Custom Blockchain World: Beacon Chain Contract provides a new way to deploy Dapp on Ethereum 2.0

According to Coindesk's May 27 report, the core infrastructure behind Ethereum 2.0 may undergo major redesigns.


Image source: visualhunt

Etafang founder Vitalik Buterin previously proposed a new proposal called the Beacon chain, which is based on the PoS consensus and suggests fundamentally modifying the role of the blockchain in the new iteration of the Ethereum network. Raul Jordan, co-director of the non-profit Prysmatic Labs, told CoinDesk:

“Our idea is to be able to build these small worlds on the basis of the beacon chain, summarizing how blockchains, state transitions, and smart contracts work.”

Prysmatic Lab is one of more than a dozen software development teams that provide technical support for the highly scalable and energy-efficient versions of the world's second largest blockchain based on the PoS Consensus.

According to Jordan, Buterin's Beacon chain design "makes it easier for application developers and those building on Ethereum to take advantage of the new network without having to relearn the parameters of the new blockchain platform."

This is undoubtedly good news for many application developers on the world's second largest blockchain platform. They have been looking forward to Ethereum 2.0 upgrades for years, although they don't fully understand what it will bring. In an interview with CoinDesk, Taylor Monahan, CEO of the encrypted wallet application MyCrypto, asked:

“How do we switch to PoS?” How do we implement fragmentation? How do we safely upgrade? What does this really mean for ecosystems and developers?”

Although many aspects of Ethereum 2.0 remain to be improved and further research, Buterin's latest proposal presents an interesting new direction to simplify the deployment of decentralized applications (dapps) on this $26 billion network. the way.

It all started with understanding the Beacon chain.

Custom blockchain world

The Beacon chain is a central blockchain that coordinates hundreds of other Ethereum blockchains called "shards" in the envisioned Ethereum 2.0 network. Jordan explained to CoinDesk:

" Instead of having a giant machine run a transaction at once, spread it across a large number of machines around the world and let them run in parallel."

Initially, the Bbeacon chain strictly served as the coordinator of Ethereum 2.0, or, in the words of Buterin, as the "center" of Ethereum 2.0, tracking all the data in the shards and compiling the data digest into a central blockchain.

Now, Buterin proposes that the Beacon chain has an additional feature: storing specialized smart contracts called Beacon chain contracts. Will Villanueva, a researcher at Ethereum Ventures Studio Consensys, wrote:

“These contracts are different from the regular smart contracts you deploy for applications on Ethereum 1.0. Conventional contracts are in the fragmentation chain. Instead, Beacon chain contracts will represent the execution environment or trading framework as a whole.”

In other words, these Beacon chain contracts will specify all the rules for calculation and smart contract execution, including transaction costs, associated gas costs, and more. Buterin explained in his proposal:

“The overall idea of ​​the proposal is to have a relatively minimal consensus framework that still provides enough ability to develop complex frameworks that provide us with all the smart contract functionality needed as a second layer.”

In fact, this means that the dapp developer can choose to call a Beacon chain contract to simulate the current Ethereum 1.0 execution environment. Jordan stressed:

“Dapp developers don’t have to make too many changes to what they know.”

More interestingly, Jordan added that the Beacon chain contract can also simulate Bitcoin, creating an execution environment on Ethereum 2.0 using all the same rules and parameters of the Bitcoin blockchain.

For dapp developers, this is as simple as choosing a different operating system for your computer. Jordan told CoinDesk that it is like a user who can choose to boot a computer using a Mac OS or Linux operating system instead of the Windows operating system. He added:

“You can create an execution environment for Bitcoin or create an execution environment for Ethereum. In general, you can create your own custom blockchain world and let people trade inside.”

Unavoidable problem

However, not all things about beacon chain contracts are static. When talking about the proposed Beacon chain design, Villanueva said:

"In practice, there shouldn't be too many Beacon chain contracts, there should be only a few, especially at the beginning."

Jordan added that in order to prevent users from deploying multiple Beacon chain contracts and "expanding" the Beacon chain, the pricing of these contracts may cost users high deployment costs. Jordan told CoinDesk:

“These execution environments are like their own small worlds, and everything can be set. Ideally, their deployment costs are very high. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars.”

However, it is unclear what the pricing of the contract deployment and the exact parameters of the transaction costs based on the Beacon chain contract.

Following his proposal, Buterin suggested on Monday that a specific type of participant called "relayer" was introduced in the Ethereum 2.0 system to help coordinate transaction costs with the network's "block proposer". (that is, the block verifier). Since then, Buterin has also released a second HackMD article to further elaborate on the Beacon chain contract. Buterin said on Thursday at the Ethereum 2.0 implementer conference call:

"We need this two-tier structure, one of which is called a repeater. It is not very emotional to analyze the economics of the design."

In fact, Ethereum 2.0 developers and enthusiasts are working on further research and discussion on the exact machine design of the newly proposed Beacon chain.

However, as Villanueva pointed out, the content of Buterin's proposal is promising. Villaneuva wrote:

“This approach is a universal paradigm shift that may take a while to really grasp and digest. However, its strength is that it provides a high degree of flexibility. As research continues, future introductions of change should become more simple."

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