The launch of Ethereum 2.0 triggered a lot of excitement among cryptocurrency enthusiasts. At the same time, some wonder if all the delays will be worth it. Several factors contribute to the current ecosystem situation and uncertainty.
Table of contents
Ethereum 2.0 Is a Long-term Play
From the launch of Ethereum to today’s situation, the grind is never-ending. The initial vision of Ethereum has worked out relatively well, although one can note several points of improvement. Ethereum 2.0 may put a lot of these concerns to bed once and for all. Architects didn’t build Rome in a day, nor will any of the leading blockchain projects be finished overnight.
What many people tend to overlook is how the Ethereum 2.0 launch has seen numerous delays as well. Such a setback can occur at any time, yet these delays have triggered a lot of negative backlashes. In the end, the launch of the “improved” Ethereum comes closer every day. Now is an excellent time to look back at what has pushed back this launch in the past year.
The Multi-Client Approach Is A Hassle
The first crack in the facade became apparent in May of 2020. According to lead developer Danny Ryan, the multi-client development for Ethereum is taking up a lot of time. It has effectively delayed the launch of Phase 0.
Some people may think there is no need for a multi-client approach, but that is far from the case. Having multiple clients helps secure the network and offers users the freedom of choice. Several of these implementations were running behind on development earlier in the year. Today, they all seem to be working fine, albeit there is still room for further tweaks.
It is essential to note the original launch date for Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0 was January 13, 2020. That deadline came and went for many different reasons. A major technical design overhaul of the Ethereum network is one of the primary reasons for delaying the launch. Despite offering a new launch date of Q2 2020, that deadline hasn’t made it either.
One also needs to consider the multi-client approach is only part of this delay. For reasons unknown, the Ethereum foundation did not put up a viable testnet early enough. Without testing, no one knows if specific software will work or not. With seven implementations under development at the time, having access to a testnet would have helped things along.
Justin Drake Confuses Vitalik Buterin
When a project faces delay after delay, frustration will kick in eventually. Ethereum developer Justin Drake told the world in July of 2020 how Ethereum 2.0 wouldn’t happen in 2020. He claims that a lot of work was unfinished, despite the upgrade concept dating back to 2019. According to Drake, upcoming holidays could further delay the Ethereum 2.0 launch.
Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, does not take kindly to misinformation. He was very vocal about ensuring the launch would take place in 2020. In his opinion, a multi-client testnet needs 2-3 months of peer review before the launch can occur. The 2020 deadline proved correct, although things could have played out very differently for Ethereum 2.0
Ethereum 2.0 Deposit Contract Faces An Unexpected Delay
Big was everyone’s surprise when developers pushed back the Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract launch. Ethereum Foundation developer Danny Ryan informed the world about this latest setback in October of 2020. An unexpected delay of multiple weeks is the logical outcome.
The main reason for this delay is the audit performed by NCC Group. The firm intends to properly analyze every aspect of code, including the BLST library. That library has been a topic of concern for some time, primarily due to its crucial functions. It affects the creation of keys, signing messages, and so forth. If the library is insecure, it puts all Ethereum 2.0 users at risk.
Ultimately, this delay was less problematic than initially anticipated. The deposit contract went live in 2020 and hit the required threshold relatively quickly.
When Will We See “Proper” Ethereum 2.0 Staking?
Although not a technical delay, Ethereum will not support proof-of-stake shortly. Vitalik Buterin confirms this migration may take up to a full year, if not longer. Rolling out Ethereum 2.0 in phases makes sense, yet neither Phase 1 nor Phase 1.5 have an official activation date at this time. As such, this leaves a lot of room for speculation and potential delays.
Buterin went ahead by stating how “less than a year isn’t realistic for merging Ethereum and Ethereum 2.0”. There are still some aspects of proof-of-stake that deserve a second look. Additionally, the chain shards may be ready well ahead of the finalized proof-of-stake implementation.
eWASM Overhaul Gets Suspended
One of the initial ideas associated with Ethereum 2.0 is a redesign of Ethereum WebAssembly or eWASM. Revamping the smart contract structure is no easy task. Coders suspended the redesign earlier this year, and it seems that is still the case today. As such, there is a chance that eWASM may never see the light of day.
Instead, the focus now lies with the Ethereum Virtual Machine, or EVM. An unfortunate aspect, as eWASM seems to offer much greater throughput than EVM can ever handle. Even so, having one solution in place is better than having neither. For now, it remains unclear if developers will ever finalize eWASM development.
It has been a long and hard road for even getting Ethereum 2.0 into Phase 0. With that roadblock now out of the way, it remains unclear how the remaining development will fare. More delays may occur in the coming months of years. Ethereum 2.0 has a roadmap but no official deadlines to meet. The sooner new features can be implemented; the happier community members will be.