The irony of Ethereum 2.0 is that there is a whole lot of information and activity around its phase’s development and progress, but the specific launch date is still unknown.
Ethereum co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, and his team are understandably under a lot of pressure to dazzle, and the COVID-19 global pandemic didn’t do much to help. The speculation about Ethereum 2.0 launching in the second quarter of 2020 peaked earlier in the year before the pandemic became a global concern.
Then came Black Thursday, Bitcoin’s Third Halving, and its resistance journey, which took the spotlight off altcoins and crypto projects for a while. However, with the year in its second half, Ethereum 2.0 launch could be the second biggest event of the year in the crypto community.
The transition to Proof of Stake (PoS), if done right this year, could solve Ethereum’s scalability issues and trigger an epic bullish event, with staking significantly increasing demand for ETH, on top of a market that is already anticipating a bullish season for Bitcoin.
Consistent Serenity Delays
The first partial launch was scheduled for January 30, as stated by Ethereum Foundation Researcher Justin Drake. He said that Phase 0 could be on track for launch on June 30, as also confirmed in a detailed June report by the SEBA digital banking company. However, Drake recently asserted that the launch could very well be extended to early January 2021 due to cumbersome setbacks, but was quickly rebuffed by Vitalik Buterin who affirmed that ETH 2.0 must launch this year.
While talking about the completed launch of Topaz and Schlesi Testnets in May, Buterin seemed to have confirmed a launch date for July, in a statement that he later retracted.
There is still no mention of a possible launch date on the latest comprehensive report on the state of the Ethereum 2.0, which was updated in June by Ethereum Researcher and Developer Danny Ryan.
However he stated that phase 0 feels like it is just “around the corner” but the road map still “sounds a little too long”, with the processing involving too many validators, shards, and clients:
“Eth2 is a huge undertaking to provide an upgraded, next-generation, highly-scalable and secure, decentralized consensus to Ethereum. There are dozens of teams and hundreds of individuals working each day to make this a reality. The path we’ve chosen is difficult, but immense progress has and continues to be made.”
An earlier report in May suggested that the “difficult path” Ethereum has chosen to achieve ultimate scalability is part of the reason that delays are recurrent, as the process is riddled with fixing multiple bugs.
There is a lot of weight on the shoulders of the Ethereum 2.0 research and development team, to outperform themselves since unforgivable mistakes in the PoS migration could inadvertently cost Ethereum a fortune.
Operating on such untested waters, a digital migration of such caliber could go either way, considering that big and revolutionary projects in the crypto space have failed before.
The final outcome of legendary projects DAO and TRON, or even the PoS scandal involving Steem blockchain, have raised issues on how many ways an ambitious blockchain project could go wrong.
Ethereum 2.0 will constitute a chain of upgrades, starting With Phase 0, Phase 1, and the final Phase 2, which might put to rest the long but critical upgrade history of Ethereum.
If the network goes live on July 20, ten days before Ethereum’s 5th anniversary, it’s highly possible that staking will start in Q3 2020, according to Ethereum 2.0 client Ben Edgington, speaking at the Ethereal Virtual Summit in May.
ConsenSys also confirms that Ethereum 2.0 will launch in 2020, but there are no specific dates:
“Phase 0 of Ethereum 2.0 will launch in 2020. Phase 1 is anticipated in 2021. Phase 2 and beyond are anticipated for 2021 or later.”
The Fate of Miners and Ethereum Classic after ETH 2.0
Meanwhile, miners on the PoW Ethereum network will be forced to either join Ethereum 2.0 as validators running nodes or as stakers.
An early discussion on Reddit about the fate of miners pointed out that as the friendliest and highly lucrative blockchain network for miners, the upgrade will make their mining equipment obsolete or viable only on other PoW networks.
One of the most likely options for miners is to move to Ethereum Classic, the original chain of the 2016 Ethereum network hardfork.