There has been a lot of confusion about what ETH 2.0 is, and what it's not, and how it's all going to happen. There are a lot of detailed explanations out there, extensive FAQs and good analysis of the technology. I found one done by Consensus that is formatted as an FAQ, if you want to dive deeper into the details it can be found here. This post that I am writing is targeted at those that just want a high level understanding without too much technical jargon just to know what is going on.
ETH 2.0 (ETH2 for the remainder of this article) isn't just a change, it's instead a series of events put together over several years to move to an entirely new chain or set of chains to be more accurate. Both the current form of Ethereum (ETH1) and ETH2 will exist together for a period of time. ETH1 is the current proof of work chain where rewards are given to miners and ETH2 will be a staking chain where rewards are given to those locking up their ETH. There are 3 total phases starting with Phase 0 and ending with Phase 2.
Phase 0 is the launch of a single ETH2 staking chain called beacon chain, but I will continue to call it ETH2. This will happen in 2020 and will run at the same time as ETH1. You can move ETH1 coins to ETH2 but you can't move them back. You won't be able to sell ETH2 coins at first either. You just stake the coins and earn more. Not a ton happens with Phase 0.
Phase 1 is planned for 2021 and this will split the ETH2 chain from a single chain into 64 parallel chains, this is where the word "sharding" comes in that you may have heard floating around. Without getting into details you essentially have 64 chains all working together to be the new ETH2 network.
Phase 2 is planned for either 2021 or 2022. Exactly what happens here is going to partially depend on the work of the first two phases. This is the real change. Phase 2 implements the actual move of ETH1 to ETH2. Transactions, smart contracts, all of it moves then and that is finally when the ETH1 chain will get turned off. When we talk about things moving to ETH2, this is really the event that we are talking about. This is when the full ecosystem moves.
As I said above, this is intentionally high level and not heavy on the details. Please do check out other sources with more details if you need further information on the above or you just really find it interesting. I hope this brief explanation helped some people out.
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