The Altair upgrade is another phase towards the full deployment of ETH 2.0, Phase 0 and the long-awaited “merge.” The merge is a unification of ETH’s application layer powered by proof-of-work and consensus-layer of beacon chain.
The upgrade takes place almost a year after the Beacon chain was activated and staking began.
Altair: Under the Hood
The Altair 2.0 upgrade increases the severity of validation bonus cuts and cleanups, simplifying state management. Most of its features are behind-the-scenes upgrades that can be applied after 11 months of successful Beacon chain operations.
In addition to these various features, Altair also represents a “warm-up upgrade” for chains and clients of the beacon.
According to Altair, we won’t see any major changes to the blockchain until the “merge”, which is scheduled for the first or second quarter of 2022. The existing Ethereum 1.0 blockchain will then be docked to the ETH2.0 chain. At the time of writing, over 8 million ETHs had been staked on the Beacon chain. At the current price, this is worth about $32 billion.
Open Source Ethereum 2.0
Ethereum 2.0 has a shard chain that can run up to 10,000 transactions per second, but Ethereum can only support 30 transactions per second. This leads to many delays and network congestion that won’t be seen in Ethereum 2.0. Implementing a shard chain speeds up the network and makes it easier to scale because transactions are processed in parallel instead of continuous.
The main idea in developing an upgrade to an existing Ethereum is to make the entire transaction process more secure. Many Proof-of-stake (PoS) networks have very few validators, which reduces network security. Ethereum 2.0 requires a large number of validators of about 16,384. This makes Ethereum more decentralized, safer and less vulnerable to tampering.
ETH Price Drops Below $ 4,000
Unfortunately, this bullish development news did not prevent ETH prices from falling below $4,000. ETH prices fell to $3,900 during a trading session in Asia on Thursday 18. At the time of writing, the price had since rebounded to $4,000, but that day the price was down 4.6%.
The Ethereum 2.0 upgrade consists of 3 phases, of which the first has already been deployed, i.e. the Beacon Chain, which ETH stakers belong to.
Developers want the migration to take place by the end of the year as part of the second phase called merging, where the existing system will be transferred to a new process.
The third phase, scheduled for 2022, will lead a sharding process that will divide the catalog horizontally and distribute it to reduce the load on the network.