How is the development of Ethereum 2.0 pushed by V Shenli?

The achievements of Ethereum 2.0 may be unique, but in the R&D work that is urgently composed of 8+ researchers and 50+ developers, the challenges are often encountered. Through a stronger coordination, standardized processes, well-connected roadmaps, and stable financing, Ethereum 2.0's effective schedule will accelerate and will meet the expectations of the Ethereum community.

The research and development work related to Ethereum 2.0 is rapidly advancing. It plans to release the beacon chain test network in March this year. However, a series of coordination issues have slowed down the pace of its advancement and implementation. In this article, we summarize the related issues and propose solutions that can help solve them.

Overall overview

Ethereum 2.0 refers to a set of specifications that can significantly improve the performance of the Ethereum blockchain. As of this writing, it does this by integrating and improving two earlier proposed specifications: “Casper” It introduces the PoS mechanism for Ethereum; and “sharding”, which divides the transaction into several “slices” that are secured by the main chain. These “norms” bring the following benefits to Ethereum users:

  1. The PoS mechanism eliminates the need to invest in equipment and consume power to secure blockchain security. In turn, it improves the ultimate characteristics of Ethereum by significantly increasing the cost of 51% of attacks and reducing the need to rely on mining to ensure safety.
  2. The shards enhance the TPS of the Ethereum network.

In order to clarify the current state of Ethereum 2.0, we interviewed people involved in research and implementation.

Interview method

We interviewed the following implementation teams via video call:

  • Nimbus
  • Lodestar
  • Artemis
  • Lighthouse
  • Prysm

Each implementation team was asked the following questions:

  1. Team status
  2. Development status
  3. route map;
  4. Release considerations;
  5. Dependent factor
  6. Comparison with other implementation teams;
  7. Suggest improvements.

We also interviewed Danny Ryan by telephone, one of the core researchers of the Ethereum Foundation.

Industry Insights & Ethereum 2.0 Possible Results

Now, we will present the interview results as follows.

The implementation team is very committed, but the financing situation is not optimistic

We asked each team about the possibility of giving up and under what circumstances they would abandon development. All the implementation teams we have communicated have stated that as long as the funds are sufficient to support their continued development, they are fully committed to Ethereum 2.0 and witness its arrival. First, the implementation team is very concerned about the arrival of Ethereum 2.0 and is happy to remove the obstacles it faces. Specifically, when asked what these teams need to give up the development of Ethereum 2.0, we received the answer "We'd be dead before giving up" and "regardless of How, we will not give up development." However, their enthusiasm is not enough to offset the reality of the market. If the Ethereum Foundation's funds are exhausted, or if the larger entities that support these teams (such as ConsenSys or Status) cancel their financial support, then these teams may be forced to find another way out.

The specification is still confusing, but it is improving

Ethereum 2.0's R&D specifications have experienced a lot of confusion in the past year. According to one interviewee, the relevant norms “have completely changed since the middle of last year” and they are experiencing a continuous, normalized “surgey” due to related problems being discovered and resolved by the research team [ Translator's Note: This refers to the evolving norms of Ethereum 2.0. Every aspect of the specification will change. For example, the recent naming of important data structures has been changed "emergently", that is, researchers need to change the individual names in their brains and their corresponding data structures, and change the corresponding specifications accordingly, but the implementation team does not Consider the impact of such changes on the implementation of Ethereum 2.0. Taking question #358 as an example, 35 fields were renamed, but Github's discussion area did not receive any feedback from the implementer. This forced the implementation team to redo the work related to the normative changes it caused – which caused a lot of disappointing situations, wasted time, and in some cases reduced the resources allocated to the Ethereum 2.0 project.

Several of the past few weeks have reduced the confusing and promising developments surrounding R&D specifications. First, according to the research team, there is currently a work to divide the specific areas of R&D specifications to clarify which specifications are stable enough for the implementation team and which are still in active R&D. Second, the research team believes that “the changes in R&D are slowing down” and that the “deep reorgs” situation is now becoming less. At the same time, the cultural shift in Ethereum 2.0 R&D is also happening: the impact of a R&D specification change on the implementation team is now seen as part of the new specification proposal. As a result of these advances, the implementation team agreed that the specifications in the current state are achievable.

