How to understand ETH2.0: start with understanding terminology

Foreword: ETH 2.0 has a lot of new content and new terms. For readers who are new to it, there will be a lot of doubts. This article briefly explains the more commonly used terms to help everyone understand. This article is suitable for beginners of ETH2.0. The author is Alex T, translated by "SIEN" of "Blue Fox Notes".

ETH2.0 has a long waiting time. If the network is migrated from PoW to PoS, this waiting time will be even longer. At the same time, there are also some major upgrades in terms of scalability. One of the important milestones was the freezing of the first phase of development specifications, and we can now see the results of the huge research and development efforts invested.

When I started researching ETH 2.0, the first thing that puzzled me was that there were a lot of brand new terms here. What is "crosslink" and is "slot" a block? (no, it is not). Are certifiers and validators the same thing?

The following list attempts to describe the most commonly used terms in ETH 2.0. However, this is not an exhaustive list, but rather focuses on the most important details that may raise questions.

If you find any inconsistencies, please leave a message.

Beacon chain

  • A chain that rules everything
  • PoS chain
  • Contains beacon blocks
  • Consensus layer
  • Manage validators
  • Apply for rewards and penalties
  • Acts as an anchor for sharding by cross-linking


  • 64 shards (originally planned as 1024)
  • Semi-independent chain
  • Contains shard blocks
  • Periodically record the status of the shard blocks on the beacon chain through cross-linking
  • Once the blocks on the beacon chain are final, the shard blocks referenced in the included crosslinks are also considered final
  • Each shard has a validator committee proof block


  • Summary of shard status
  • Only references to fragments in the beacon chain
  • Each shard will be linked to each block


  • The time period during which a block proposer proposes a block to prove
  • The slot may be empty
  • Slots are full of proven blocks

Cycle (Epoch)

  • Multiple slots (currently 32, originally planned 64), after which the validators are reassigned in the committee


  • Users who deposit 32 ETH in the validator storage contract and run the validator node
  • They can be inactive (not running as actual validators), active (validating), and pending (choose to become a validator but still in the entry queue), exit (no longer want to participate in verification, and stay on exit In the queue)

Block proposer

  • Selection of random validators by the beacon chain to propose verification / proof blocks
  • Each slot of the beacon chain has a block proposer, and each shard has a block proposer


  • Vote on the validity of sharded blocks or beacon chains


  • A group of random validators selected by the beacon chain to prove the validity of the block (beacons & shards)
  • At least 128 validators per committee


  • The base currency of the beacon chain
  • At first, it was obtained from the block reward, and ETH1 was locked in the storage contract of the verifier (Blue Fox Note: ETH1 refers to the current ETH, and ETH2 refers to the ETH on the beacon chain)

Verifier storage contract

  • Smart contract on the PoW chain (that is, the contract on the Ethereum mainnet)
  • Once the ETH1 funds are locked on this smart contract and an event log is issued, the event log should be read by the beacon chain, and the same ETH2 should be assigned to the account, which is now considered as a verifier
  • This mechanism may change in the future
  • Until the end of the second phase, transferring from ETH1 to ETH2 is a one-way behavior and cannot be transferred back to ETH1, but once the transfer between validators becomes possible, there will be an escape door because you can sell your equity.

Phases of ETH2.0

  • Phase 0-beacon chain

-Manage validators and rights

-Organizing and electing committees and proposers

-Apply consensus rules

-Reward and punishment / reduction

  • Phase 1-sharding

-Building shard chains and blocks

-Anchor (via cross-linking) shard blocks to the beacon chain

-Ability to transfer BETH between validators (this may come sooner because it is technically not related to sharding)

  • Phase2-execution environment

-Ewasm-based virtual machine, execution environment for executing …

-Each shard has access to all execution environments

-Ability to trade in execution environments

-The ability to run and interact with smart contracts

-Cross-shard communication


Risk Warning: All articles of Blue Fox Notes can not be used as investment advice or recommendations. Investment is risky. Investment should consider personal risk tolerance. It is recommended to conduct in-depth inspection of the project and make good investment decisions.

We will continue to update Blocking; if you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us!


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