According to the Beaconcha.in genesis dashboard, phase 0 of the next iteration of the ETH blockchain launched as of 12:00 UTC Tuesday.
The successful rollout of the next-generation proof-of-stake (PoS) ETH 2.0 marks a milestone that has been under development since the genesis of the current proof-of-work (PoW) network in 2015.
Upon the full transition to a PoS consensus, ETH 2.0 will blossom into the generalized blockchain for decentralizing computer-based apps.
The co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, urged participants to “put something profound” into the first block PoS chain just before the initiation of genesis.
Although there were concerns by developers and researchers over some participation issues, as was the case in several testnets, the mainnet launch was marked by high participation as validators started coming online.
The genesis was initiated without a glitch, with the client teams and dev team who joined the live stream expressing satisfaction with the state of the mainnet. Moreover, the participation rate hit an impressive initial 82%, with more than 82% of blocks finalized.
What the Beacon Chain Launch Means
The Beacon Chain, which marks the initial phase of Ethereum’s consensus mechanism transition, will be the backbone of a new ETH blockchain. The upgrade will fundamentally transform how Ethereum settles payments while in motion, ensuring the blockchain keeps pace with PayPal and Visa in terms of processing speed while outperforming them when it comes to transparency.
Ethereum Foundation researcher Danny Ryan was excited about the launch of phase 0. He told reporters:
“The launch of the beacon chain is a huge accomplishment and lays the foundation for Ethereum’s more scalable, secure, and sustainable home.”
Even as the dev team and ETH community celebrate today’s accomplishment, they understand that a lot of work still needs to be done. As it stands now, the Beacon Chain still possesses limited near-term functionality and has to cross a few more technical hurdles.
While the phase 0 launch now allows participants to stake their ETH and be onboarded as validators, all accounts and transfers will remain locked until Phase 2 at the earliest.
The next main improvement in ETH 2.0’s ever-moving timeline is the introduction of sharding to the blockchain. This process entails breaking the PoS blockchain into multiple datasets (Shards), increasing the network’s throughput dramatically.
Introducing Staking To the ETH Blockchain
The rollout of Phase 0, the initial of three phases leading to the full ETH 2.0 launch, introduces staking. The staking kicked off in November with the deposit contract launch; so far, more than ETH 880,545 has been staked on the network.
Before today’s mainnet launch, the team behind the live stream urged anyone willing to stake to do so at any time, explaining those who didn’t stake by now “haven’t lost anything.”
Any individual can deposit 32 ETH to activate validator software and become a full validator, tasked with storing data, producing new blocks, and processing transactions on the ETH 2.0 blockchain.