Ethereum: developers continue to advance Ethereum 1.x to ensure interoperability before 2.0

While Ethereum continues to develop the next stage of Ethereum 2.0 that supports sharding, a group of developers will focus on the existing chain to maintain its operability during the transition.


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The project is called Ethereum 1.x, and its goal is to maintain the availability of Ethereum (ETH) while performing a Serenity upgrade. As the Ethereum Foundation (EF) stated in a blog post on December 10, the new version still has a long way to go:

"Our story begins when the core developers realize that the final stage of the Ethereum roadmap 'Serenity' is not as ready as originally hoped. It may take many years before the full launch of" Ethereum 2.0 "and the current chain needs to proceed Changes to ensure that there are no bigger issues that make Ethereum inoperable before delivering a full protocol upgrade. "

Although there is no single insurmountable problem, developers point out that due to the continued growth of the blockchain, there will be a slight decrease in performance. The full node currently needs to download and process the entire history of Ethereum, which currently weighs more than 200 GB.

This number grows by 10-15 GB per month and causes node operations and network latency issues. The slightly separate "state inflation" problem will also make block verification more difficult.

State is one of the key technical concepts of Ethereum. It represents the collective memory of all smart contracts and all current wallet balances. Each transaction modifies the overall state, which causes bloat over time.

How Ethereum 1.x solves the problem

Several solutions have been proposed to alleviate some of these problems. Trimming (deleting some unwanted blockchain data) can alleviate storage needs-but it's complicated to implement.

Network latency can be addressed with "pre-release" blocks, and miners can announce new blocks before they are confirmed. This will give nodes more time to allocate block information, thereby ensuring the correct operation of the blockchain. Developers say this optimization is "at your fingertips."

Finally, reducing state expansion is the core direction of research. An earlier proposal to introduce "state rent" was considered infeasible, in which the smart contract had to pay for the shares used by its country.

In its place, Ethereum 1.x introduced the concept of "stateless clients". The client does not need to store the entire state, but only needs to use "block witness" to calculate the state change of the previous block to ensure its validity. Although some nodes still need to maintain the entire state, the benefits seem obvious.

Relationship with Serenity

Ethereum 1.x was developed with the full support of the Ethereum Foundation. However, although they are all under the same protection, the 1.x codebase will still be separated from 2.0.

Cointelegraph sought clarification from the 1.x project team coordinator, James Hancock. When asked how the various stages of Ethereum 2.0 will interact with it, he explained:

"Phase 0 implemented still uses Eth1.X as a separate code base. Phase 0 is a bridge. Although the transition between Eth1 and Eth2 is gradual, please pay attention to states such as Ethereum's contract and storage states.

Although the transition will be gradual, there are likely to be controversial hard forks that lead to the creation of Ethereum Classic (ETC). This is still possible, but the 1.x team has no intention of creating separate chains. Hancock added:

"The freedom to fork is maintained throughout the process. This should be the same as today. It is theoretically possible. Is it planned by the Eth1.X team? No."

As far as the ability to fork a pure 1.x chain is concerned, there may be no return. As stated by Hancock, once this state enters the 2.0 chain, it will become the major version of Ethereum. However, there have been no specific milestones so far.