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Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain Goes Live as ‘World Computer’ Begins Long-Awaited Overhaul

The first stage of the next-generation proof-of-stake (PoS) Ethereum 2.0 is now live as of 12:00 UTC Tuesday, according to

A generalized blockchain for decentralizing computer-based applications – from iPhone games to government bonds – Eth 2.0 has been under construction since the genesis of the current proof-of-work (PoW) network in 2015.

Tuesday’s launch concludes the opening act, or “phase 0,” of Ethereum’s consensus mechanism transition, which will see the network – whose native cryptocurrency, ether, is worth $70 billion by market cap – fundamentally change how it settles payments while in motion.

“The launch of the Beacon Chain is a huge accomplishment and lays the foundation for Ethereum’s more scalable, secure, and sustainable home,” Ethereum Foundation researcher Danny Ryan told CoinDesk in an email. “There is still much work to do, but today we celebrate.”

The Beacon Chain will be the backbone of a new Ethereum blockchain, a network intended to keep pace with PayPal (PYPL) and Visa (V) in terms of processing speed, while rivaling them in terms of transparency and payment finality.

Eth 2.0 has at least two more technical hurdles to hit its ever-moving timeline: Dynamically breaking the PoS Ethereum blockchain into multiple datasets called “shards” and adopting Rollups, a throughput solution for decentralized applications (dapps). 

From the Beacon Chain, onwards: Phase 0 launches the proof-of-stake network with multiple technical additions coming down the pike.(Trenton Van Epps)

The Beacon Chain’s near-term functionality is quite limited. 

Like the handful of testnets before it, participants in Eth 2.0 now help “store and manage the registry of validators,” according to Ethereum infrastructure provider ConsenSys. Yet, accounts and transfers remain locked until at least Phase 2 while the Eth 1.x blockchain continues in parallel. In other words, Eth 2.0 won’t be usable for paying your electr...

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