Eth2 progress update (as of 2021/9/10)

Recommended this week

The 11th round of Gitcoin Grants is now underway! There are many projects worth exploring this round, but if you want to quickly support some personal pledger tool projects (really should support it!), Superphiz has summarized it for everyone. For more information, you can watch the GR11 Kickoff Event video replay by Ethstaker and Wagyu.

Beacon chain

The beacon chain unknowingly exceeded 2 million slots earlier in the week. As of this writing, there are more than 230,000 active validators.

Due to the recent minor accidents in the beacon chain, the process of packing the proof into the block will be subject to stricter scrutiny. As the number of validators increases, the number of committees running in each slot also increases, resulting in increased pressure on the limited block space to include proofs. This seems to cause a small but significant increase in the number of delays and losses that have been demonstrated on the network. In the past, the client could avoid inefficient packaging, but now it has a major impact.

Mac Ladson of the Sigma Prime team wrote an article that explained and analyzed the proof packaging of the entire beacon chain history in great depth. In connection with this work, the Lighthouse team found some client problems, including Teku and other clients that sometimes tend to pack redundant proofs: it refers to the proof that does not add new information but occupies the available block space. Thanks to the Lighthouse team for their work in this area, and based on this, some improvements have been made to Teku (1, 2, 3).

Altair upgrade

Altair is a planned upgrade of the beacon chain, which optimizes some accounting issues and introduces a synchronization committee for light clients.

The Altair upgrade on the Prater testnet was launched on September 2. Although it is not perfect, it also runs pretty well. Except for other minor problems, Teku could not generate a valid block in the first epoch, but it was normal afterwards. Adrian Sutton did a (quite subtle) reason analysis for this, and the problem has been fixed, preparing for the upgrade of the beacon chain Altair.

Now that the Pyrmont and Prater testnets have completed the Altair upgrade, one observation is that the sync aggregate participation rate is lower than our expectation: Click here to view the situation of Prater, the sync aggregate participation rate is about 70%, and the overall The online participation rate is about 87%. As discussed on the developer conference call this week, we may delay the upgrade of the beacon chain Altair until we figure out the root cause of this-this is a new feature, and no other components depend on it. However, we should be cautious about the issues that we have not yet been able to explain. The investigation is ongoing.

Assuming that this problem can be solved, we expect to set a slot for the beacon chain upgrade in the next conference call (two weeks later, that is, some day in mid-October).

Regarding other news about the Prater testnet, the number of validators will increase significantly in the next few weeks. This is to ensure that the scale of the Prater test network is larger than that of the main network of the beacon chain to provide more appropriate testing for clients.

The Merge

We are beginning to deal with the technical issues of The Merge project and are progressing smoothly. Recent development progress includes:

Mikhail’s consensus-execution engine API design space specification. This is a verbatim consensus reached after a series of meetings (including core developer meetings). The specification essentially determines how the Eth1/execution client and Eth2/consensus client will communicate.

Felix of the Geth team published a proposal on how network synchronization works after the merger. This issue was also discussed at the core developer conference last week.

The client team (including Eth1 and Eth2) are now working hard to implement the latest specifications in preparation for the developer testnet in October.

In addition to merging into shards, Proto also proposed an extension to SSZ, allowing it to embed KZG promises and other promise types, not just simple Merkel roots.


Heavy news: Rocket Pool has finally announced the release date of its mainnet, which will be launched on October 6th. In order to control risks, the release of Rocket Pool will be launched in four stages.

The Ethereum on ARM team has experience in running validator nodes on Raspberry Pi. There are many great suggestions there.

The article “The Importance of Client Diversity in the Merger Process” published by the Nimbus team is well written:

Whether the exchange, pledge provider or personal pledge, as long as care Ethernet Square in the future, so at this stage, we have the responsibility to promote the use of accounting for smaller clients.

Superphiz is right to say that the pledge provider does not take responsibility in this regard. Their near-single mode of operation is hurting themselves and the network. I was shocked when I read Lido operator Chorus One’s plan (to diversify by adding more Prysm client nodes to the portfolio) to deal with the recent accident. I have to say that in the current situation, doing so does more harm than good.


Adrian Sutton created a scalable validator node monitor that runs with nodes and uses standard APIs to check whether unusual (but not significant) problems have occurred on the chain, such as redundant proofs in blocks . This tool is mainly useful for developers who want to monitor nodes.

