On 6 December 2021, Vitalik Buterin posted a new article titled ‘Endgame’, which detailed a potential roadmap for the release of Ethereum 2.0. The article is centered around the idea of creating a blockchain that can handle hundreds of thousands of transactions, while at the same time remaining decentralized and censorship-resistant.
One of the biggest issues around Ethereum 2.0 is centralization. To create a blockchain that handles large block sizes and even larger transactions would require an expensive setup (that not many would be able to afford). With the hardware demand so high, the number of nodes around the world would be very limited, causing a centralization factor.
Currently, Ethereum has 11,259 full nodes which verify transactions and create new blocks on the chain. In order to stop the network completely, a vast majority of the nodes could all shut down at the same time. As these nodes are being run all around the world, that task is nearly impossible. If, however, the demand to run a node on Ethereum 2.0 was too high, the number would drop significantly, which would make the network vulnerable.
One of the ideas laid out in this roadmap includes creating a secondary layer of stakers that would validate sections of each block. These validators would have a reduced hardware requirement and it would need multiple validators to approve a transaction. This would increase the amount of nodes upholding the network, but the number would still be limited causing censorship issues if chosen to not submit certain transactions.
To counter the censorship issues, Vitalik put forth a few ideas that would help users validate the blockchain and add secondary transaction channels. These additional features would allow anyone to check the blockchain for issues and push through transactions if they are being censored.
This roadmap has a lot of room for growth. Some days it feels like Ethereum 2.0 is right around the corner but posts like this make it easy to realize there is a lot left to be built and decided on.
Many hope that Ethereum 2.0 will release in early 2022, but those dates continue to push back. It looks like the ‘Ethereum Killers’ may have a little longer to prove they can dominate the market before Ethereum 2.0 takes over.
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