Ethereum Staking Delay Is Latest in String of Setbacks Despite Urgency

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In Brief
  • An Eth2 developer has suggested the deposit contract will not be done until mid-November.

  • This pushes Eth2's timeline back several weeks.

  • Eth2 has lost traffic and momentum in recent weeks as it seeks to provide a scaling solution.

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An Ethereum Foundation researcher has said that ETH 2.0’s deposit contract is now set to launch in mid-November. This follows a number of setbacks for ether’s urgent scaling solution.

On the Bankless podcast, Ethereum Foundation researcher Danny Ryan said that ETH 2.0’s deposit contract is not quite ready. The contract needs to get the go-ahead from a vetted cryptography audit firm before going live.

The developer also noted that it was “critical” that the deposit contract be secure, as it could disrupt everything from signals to wallet addresses to deposits.

The Ethereum deposit contract would allow ether (ETH) holders to stake Ethereum. The protocol is transitioning to a Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm. The contract is more likely to launch in mid-November, according to Ryan.

In an Oct. 18 blog post, Ben Edgington, an Eth2 developer, said that he expected the deposit contract to launch “in a few days” and that “we are good to go.”

A Beaconchain of Hope

Likely, the launch of Beaconchain would follow the confirmation of the deposit contract by “six weeks,” according to Edgington. With the deposit contract pushed back, Beaconchain’s launch appears to be put off as well.

The transition from the PoW model is the most salient change in ETH 2.0, though it is only one step in a large process. Beaconchain is one of many different blockchains that will fuel the new system. Beaconchain allows different, smaller “sharded” chains to communicate with the mainchains and is therefore integral to ETH 2.0’s success.

Though weeks ago developer Evan Van Ness said that Beaconchain’s launch was weeks away, the community still awaits it. Ryan said that researchers are still aiming to launch Beaconchain by the end of 2020.

Try, Try again

Of late, Eth2’s launch has been inching farther into the future. On Sept. 29, developers launched the “Spadina” testnet, which quickly failed. More recently, validators have dropped off the major “Medalla” testnet, raising questions about how ready Eth2 actually is. According to Bitfly, an Austrian blockchain firm, the testnet is very resource heavy, and adjustments still need to be made.

Still, some Eth2 developers have seen these failures as a learning experience.

Nonetheless, developers are still pushing for the launch of the Beaconchain as soon as possible. The overcrowding of the Ethereum network led to increased decentralized app traffic on other smart contract blockchain protocols. Eth2 could potentially alleviate that traffic and allow Ethereum to cement its place as the standard blockchain virtual machine.


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Harry Leeds is a writer, editor, and journalist who spent much time in the former USSR covering food, cryptocurrencies, and healthcare. He also translates poetry and edits the literary magazine

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