The realization team does not say to the researcher No

Most implementation teams do not veto researchers. They explained two reasons: they either felt that they were not qualified to veto the researcher, or they felt that the possibility of a successful veto was too small to be worth doing. These feelings are reinforced by the way researchers describe their changes to the Ethereum 2.0 specification: these changes are often described as “obviously better” and “difficult to be vetoed”—especially considering the qualifications of the person making the changes. . It is true that some R&D specifications can only be determined by a small number of people, but this “research exclusivity” is now extended to all R&D specifications and the entire Ethereum 2.0 implementation plan.

Definition of different teams for Ethereum 2.0

All the implementers we talked to are working on the test network released in March. What does the test network look like and what will happen next – different teams have very different views. For example, because the peer protocol specification has not been fully accepted, it is unlikely that the test network will support interoperability between nodes on the release date. Some teams use interoperability between nodes as a target for test network releases, while others do not. Therefore, it is difficult to clearly state what the test network will be released in March.

Things after the test network became more and more blurred. No team can predict Phase 2 – the complete Ethereum 2.0 specification that includes the cross shard and the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) – when it will be ready (to the extent that it will lead to the main network release). Because some teams have accepted the special sponsorship funds for developing the beacon chain, the implementation team may need additional funds to complete the development of the relevant specifications.

Finally, only one of the teams we interviewed used user acceptance as one of its goals (specifically, there were "100 mortgage certifiers using their software"). Other teams focus on the specifications they are developing.

The implementer is still not clear what will happen after Ethereum 2.0

Many teams expressed concern about the success of their respective careers after Ethereum 2.0. No team has a clear answer to how to deploy Ethereum 2.0, so it is one of the main concerns of these teams to continue to get financing for their survival (especially if Ethereum prices continue to fall).

Ethereum 2.0 lacks leaders

From an organizational perspective, no one is responsible for ensuring the development of Ethereum 2.0, which is closely related to the Ethereum community. Danny Ryan partially plays this role. He believes that he is the bridge between the realization team and the research team, and his efforts are highly appreciated. However, the implementation team did not have the same level of contact with Danny – some teams said they hoped to get more exposure to Danny.

The story of Ethereum 2.0 is controlled by people outside the R&D process.

Think of James Prestwich's popular article, "What can we expect when Ethereum developers are looking forward to it?" It contains assertions like this:

  • “The tools and contracts we wrote for Ethereum 1X may need to be redesigned and written for ETH 2.0.”
  • "Phase 1 doesn't have anything interesting. Basically, this is a guiding phase for cross-linking and a symmetry mechanism for fragment reference beacon chains. Designers seem to be confident that these mechanisms work."
  • “Interestingly, the deployment of Phase 0 is in parallel with the deployment of the R&D specification. Even within three months of the release of the test network, Phase 0's R&D specifications are constantly changing. This means the future of Ethereum 2.0 development. Time will also change frequently. Although the optimist told me that it only takes 6 months, it is easy to see that Phase 1 development took 12-18 months after Phase 0 entered the testing phase."
  • "[Except for eWASM, EVM2, and storage space leasing], I don't know what else to expect in Phase 2. It's still in the early stages of research, and many major issues remain unresolved. Considering its informal specification And the development process, as well as the extension of Phase 2 relative to Phase 1, Phase may not be released before 2020. In other words, although Ethereum 2.0 may be released this year, don't expect it to support asset transfers and smart contracts by 2020. ”
  • "We have little information about the Ethereum 2.0 model. We know that if you don't sacrifice the expansion, you can't call the cross-chip contract. If you stop reading here, I won't blame you, because Phase 4 has only one route in the brain. Graphs and some vague links. One obvious result is that Ethereum 2.0 will not provide the benefits of meaningful expansion for complex smart contracts until Phase 4. Until then, contracts that wish to interoperate with other contracts must be The film coexists and is limited by its speed and scalability."

These are the specific details that developers can expect to take advantage of Ethereum 2.0. The article also contains a lot of details about R&D specifications, but as an Ethereum developer, the most relevant information is how the specification will affect its work and when scalability improvements can be made. Contrary to the media created by the implementation team and the Ethereum Fund, they tend to focus on the new research progress of the R&D specification and the completion of some specific parts. Take a look at the following summary of development progress update #20 written by Prysmatic.

