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Finalized no. 36 | Ethereum Foundation Blog

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Finalized no. 32 | Ethereum Foundation Blog


tl;dr

Merge sequence engaged 🚀

Mainnet Merge incoming

Yesterday on the Consensus Layer call, client engineers agreed on Mainnet parameters for the Merge – a Bellatrix epoch of 144896 and a Paris TTD of 58750000000000000000000 (tentative). The TTD is based on Proof-of-Work difficulty and is thus a bit hard to estimate precisely. The target date is September 15, 2022, but this estimate might have even a week of error. On this coming week’s All Core Dev call estimates will be re-checked, and the TTD will either be confirmed or a final adjustment will be made to better hit the target date.

Reminder💡: The Merge consists of a sequence of two upgrades – Bellatrix on the Consensus Layer followed by Paris on the Execution Layer.

Bellatrix upgrades the Beacon Chain to be “Merge aware”, embedding the Beacon Chain with the Merge logic as validators begin dilligently monitoring the Proof-of-Work chain to initiate the Merge transition. Bellatrix is activated at the chosen epoch.

Paris is the Merge transition itself, in which Ethereum Mainnet hot-swaps its consensus from Proof-of-Work to the Beacon Chain’s Proof-of-Stake. The Paris upgrade activates at the chosen Terminal Total Difficulty (TTD).

⚠️ All hands on deck ⚠️

Stakers, infrastructure providers, users, and community members – this is your warning. The Merge mainnet sequence is engaged. For the next ~5 weeks, stay tuned, watch for updates, remain agile, and be ready for anything. The following is the high level of dates and events expected to unfold:

  • [2022/08/18] – TTD reassessed and finalized on All Core Devs call
  • [2022/08/18 to 2022/8/22] – EL and CL teams cut Mainnet software releases
  • [2022/08/23] – Client resources, EF blog, and other community and infrastructure announcements of final parameters and releases
  • [2022/09/06 11:34:47am UTC] – Bellatrix Mainnet upgrade
    • All stakers must upgrade to EL+CL Merge-ready nodes before this time
    • All infrastructure providers, users, and community members should upgrade PoW nodes to EL+CL Merge-ready nodes before this time
  • [Estimated: 2022/9/15] – Paris Mainnet Merge transition
    • All infrastructure providers, users, and community members must upgrade to EL+CL Merge-ready nodes before this time. Plan on configuring systems at least one week in advance and ideally before Bellatrix

Between initial mainnet release announcements and the final Merge transition, users must remain diligent – monitoring client channels, the EF blog, and other public resources for any new information. Specifically, client teams might release final hardened versions of their software in this time frame and, if possible, users should upgrade.

Huge shout-out to the engineers, researchers, and community members that have worked tirelessly, putting countless hours into this. Merge sequence engaged 🚀



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Ethereum

eth2 quick update | Ethereum Foundation Blog

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Ethereum Muir Glacier Upgrade Announcement


Although the internet has been more quiet than usual, we’ve been super busy hacking away on eth2! Between Devcon5 and keeping our heads down to work, it seems we’ve left the community in the dark on a couple of items. Here’s a quick update to fill in the gaps.

Deposit Contract

Although the deposit contract has been written, tested, and formally verified, we are working to allow the BLS standardization to stablize prior to launch. One goal of eth2 is to be easily interoperable with other blockchains and systems in general, and to that end, we do not want our BLS signatures to go the way of keccak (whoops!).

The BLS Standard (BLS Signature, Hash to Curve) has reached a point of stability recently with a number of blockchain teams on board (Eth2, Chia, Filecoin, Algorand, etc). There is an IETF meeting in November at which we expect the draft to be even more cemented. That said, official standards can take quite a while so those involved plan to signal public support for the draft and have a “blockchain agreement” to use the standard as drafted regardless of its final form in IETF. That way, if it becomes the keccak of signatures, we won’t be there alone. 🙂

Fortunately, the deposit contract does not need to be put into production until we near Phase 0 launch, so this focus on standardization is not expected to have any effect on the Phase 0 launch date.

Eth2 Testnets

If you follow ethresearch, the specs repo, or any of the many workshops at Devcon, we have altered the sharding proposal in such a way to greatly improve developer and user experience — cross-shard communication between all shards at every slot. To facilitate this improved design, we have to modify the Phase 0 spec a bit. To do this with limited disruption to Phase 0 development and testnets, we’ve gone the simplifying route — the removal of crosslinks entirely from Phase 0 (they were stubbed anyway). This change is coded and under final review here and is expected to be released for development within the week.

We expect multi-client public testnets to launch soon after this simplifying change is completed, for this update to aid Phase 0’s progress to mainnet, and ultimately to make Phases 1 and 2 easier to ship.

Eth2 testnets are coming! Individual clients are in the process of spinning on some nets for both private and public consumption. Many clients are just getting their eth1-to-eth2 machinery in place so these single-client testnets are useful in initially testing that component. On these nets there will be some limited cross-client testing, but will be largely stable due to having a majority single-client.

Once clients adequately test larger single-client nets and once they have time to incorporate the Phase 0 changes, we will be full speed ahead on public multi-client nets. We’re just as excited about this as you are and will be publishing more info on participation (staking your eth) in both testnets and mainnet shortly. Casper is indeed coming.



