Etherum may skip casper FFG and go straight to sharding with Proof of Stake

Ethereum may soon be outdated in its current form since something that they have been working on for a long time is moving at an incredible speed.

This may still be a rumour but it looks like these recent developments have made Casper FFG with 1500eth staking requirements effectively redundant.

New developments in etherum is accredited to advances in sharding, which has reached a point where one can see fully how it would work.

Justin Drake, an ethereum developer, says “We are considering changing the Ethereum 2.0 roadmap to skip Casper FFG with 1500 ETH deposits. Instead Casper and sharding validators would be unified from the get-go in the beacon chain, and deposits would be 32 ETH,”.

As stated by Drake:

“Classes of issues go away, such as dealing with gas and writing code in Solidity. While withdrawals are disabled the manager contract on the beacon chain will be “unhackable”, and much easier to write and deploy.”

Drake further clarifies that this approach would have a number of advantages including simplicity. The beacon chain is relatively a new development mentioned merely a month or two ago. The beacon is basically a random number generator that tells stakers something like: you, go to shard 32, you head to shard 64, and so on.

Sharding needs the beacon but Casper FFG does not.They are apparently thinking of going straight to Sharding and launching the wholistic system all at once. As mentioned by Vitalik Buterin, ethereum’s inventor, sharding is number one priority. Thus ethereum may not see a significant upgrade until next year at best, although they do appear to be moving quite fast to achieve a higher capacity.  Sharding will increase this capacity by around 100x allowing ethereum to handle some 100 million or more transactions a day.

Buterin laid out the responsibilities of stakers or validators when he gave a high level view of sharding with casper in a presentation. He went on to confirm that around 100 shards are expected, with each one of them having ethereum’s current capacity of around 15 transactions a second.

The shards, of course, are linked together through the main chain, which here is the lighthouse, or the town square if you like where everything else revolves around it. If validators are proposing blocks, then it does seem miners have now disappeared.

Stakers will have a number of responsibilities with all stakers validating the main-chain, which is really the beacon or the lighthouse, and then each of them has their own shard to validate.

One of the main reasons they may be thinking of going to Sharding straight away is that if you’re a “little” guy with 32 eth, you’ll need just a laptop with enough resources to validate one shard. But if you’re a big pool with thousands of eth, you’ll end up validating all shards, so will need a lot more resources and will have a lot more costs, making pools somewhat uncompetitive and thus promoting decentralization.

The “be unique” approach of ethereum staking is that if there is some glitch somewhere with Windows OS you are not affected while the not special gray bots may be in tears.

This pretty simple wholistic system can be made even more complicated by each shard itself being sharded, and then so on, for super quadratic or even exponential scaling. Since the focus is on getting 100 million transactions first, this is not the main focus as of now and also because of its complexity.

So what are the timelines? A deadline has been imposed aiming for 2020. Dapp devs have about two years to get all their ideas ironed out, tested, and so on, with ethereum then ready to handle much of it by 2020. Dates on these things, however, are more in jest than a strict deadline as you can’t speed up what is in many ways a breakthrough.

For those who thought Casper FFG with 1,500 eth staking will be out this summer, it would be quite disappointing for them. If sharding is merely months away, it does seem reasonable to go straight to it with staking rather than reward a potentially undesirable infrastructure first.

However, this approach has not been confirmed that it will be taken but it highly likely looks like it.

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