Danny Ryan, a researcher at the Ethereum Foundation, recently introduced the new shard proposal and other developments related to Ethereum 2.0 when he was a guest podcast. Ryan said that reducing the number of shards from 1024 to 64 would result in a reduction in the amount of computation on the chain, but would yield huge gains in terms of data availability. Ryan also talked about the plan to release the Ethereum 2.0 Phase Zero in early January. Ryan said that his expectations for the release of the version in January were zero, but he was optimistic about the start of the zero phase in the first quarter of 2020. Ryan clarified that a team member threw the date as a suggestion at a public conference call, and the media misreaded the date as the release date. Ryan added: "This is never our (planned) release date… our goal is to release in the first quarter."