In this episode, Christine Kim and Will Foxley discuss with Ethereum Foundation researcher Danny Ryan the roll-out of the Ethereum 2.0 development roadmap, starting with the launch of phase 0 and the Beacon Chain.

“Not a surprise but a relief.”

That’s how Ryan characterized how he felt about the successful activation of the Eth 2.0 network in early December.

“We were confident going in but it’s been excellent to see it go so well,” Ryan said. “Compared to some of our testnet launches, they got better and better. But the mainnet launch was more successful than any of those.”

As of Jan. 27, the parallel Ethereum network dubbed “Ethereum 2.0” has accumulated over $3.6 billion in staked ether. There are over 72,000 active participants called “validators” securing network operations, with another 16,000 awaiting activation in a queue for entry into Eth 2.0.

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The absence of unexpected bugs, hacks and attacks has certainly been the source of much celebration for Ethereum developers. Ben Edgington, product owner for Eth 2.0 software client Teku, wrote in a weekly newsletter on Dec. 12, “It’s been a wonderfully dull [11] days since genesis: [A]pparently it all just works.”

It’s not all perfect, however.

Ryan explained that there are a few fixes, tweaks and improvements he’d like to see made on Eth 2.0 over the next few months. First and foremost is “an iterative upgrade in the middle of this year which would clean up a couple of things in state management, more technical-side things and also add a nice feature which enables light clients as a first class citizen for the Beacon Chain.” (More information on Eth 2.0’s first planned upgrade here.)

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Ryan mentioned he is optimistic the distribution of software clients being used by validators to connect to the network would diversify.

“It looks like 50% of nodes on the network are Prysm,” Ryan said. Nodes are computers that store and share blockchain data. “It’s not quite where we want it to be. I’ll say time and time again there are four fantastic clients out there. I don’t run Prysm in my own setup and I’m stable and happy.”

Find out more about what other developments and milestones Ryan expects the Eth 2.0 network to accomplish this year by listening to the full podcast episode.

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For weekly analysis and commentary about Ethereum 2.0, be sure to sign up for CoinDesk’s Valid Points newsletter.

Links mentioned in the podcast:

Danny Ryan’s blog post –

https://blog.ethereum.org/2021/01/20/the-state-of-eth2-january-2021/

Etherscan’s breakdown of Eth 2.0 deposits –

https://bi.etherscan.io/public/dashboards/KH9jbP687szqlAnHiNEfNictrwNhvdOEQl0PwB6m?org_slug=default




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Eth 2.0 Development: Next Steps to Upgrade and Diversify

by Mario Herndon
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