This is the 4th and last installment on Gordon's overview of Ethereum's 2.0 update path.
Here, I'll discuss "The Docking" - which to me sounds like a day of reckoning where the super heroes gather together a small militia of freedom-fighters to take down the enemy camp of a rogue scientific technocratic elite. In this case, however, it is the last major piece of the puzzle in Ethereum's roadmap to success in linking the elements of scale, security and sustainability for the future of Ether.
Docking mainnet with Eth2
- Eventually the current Ethereum mainnet will "dock" with the rest of the Eth2 upgrades.
- The docking will merge "Eth1" mainnet with the Eth2 beacon chain and sharding system.
- This will mark the end of proof-of-work for Ethereum, and the full transition to proof of stake.
- You might know this as "Phase 1.5" on technical roadmaps.
Page last updated: March 29, 2021
They are always clear to state that things can change, may in fact require changing, and that includes making adjustments to the time table if they must.
An important and interesting part of their above introduction to the Docking, (also an imaginary super-band of the late 70's often opening for KISS and Alice Cooper... not), is that it fits into the "Phase 1.5" portion of a complete upgrade path. This has to be one of the more complex and nail-biting parts of the journey, because at that point in time, the laymen's terms suggest to me there is no turning back. At that point, the Docking secures the move forward, taking all things Ethereum PoS out of the theoretical and into action. The Ethereum mainnet, which is currently in place, currently PoW, and currently in need to benefiting from the other upgrades already taking place, will "dock" with the parallel Shards, which are directly linked to the Beacon chain. When the mainnet is placed in direct path to the upgrades, Ether will be a PoS protocol.
I can hear the computer-code-Minister asking "Do you, Eth1 mainnet take you, Eth2 beacon to be your lawfully wedded protocol?"
"You may not dock the bride".
Once we have the Beacon and it is acting as expected, which has already begun in parallel to the current mainnet, and we have Shards in place, and they appear to be working as expected, all other additions, changes, upgrades, will be dependent on a new PoS system, grabbing the constant liquidity from assets in the staking on the Beacon-side of the design, and working the computations in a massive parallel network.
Everything that we think of as being Ethereum, will become a sort of master-shard, meaning that for the first time ever, smart contracts and all aspects of the Ether ethos will shift from PoW to PoS. At this point in time, Miners will now be Stakers, and will play the key role in validation, placing funds into their share of staked Ether to maintain their role and presence. There will remain the flexibility to expand the role of the massive number of parallel Shard chains. The community will be able to weigh in as to whether shards only need to focus on bussing data throughout the network, or whether some need to be assigned an actual role in processing that data.
A few thoughts:
Ethereum regularly takes a lot of criticism, where some view it as the grandpa of smart contract technology, and view Ether as a failed model that cannot scale, especially with Gas fees spiking when the network needs to be its most efficient. Many look to new token projects as a better solution than the long wait on Ethereum to satisfy the future of this kind of platform. Where Bitcoin is king because Bitcoin is first, and Litecoin is Bitcoin Jr., second oldest and 'silver to Bitcoin's gold', Ethereum fills the all-important piece of the crypto landscape by redefining the very foundation of what 'money' may actually become in the future.
My argument, or observation, isn't going to be as much about whether new coins can do 'xyz' better, but rather the fact that the cryptocurrency community on whole does in fact value the early arrivals at a higher level of importance than anything new, whether that is a good thing or bad. Ethereum has a brilliant team with a complex series of solutions to their network. They do not appear to be a team poisoned by pride or puffed up with an unwillingness to adjust where they need to. This gives me a hopeful expectation that the next year, two years of Ethereum are going to be improvements over Ether in its current state.
The truth of the matter is that we are already seeing an Ether that cannot handle its present model, and yet it is spiking ATH's, which speaks to confidence in ole' faithful sticking around and maintaining its place in the crypto world. It may get bumpy during the docking... who knows. It is bound to affect price and liquidity at the actual docking phase, simply because no one wants to risk massive positions at a time where volume could essentially halt until the world takes a breath to see if all of this stuff actually works in Ether. But, even if 20 coins come along doing things with a better flow, the truth is that everyone is watching to see if it can, and will, be done by the Ethereum team. The people matter as much, or more, than the technology alone. They will be the ones representing a massive network of other token projects, and confidence is clearly based in longevity in this young, growing market.
And on that note, a hopeful and forward-watching Gordon, the crypto-logical Super Hero... out.