Latest research

  • Phase 0 certifier client responsibility

Merge code, make requests, and ask questions

  • Complete E2E testing of state transition block processing
  • Complete state transition Epoch processing integration/integration
  • Implementation of deposit listener for certifier deposit contract
  • Implementer certifier deposit search

The next job

  • The ghost fork selection rule of the Ethereum beacon chain
  • Full end-to-end testing of beacon chains with verifier deposits
  • Devalue our Solidity contract to Vyper
  • Create a transaction pool for the beacon chain
  • Refactoring the verifier client
  • Verifier private key management and other secrets

Misc

  • Ethereum 2.0 Implementer Conference Call January 17, 2019
  • Post a blog about Ethereum 2.0

The factors that influence Ethereum's “narrative” – such as when it will be reached, when it will be put into use, and how developers can use it – are more often presented by Prestwich rather than Prysmatic's article. Because the information of the former is more directly related to the daily work of Ethereum users. We appreciate the Ethereum 2.0 team's efforts to promote transparency in the development process and to focus on technical content. However, if no research and implementation team members make additional explanations about when Ethereum 2.0 is ready and what it will be, then the Ethereum narrative will continue to be controlled by outsiders. This will make it difficult to establish and survive the correct expectations.

Note: A dialogue with members of the Ethereum community led us to a high-level, EthHub-made Ethereum roadmap outline. The official shard roadmap document, although somewhat instructive, does not help those developers who want to know what the meaning of each stage is.

Open question

What does the community expect?

At the moment, it’s probably around when Ethereum 2.0 will be released and what it looks like:

  • Ethereum 2.0 is coming soon and will be open to the public soon
  • Ethereum 2.0 test network will start in March
  • Ethereum 2.0 will solve the main problems of Ethereum in terms of scalability

As far as our interviews with Ethereum 2.0's research and implementation teams are concerned, it takes at least a year and a half for dApp developers to actually use Ethereum 2.0. From our understanding, the products that can be delivered at each stage are as follows:

  • Phase 0:.Beacon chain
  • Phase 1: No fragmentation of the virtual machine
  • Phase 2: On-chip and cross-chip virtual machine communication (EVM Communications)

For developers, if they want to achieve the same level of utility in Ethereum 2.0 as in Ethereum 2.0, phase 2 must be released.

Further, the release of the stage after Ethereum 2.0 may invalidate new research or reshape its roadmap. It is not clear whether the entire Ethereum community is aware of this. The gap between what the community expects and what is actually released may materially undermine the role of its deployment—intensifying the assertion that Ethereum cannot expand, and in turn allowing new developers to move to other blockchain platforms.

Did the implementer’s comments be consulted when the design was launched?

We don't know how many implementers' opinions are, and what kind of opinions have entered the decision of each stage of Ethereum 2.0. Although we understand the value of phased deployments—for example, it gives new technologies such as PoS time to “burn” in quasi-environment [Translator's Note, here is the metaphor of no implementation. In the case of the project, the project itself is going to trial and error] – but the project should still adhere to the logic that the people responsible for achieving each stage of the project should first be those who are most qualified to design them. This includes: the schedule of when a certain technology is set, and the implementation schedule that is set at each stage. If in the past the implementer's opinion was not consulted, is the launch of the beacon chain a good time to introduce the implementers and involve them in the relevant process?

Let Danny Lane be the official "Ethereum 2.0 Leader" to help achieve the Ethereum 2.0?

The many unsatisfactory aspects of Ethereum stem from the lack of coordination between research and implementation teams. As part of a multi-year plan, the agreement contains countless different elements that need to be integrated. Before Danny Ryan assumed the role of coordinator, there was no one to supervise this integration. Danny has long proven its value as a leader. His name reappears among interviewers—as the latter wants to see more people, and his efforts in the early version of the R&D specification show that he is knowledgeable as a researcher to oversee the project. .

It is important to clarify the meaning of “leadership” in this context. We use "leadership" to mean such a person:

  • Responsible for ensuring Ethereum 2.0 landing
  • Access to all implementation teams and researchers
  • Have a veto to break the deadlock in key decisions
  • Have the power to appoint to ensure that the right people are doing the right thing

Obviously this is a centralized control. However, it seems that there is nothing wrong with considering that the role it plays gives Danny the status of an official leader and may ensure the smooth integration of the entire project.

Suggested improvement

 

Incorporate "product context" into the public-facing media

Given the importance of Ethereum 2.0 to the success of the Ethereum network, it is paramount to clearly communicate what will be released, when it will be released, and how it will be prepared. In order to make the media content produced by the Ethereum 2.0 team and researchers more relevant to the community and to regain the narrative power of Ethereum 2.0, we propose to clearly state the following in a new public article:

  1. How the latest updates will affect developers
  2. How the change in the roadmap may affect the timeline of Ethereum 2.0
  3. Where in research and products may be chaotic

Provide a clear path for continued financing

We believe that motivating teams to develop long-term, continuous development of Ethereum 2.0 clients is critical to its successful launch. But the sources of continued financing are ambiguous and worrying. If the Ethereum Foundation or other interested entities are united, pooling funds and providing clear amounts of funds and timelines, this will eliminate the worries surrounding Ethereum 2.0 after its release – how the client project continues to finance And develop new features.