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eth2 quick update no. 2

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eth2 quick update no. 2


Welcome to the second installment of eth2 quick update.

tldr;

  • Spec release of v0.9.0 — Tonkatsu to ensure Phase 0 development can continue unimpeded.
  • Work continues in ironing out the details of the modified Phase 1 proposal.
  • Quiet client development focused on eth1 -> eth2 infrastructure, general hardening for production, and optimizations.

Tonkatsu Release

As promised on the latest eth2 call, we pushed things forward to release v0.9.0 release — Tonkatsu. This release is largely simplifying with respect to Phase 0. The goal here is to remove any portions of Phase 0 that are opinionated about Phase 1 to ensure Phase 0 development can continue unimpeded regardless of the work-in-progress modified sharding proposal.

Read the release notes for more info.

Ongoing Phase 1 Redesign

As mentioned in the last eth2 quick update, we are almost certainly taking a new and simpler direction for Phase 1. The new sharding proposal facilitates “crosslinks” for all shards at each slot. This drastically simplifies communication between shards and will result in a much better and simpler developer/user experience come Phase 2.

Previous cross-shard communication (approximate)

sharding-new-proposal

New shard design proposal

To support this new proposal, the total shard count to start must be reduced from 1024 to the new estimate of 64, with the intention to scale up the number of shards over time (~10 years) as standard resources available to consumer laptops increases. The following are the primary reasons for the requisite reduction in total shards:

  • Each shard induces an attestation load on the network and beacon chain at each slot rather than at each epoch
  • Each committee must be of a minimum safe number of validators. If there are too many committees per epoch due to high shard count, then there couldn’t possibly be enough 32-ETH validators to safely allocate enough to each committee

[EDIT: the following paragraph was added after initial release of the blog post in response to some discussion on reddit]

To achieve a similar scalability as the previous proposal, target shard block sizes are being increased 8x, from 16kB to 128kB. This provides the system with greater than 1 MB/s of data availability which synergizes well with promising L2 schemes such as ZKRollup and OVM. The network safety of these larger shard block sizes are justified by recent experimental research done on the existing Ethereum network.

Much of the EF research team’s focus in the past few weeks has been around vetting and ironing out the details of this new proposal. For more details, check out the work-in-progress PR or some of the Phase 1 issues.

Quiet, yet effective client development

Eth2 clients continue to quietly develop. As discussed on the latest eth2 call, effort is being put into handling deposits from eth1, generally hardening clients for production, optimization of state transition and BLS implementations, cross-client fuzzing, networking monitoring tooling, and more! Larger single client testnets are in the works as well as continued cross-client experimentation.

Now that v0.9.0 has been released, clients are updating their state transition logic to pass the new test vectors and are introducing the simple attestation aggregation strategy.



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Eth2 at ETHWaterloo: Prizes for Eth2 education, tooling, and research

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Ethereum Muir Glacier Upgrade Announcement


For the first time ever, the Ethereum Foundation will be sponsoring a range of hacker prizes related to Eth2 at a major hackathon.

With Eth2 development proceeding rapidly, there are now many discrete areas of work that a team of motivated hackers can complete over a weekend. The bounties below include useful educational tools for Eth2 development, necessary tooling, and valuable research.

Members of Eth2 teams will be available remotely during the hackathon to answer questions from hackers and provide advice related to these prizes.

The EF will offer 5 prizes of $1,000 each, for projects that tackle any (or more than one!) of the following ideas:

Education


Tooling

  • Implement the proposed BLS key standards (EIPs 2333, 2334, 2335) in a language of your choice (suggestion: one of the eth2 client languages)
  • Fast viz: Given just a single BeaconState, visualize the last events and validator registry state (suggestion: use lodestar code to work in the browser)
  • Attestation surround/double vote checker (suggestion: look at eth2.0-pm repo issue 63)
  • Attestation pool: make a bare bones tool that listens on the attestation aggregation subnets and global net, and show what’s there (suggestion: start with logging received attestations)
  • Beacon node load balancer: implement a validator API that proxies traffic to any healthy up-to-date beacon node (suggestion: take existing http proxy, and focus on the nodes health status)
  • Netstats2: log/visualize the health status of a list of eth2 testnet nodes (suggestion: prysm or lighthouse testnet, start with simple api queries like latest block)
  • Merkle multi proof builder: check out simpleserialize.com and the tree visualization. This could be enhanced with checkboxes in each node to interactively create multiproofs with (suggestion: start with a simple proof encoding format – Cayman Nava and Proto will be available to help on the ETHWaterloo discord)
  • Validator tracking: a service that you can point at a validator and it notifies you if the validator is offline.

Research


Interested in other bounties or prizes offered by the Ethereum Foundation?

Here are a few other bounties currently live:

Ethereum.org Gitcoin Bounties


Legendre PRF

  • The Legendre pseudo-random function is an extremely MPC-friendly one bit PRF. This PRF is currently slated to be used in the proof of custody scheme in Phase 1 of Eth 2.0, as it is the only known method to make the proof of custody possible in a shared secret setting. To encourage more research about this PRF, the Ethereum Foundation has set out a series of bounties here: legendreprf.org/bounties

STARK-Friendly Hash Challenge

  • The Ethereum Foundation has asked StarkWare to recommend a STARK-Friendly Hash (SFH). The StarkWare hash challenge is a public competition aimed at evaluating the security of current proposed SFH candidates. The challenge is proposed at four security levels: low-security, medium-security, target-security, and high-security in multiple scenarios. See starkware.co/hash-challenge for more details about the competition and how to get started.





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