This past week was the tenth anniversary of Satoshi’s whitepaper. It also brought some exciting news on Ethereum. JP Morgan announced that they had created an enterprise version of the ethereum blockchain, and Vitalik Buterin also signaled to us that a switch to proof-of-stake is “no longer so far away”. Here’s
At Devcon 4 in Prague, Vitalik reviewed the series of integrated or abandoned efforts that led Ethereum to where it was. He then outlined the path to Ethereum 2.0, dubbed Serenity, which would be the final phase of Ethereum’s development roadmap, bringing Ethereum from proof-of-work(PoW) to proof-of-stake(PoS).
With PoW, miners solve cryptographic puzzles to mine blocks to the blockchain. These puzzles become harder over time, requiring input of a lot more energy and expensive hardware. This leads to waste of resources and inefficiencies. Moving to PoS means that validators(not miners) will validate blocks by putting their Ether as a stake. If they bet on the wrong block, their Ether will be gone. The Casper protocol is a particular implementation of PoS for Ethereum, and would serve as an intermediary step in Ethereum’s transition from PoW to PoS.
In addition, Serenity will institute sharding, which would help to solve the scalability bottleneck that plagued Ethereum as it is. Ethereum’s main chain will be divided into separate chains, or shards, that associate with each other as well as the main block. Sharding provides parallel processing of transactions, increasing the transaction speed of the network several folds.