Vitalik Buterin gives an estimate on Ethereum 2.0’s completion status
We already know the path to finishing Ethereum 2.0 is lengthy and drawn out. But what Buterin said about progress to date may come as something of a blow.
Vitalik Buterin gave a guesstimate on the completion of Ethereum 2.0. Sadly, the impatient among us will likely be disappointed with what he said.
Speaking on the Bankless YouTube channel, Buterin covered various topics, including what makes him happy, maximalism, and layers 1s.
But the main theme of the interview centered around the development of Ethereum 2.0, particularly the “Endgame” blog article he posted in early December last year. This piece set out a plausible roadmap to realize his vision for a trustless and censorship-resistant chain.
During the Bankless interview, Buterin talked in greater detail about the updated path to Ethereum 2.0.
The path to get there
On December 1, 2021, the first anniversary of the Beacon Chain launch, Buterin tweeted an updated roadmap diagram. It now follows five distinct groupings labeled the merge, the surge, the verge, the purge, and the splurge.
The merge refers to the convergence of the two parallel Ethereum chains. This event will mark the transition from Proof-of-Work to a Proof-of-Stake chain.
The surge relates to increasing scalability through rollups and sharding. Rollups are scaling solutions that execute transactions off the main chain, but with the proof of transaction made on layer 1.
Sharding can be thought of as dividing traffic across 64 new chains, thus spreading the network load.
The verge is about stateless clients, which is a scaling methodology to reduce the state size of Ethereum. Doing this will make node operation much more efficient. This ties in with the purge, which seeks to enhance node efficiency by eliminating historical data.
“New accounts are continually being added and new smart contracts are being deployed. Therefore, by design, the state size of Ethereum keeps growing ad infinitum.”
Finally, the splurge signifies going all out on extras, including building censorship resistance functionality.
How far along is Ethereum 2.0?
When asked to grade roadmap progress to date, Buterin said we’re currently about halfway there. He then spoke of the next milestone, the merge, being 60% of the way there.
“I would say around 50. I’d be willing to go past 60 once the merge is fully complete, and I’d be willing to go past 80 once we have a full sharding implementation.”
According to Consensys, the merge is expected to happen in Q1/Q2 this year. But delays to setting off the difficulty time bomb suggest this may not occur on time.
The difficulty time bomb will make mining ETH progressively more challenging until it’s uneconomic to do so. This process intends to phase out the miners gradually. But it’s unclear how long a “gradual” phase-out will take.
Buterin mentioned that all five roadmap categories are being worked on in parallel rather than as distinct stages with clear cut-offs in-between.