The first phase, or Phase 0, in the transition to Ethereum 2.0/ aka Eth2.0/ aka Serenity successfully launched today.
In this phase of the process a proof-of-stake chain, known as the Beacon chain, is now running. ETH holders can deposit (or stake) ETH in multiples of 32 and start accumulating staking rewards, thus becoming validators in the chain. Staking yield on Eth2 is at ~17.5%, according to Staking Rewards.
While not much else can be actually done as withdrawals and transfers aren’t available, it’s a historical moment for Ethereum. Developers have been planning and working towards a transition to proof-of-stake and sharding since even before the current (proof-of-work) chain was launched.
This is the first step in an upgrade that’s meant to dramatically increase Ethereum’s ability to scale, thanks to shards —where many “mini blockchains” take computation off the main chain— and become more decentralized, as it’s now easier for anyone to participate, without requiring expensive mining equipment.
Ethereum devs and over 3,000 viewers congregated around a livestream earlier today to watch as the first blocks of the new chain were confirmed. The explorer showed more than 80% of participation as the chain finalized for the first time, signaling the chain was off to a healthy start.
“We could not have dreamed of a more successful launch than we have right now,” Superphiz, of the ETHStaker community said.
While Bitcoin’s first block was immortalized with the famous Times headline, Ethereum’s quirkiness shows once more: The graffiti on the first block was simply, “Mr. F Was here.”
The author, Mr. Fahrenheit, goes by that name in reference to the Queen song. “Mr. F” is also how Vitalik signed an autograph for him.
It might not be as inspirational as a newspaper headline in the middle of a financial crisis, but the Ethereum community still likely feels like singing “don’t stop me now.”
And sure enough, after the launch, staked ETH and validators have kept climbing.