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Vitalik Buterin release endgame for Ethereum 2.0

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin shares his vision for ETH 2.0 in a blog post this week titled "Endgame."

He talked about developing trustlessness and censorship resistance to levels by his accepted standards. To achieve this, he laid out a "plausible roadmap," with several surprises, including a proposed second-tier of staking using fewer network resources.

With 2022 fast approaching, the launch of Ethereum 2.0 is increasingly anticipated by the community. It will be one of the most important upgrades to any blockchain as it will see the Ethereum network move from the energy-intensive proof of work to the proof of stake mechanism. This will also come with additional perks for the blockchain such as scalability and cheaper transaction fees.

Buterin outlines the things that would make a 'big blockchain' completely trestles and censorship-resistant.

The Endgame

One of the main bottlenecks of these 'big blockchains', as Buterin puts it, is their large block sizes. This makes it so that the blockchain can only accommodate a limited number of nodes at a time to run fully participating nodes that create blocks. To combat this, Buterin lists out four things that can be done.

Starting with a second staking tier that will lower resource requirements for block validation. Buterin proposes transactions get split into (100) buckets, with a Merkle or Verkle tree root following each bucket.

As these "tree root" processes allow for large-scale data verification by someone who only has the tree's root, the idea is to increase proof efficiency, thus scalability.

"The transactions in a block are split into 100 buckets, with a Merkle or Verkle tree state root after each bucket. Each second-tier staker gets randomly assigned to one of the buckets. A block is only accepted when at least 2/3 of the validators assigned to each bucket sign off on it."

Next is employing roll-up/privacy technology, such as fraud proofs and zk-Snarls, for an added layer of security on top of the bucket system.

Ethereum Layer-2 platform Polygon is due to host the zk Summit this Thursday, in which they plan to reveal a significant announcement to do with zero-knowledge technology.

The third suggestion is the introduction of data availability sampling which allows users to easily check block availability. This works by employing DAS checks that allow light clients to verify a published block through a few randomly selected pieces that are downloaded.

Finally, to improve censorship resistance, Buterin proposes the creation of secondary transaction channels to handle block validation on a distributed basis.

In this setup, block production is centralized, but block validation is trustless and decentralized.


When is Ethereum 2.0 Coming?

There are two major stages left for the completion of the move to Ethereum 2.0. These two stages are The Merge and the introduction of Shard Chains into the network. The Merge is when the Ethereum mainnet finally "merges" with the Beacon Chain which is already live, signalling the end of the proof of work on the network.

The introduction of Shard chains in the network will enable Ethereum to scale more efficiently by expanding its capacity to process transactions and store data. This final part will be rolled out in multiple stages with more features added over time.

The Merge and the addition of Shard chains are both scheduled to take place in 2022.

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