Strictly define and implement formal standard procedures

Due to the lack of a formal standardization process, the coordination of its inherent implementation specifications will be further exacerbated. Through the development and release of specifications, the Ethereum Fund can serve as the de facto standard setting body for Ethereum 2.0. Therefore, defining a standard procedure for a study from the proposal stage to the formal implementation stage can further reduce confusion around the specification. There are many examples of standards that can be considered by the Ethereum Foundation, but we recommend variants of the ECMA TC39 standard program. Our reasons are as follows:

  1. The TC39 program is open and incorporates modern development experience, such as submitting requests on Github that developers are already familiar with.
  2. The TC39 program incorporates acceptance tests and reference implementations into the program itself.
  3. TC39 program is easier to understand
  4. The program supports adding standards at a fixed pace
  5. The success of the TC39 program has a long history. Thanks to the TC39 program, the JavaScript ecosystem has successfully recovered from a 10-year language stagnation.

According to Babel, many Ethereum developers are born in the context of JavaScript, and have long been familiar with the TC39 program.

We recommend the development of Ethereum 2.0 to introduce at least the concept of "stages" in TC39. For the unfamiliar TC39 proposal, from phase 0 (straw) to phase 4 (completed), then approved as a new standard at the TC39 member annual meeting. The stage of dividing the proposal is to make the process of successful publication of a proposal extremely clear. Further, because test vectors and reference implementations are required from one stage to another, researchers and implementers are encouraged to engage in more conversations. Although an implementer may not be able to comment on the specifics of an algorithm, they can be able to comment on how the algorithm is implemented. Under the TC39 program, both the research and implementation processes will be required to transition from Phase 3 to Phase 4.

in conclusion

The achievements of Ethereum 2.0 may be unique, but in the R&D work that is urgently composed of 8+ researchers and 50+ developers, the challenges are often encountered. Through a stronger coordination, standardized processes, well-connected roadmaps, and stable financing, Ethereum 2.0's effective schedule will accelerate and will meet the expectations of the Ethereum community.

We have witnessed the beginning of this acceleration process. In December last year, Vitalik awarded Prysmatic, Lighthouse and the Lodestar team an award of 1,000 Ethereum. Another contact with Ethereum investors followed Vitalik, giving Prymatic 2,800 Ethereum coins, helping Preston Van Loon leave Google and working full-time on the development of Ethereum 2.0, and we look forward to better results. We are all together in Ethereum 2.0.

The value of this article's creative team for Ethereum 2.0

This article was mainly completed by Matt Slipper and Dan Tsui of Kyokan. Moloch DAO and Ameen Soleimani personally provided financial support for the research work of this article.

Kyokan is a blockchain "local" software consulting firm located in the San Francisco Bay Area. In the past, we have established working relationships with MetaMask, SpankChain, Cosmos, Dfinity and Uniswap. In addition, we have received sponsorship from the Ethereum Fund to build the Plasma MVP, which is preparing the main online line. Our team members have extensive experience in providing technology and software services to outstanding customers and businesses.

Moloch is a grant-driven DAO/guild, and a radical experiment of the voluntary incentive alignment, which aims to overcome the "tragedy of the commons." Specifically, our goal is to accelerate the development of Ethereum's public infrastructure, which many teams need but are reluctant to spend on it. By bringing together our Ethereum and ERC20 tokens, Ethereum investors and Ethereum-based teams can jointly fund open source work that we believe is in our common interest.

With funding from Moloch and others, Kyokan will support the ETH 2.0 project in the following ways:

  • Produce reports and analysis similar to this article to inform the community about the Ethereum 2.0 process
  • Evaluating the progress of R&D progress within Ethereum 2.0
  • Organize the structure needed to help develop
  • Help coordinate standards across different teams
  • Help plan development roadmap
  • Provide coordination assistance for publishing products and prepare clients for product release
  • Help with the recruitment of developers

Moloch is committed to supporting Ethereum 2.0 in the following ways:

    • Provide additional funding for Ethereum 2.0
    • Provide financial support for the recruitment of key personnel to provide cross-team support
    • Provide financial support for open source tools to help develop Ethereum 2.0

Source: Carbon chain value

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