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Altair: Ethereum 2.0’s thrilling upgrade goes live

Altair

TL; DR Breakdown

  • Altair, the Ethereum 2.0 (ETH) upgrade is up and running. The platform successfully deployed this upgrade on Beacon Chaim.
  • The upgrade comes a year after Beacon Chain premiered. It’s the first step in moving ETH to a full Proof of Stake mechanism.

Altair, the much-awaited Ethereum 2.0 upgrade is now live. The platform’s Beacon Chain successfully deployed the update yesterday, October 27th. That’s according to Preston Van Loon, an ETH 2.0 developer with Prysm.

It comes a year after ETH’s Beacon Chain premiered its Proof of Stake( PoS) consensus mechanism. Van Loon added that the network’s participation dropped to 93.3 percent. It, however, had stabilized above 95 percent by press time.

Announcing the upgrade in March, The Ethereum Foundation said it would give developers something concrete to work with.

It added that Altair would give Beacon light client support. Again, it had patched its incentives and would account for pre-validator inactivity leaks.

Besides, Altair would increase slashing severity. It would also introduce cleanups to validator rewards. All these features would simplify management.

6 percent haven’t switched to Altair

Confirming the development, Lighthouse’s Paul Hauner said all was good from their end. 

He added that they thought approximately 6 percent of the validators hadn’t upgraded. And that some were still producing pre-Altair blocks, which was expected. But he was optimistic that they’d get on board.

Altair is a fork of the ETH network. Thus validators that don’t upgrade to it will remain cut off. Additionally, you may have to forfeit a part of your 32 ETH stake. 

It’s a point that Iona Frincu, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at EQIFI, emphasizes. She insists that ETH 2.0 validators that don’t leap will incur penalties. 

Before the upgrade, ETH used a Proof of Work (PoW) consensus where each miner works for the block reward. In contrast, validators stake funds for mining rights in a PoS setup. 

Frincu holds that PoS is a welcome change. She says that she welcomes it as it cuts the high overheads of putting up a mining venture. To validate the transactions, you must have a stake in them.

Altair is facing opposition

Not everyone is enthusiastic about the upgrade, though. Bitcoiners have taken issue with this upgrade. They say that it empowers developers to determine your node’s code. 

To them, the operator lacks much freedom unless they’re willing to pay the price of 16 ETH. 

Mitja Gorovshevsky, the CTO of TON labs, concurs with this view. He says ETH developers will manage the network centrally by penalizing any validators that don’t adopt the upgrade. 

One thing with the ETH 2.0 update is that it doesn’t support non-staking nodes. As such, you can’t have soft and hard forks. Thus you can continue validating the old chain since the upgrade isn’t automatic.

The upgrade transforms the network to a full PoS one. It’s an exciting change yet potentially difficult for the developers. There’s the potential for a power struggle between those pro the upgrade and those against it.

How that pans out waits to be seen. Same as what happens to the remnant of the PoW network. If it’ll remain in use or go into oblivion will be evident in the coming days. What’s clear, though, is that exciting times are coming to the network.

Edith Muthoni

Edith Muthoni

Edith is an investment writer, trader, and personal finance coach specializing in investments advice around the fintech niche. Her fields of expertise include stocks, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and cryptocurrency investments.

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