Ethereum 2.0 Altair Beacon Chain update started successfully, with 98.7% of nodes already upgraded.
On October 27, Preston Vanloon, developer of Ethereum 2.0 tweeted that the The Altair upgrade had been “successfully activated”.
Altair is the first Beacon Chain upgrade since it went live in December 2020 and is likely the last before the merger with the Ethereum mainnet and the move to proof of stake.
Upgrade brings basic consensus thin client support, cleans up tag state incentive accounting, fixes some issues with validator incentives, and intensifies punitive settings (penalties for offline validators) per EIP -2982.
Paul Hauner is the lead developer and reviewer of Altair code in Lighthouse, an Ethereum 2.0 implementation. Hauner told TBEN:
“Altair has introduced two main changes. First, it added support for thin clients, which are low-resource nodes that follow the chain with less functionality and slightly lower security assumptions. Think of a thin node. on your phone or in your browser. Second, it increased the penalties for being offline and for slashing. These penalties were reduced from genesis, so we didn’t penalize users who were just learning the ropes. . The merger will further increase these penalties. Apart from these two main changes, there were a handful of efficiency and order. “
The Altair upgrade was a hard fork, meaning that one of the roughly 250,000 validators that did not upgrade is now offline and will see its stake in ETH slowly decline at a rate of d ‘about 10% per year.
All the nodes needed for the upgrade, it was a hard fork (so 250,000 validators in total, running on an unknown number of nodes). No one will lose their 32 ETH, but those who are offline are slowly reducing their balance. If they don’t fix it, they’ll cross a threshold and be ejected.
– Jeff Coleman | Jeff.eth (@technocrypto) 28 October 2021
In order to be compatible with the Altair upgrade, beacon node operators had to update their client version, a process that only took about 10 minutes.
Although participation dropped to 93.3% in the first period after the upgrade, it quickly increased to around 95% and has since grown to around 98.7% with around 1% remaining.
“It looks like we have pretty much all of the validators online and are running Altair now. It’s hard to say on these privacy systems, but I would say we don’t have more than 1-2% off yet. line, ”Hauner said.
According to data from Beacon Chain, this corresponds to approximately 247,400 active validators and 3,000 inactive validators.
Jeff Coleman, Ethereum 2.0 developer tweeted, “If they don’t fix it, they’ll cross a threshold and be ejected.”
“I think full ejection would happen once they drop below 16 ETH, which would take enough time as the network is still being finalized,” Coleman said.
“The protocol sees no difference between a validator that has not been upgraded and one that is temporarily offline due to a power or network issue. Those who haven’t updated just have to need to update and then restart their nodes, they will start validating again once their node catches up with the Altair chain, ”explained Hauner.
Ethereum developers will breathe a sigh of relief as the successful upgrade means full steam ahead of the merger and the intended goal of being ready to “extinguish proof of work forever” by February 2022.
Developer Ben Edgington described the importance of upgrading in a blog post earlier this month:
“This is our one and only actual pre-merger tag chain upgrade practice. If it goes badly (perhaps because many players failed to upgrade their clients on time), it will certainly push back the merger date.
“The Proof of Stake upgrade, known as The Merge, will be the biggest upgrade in Ethereum history.”
“The Altair upgrade will give us valuable experience to ensure The Merge runs smoothly when it is ready for deployment in 2022,” said Edgington.
Read more: 2.0-inch Ethereum Closer with Altair Beacon Chain Upgrade
The Beacon Chain is the first step in Ethereum’s new proof-of-stake blockchain, which will merge with the current mainnet as part of the Ethereum 2.0 implementation.
PoS is 99% more energy efficient than PoW, which is the method used by Bitcoin miners (BTC) and relies on stakes and validators rather than miners.
The final Ethereum 2.0 upgrade is scheduled for early to mid-2022.