The renaming plan to remove all Eth2 statements is now complete. It is completely predictable that this unwise approach destroyed at least one client team’s CI pipeline and caused some temporary damage.


I have become a fan of the user u/Liberosist on Reddit. He recently posted some articles that attracted my attention: A Vision of Ethereum (2025) and Why rollups + data shards are the only sustainable solution for high scalability. Both articles are worth reading!

My colleagues have done an incredible amount of work in formally verifying the beacon chain specification, and they are about to publish several blog posts. Frank has published the first article How We Proved the Eth2 Deposit Contract Is Free of Runtime Errors. The article includes some background on how the formal verification works.

Tim Beiko’s “Ethereum Core Developers Conference Update 006” gives the evolution of the merger architecture and what the current roadmap looks like. I discussed more about this on the PeepAnEip and ZeroKnowledge podcasts.

In the latest blog post Secured no. 1 of the Ethereum Foundation, Antonio Sanso discussed some issues related to the BLS12-381 elliptic curve we used for verifier signatures. Starting from the specification, there are some interesting questions.

Caspar, also from the Ethereum Foundation, compiled a concise list of Eth2 resources. My own was neglected (sad); however, I have a secret plan in this regard

Unfortunately, I did not participate in any EDCON meetings. But here are some Eth2 talks that caught my attention:

  • “Light Client Design in Eth2” by Alex Stokes and its slides.
  • Danny Ryan’s “Ethereum is still on the road” and its slides also have NFT sales.
  • “FAQs for Beacon Chain Verifiers” by Hsiao Wei
  • “Visual Analysis ETH2” by Chen Siming
  • “Single Slot Finality ” by Vitalik
  • Tim Beiko’s “Overview of the Ethereum Development Roadmap”

Click here to get the full lecture video (not easy to find!).


Since Ethereum 2.0 is no longer a single event, but a long-term series of upgrades. Then it is reasonable that we occasionally need to look at the problem more broadly, and we can’t just focus on PoS and sharding. Therefore, Verkle trees need to be considered. Vitalik and Dankrad explained as early as June. Here are some recent developments:

  • Dankrad participated in the Peep an EIP program this week and talked about Verkle tries in the state of Ethereum
  • Dankrad’s PoC Verkle trie implementation.
  • Entrusted by the Ethereum Foundation, Dedaub released a report: “Verkle Trees: Research on the Impact of Existing Smart Contracts”

  • Eth2 verifiers share private information: a private Eth2 point-to-point layer, which is both private and resistant to spam attacks
  • Differential Private Uniswap in ETH2: Use Randao of ETH2 to achieve partial privacy of transactions.

Regular meeting

Implementer meeting

The 72nd meeting was held on September 9th: The topics of the meeting included Altair’s upgrade review and plan, client team updates, and the merged developer testnet plan.

  • Agenda
  • Conference video
  • My shorthand and Alex Stokes’ tweets.

Core Developer Conference

As the merger (The Merge) is coming, I think it is necessary to add the Ethereum core developer conference section here for a long time.

The 121st core developer meeting discussed the consensus-execution engine API design space specification, and the Geth team’s proposal on how to synchronize the network after the merger.

  • Agenda
  • Conference video
  • Notes by Tim Beiko

StakeHouse community meeting

The seventh phase of StakeHouse CC has been postponed by one week and will be held on September 15th UTC time. Send a private message to Colfax on EthStaker Discord to get an invitation.

Small update: Wagyu-a one-click pledge installer-already has a logo and a Twitter account!

Other news

The Obol SSV agreement announced that they have received a grant from Lido DAO to continue research and build infrastructure technologies that minimize trust. They also announced their recruitment bulletin board-there are some engineering positions there. (Open: I am an Obol consultant.)

The second course of the Core Developer Apprenticeship Program has begun to accept applications. The first time seemed to be a huge success. Hurry up and apply! It will end on the 13th. Believe me, becoming an Ethereum core developer is an exciting time.

TimBeiko suggested that we use panda emoji to mean “merger”, approve!

Danny Ryan raised nearly 65 ETH by selling the graph NFT he gave at EDCON. The proceeds will be distributed to researchers and developers participating in the “merger” work.


The Google photo reminds me of the interoperability lock we did this week two years ago. This is a seminal week for the future of the beacon chain and Ethereum. I was moved and sent a long tweet and a bunch of photos. Somehow, it feels like yesterday, and it’s like a lifetime.


Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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