For those who are holding Ethereum as a short-term investment then 2018 has been a tough year. Even those who truly believed Ethereum was the future of blockchain may have begun to have their doubts after the scalability issues among others that came about earlier this year. However, Vitalik Buterin, as always, is staying strong in his opinion that the problems will be (or already have) been solved and the Ethereum – soon to be renames – is going forwards.
Casper and Sharding Upgrade – Solving Scalability
Casper is the initial step that Vitalik wants Ethereum to take moving from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS). Obviously, as Ether is currently minable only through and is 100% PoW it is very CPU/GPU/ASIC heavy – it’s not particularly great for the environment. This aside, considering the Ethereum blockchain carries out all the transactions not just for Ether, but for all ERC-20 tokens (all 2000+ of them) – the network can get extremely congested. This was proven when a single DApp (CryptoKitties) completely congested the Ethereum blockchain.
Casper will be the first step towards moving Ethereum to a POS blockchain. Meaning that those who hold Ether will essentially produce more Ether by holding it. This has it’s own downsides of course as it means those who hold large amounts of Ether are only going to end up holding more.
However, Vitalik isn’t one to rush into something that may cause serious issues to such a powerful blockchain – especially with so many competitors to his platform blockchain waiting eagerly to take Ethereums place.
The POS blockchain will run side by side to the current POW blockchain and connect at regular intervals – at roughly every 50 blocks – so the network will be a hybrid POS/POW blockchain(s) reducing the congestions on the original chain which should, in turn, allow for DApps and other platforms build for Ethereum to run smoothly on the network without being slowed down as the POS chain will take the pressure off. Vitalik also announced Ether would be able to move across chains from the POW to the POS chain.
Forget Ethereum 2.0 – Think Serenity
Once Ethereum finally moved to POS it was going to become Ethereum 2.0, however, the name has now been scratched and once the final move to POS becomes final – Ethereum will become Serenity. When will this happen? Well in Vitalik’s own words in DevCon 4 in Prague its “Really not so far away”.