Despite the cryptocurrency prices not looking all that great at this stage, there are still plenty of key developments to look forward to. Especially where Ethereum is concerned, there are a lot of potential upgrades and breakthroughs occurring in the coming few months and years. Both from a short-term and long-term perspective, there is a lot to look forward to.
ETH 1.X SCALING
While most of the Ethereum developers and community are working on long-term scaling solutions, it is rather evident the near-term needs to be addressed as well. Thankfully, it seems a team of developers is working on offering viable solutions over the coming weeks and months. By actively pursuing solutions to address scaling and sustainability, as well as paving the way for ETH, this initiative can make a massive impact on Ethereum. Over the past few years, there have been numerous concerns as to how Ethereum is incapable of handling its own success in many different ways.
Some of the concepts being explored include state fees and stateless clients, as well as potential sync protocol improvements. Combined with the ongoing work on Geth and Solidity, there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes. There is still a somewhat big gap between the current iteration of Ethereum and the next version. Ensuring this transition occurs as smoothly as possible will be a tough challenge, but far from an impossible task.
NIMBUS THE SHARDING CLIENT
For those who are not too familiar with how the Ethereum ecosystem works, there is a strong focus on sharding to scale Ethereum to new levels. The Status.im team is currently building a client which will provide convenient access to sharding. That solution is known as Nimbus, which currently has its own testnet to collect valuable feedback and iron out any bugs which might still be present.
What makes Nimbus so exciting is how it acts as a sharding client for resource-restricted devices. The true impact of this solution has yet to be determined, however. For now, the Nimbus-to-Nimbus testnet is up and running and can be explored by anyone who has an interest in checking out this client. For Ethereum, this is a pretty big breakthrough, assuming the project will work as expected
PRYSM – THE GO IMPLEMENTATION OF ETH 2.0 SERENITY
Numerous aspects of Ethereum will need to be modified and upgraded to accommodate these upcoming changes. That in itself may prove somewhat challenging, although the Prysmatic Labs team is making significant progress. They are currently focused on offering a new Ethereum Serenity implementation known as Prysm. Making it compatible with the ETH 2.0 code base is direly needed, although the work is not over yet at this time.
For the time being, users can participate in the Prysm testnet phase. They can opt to set up a beacon node and validator client. To activate one’s validator, a deposit of 3.2 Goerli ETH needs to be completed. This deposit will take some time to be processed, yet it should become accessible fairly soon. These validators will also be actively staking ETH, thus a user’s balance should go up over time if one’s node is configured correctly.
SIGMA PRIME’S LIGHTHOUSE
Another Ethereum-oriented project worth keeping an eye on comes in the form of Lighthouse, a solution developed by Signa Prime. Similar to all of the other main ETH 2.0 projects, there is a working testnet accessible to users already. For the project as a whole, this is a major breakthrough. A lot of work has been poured into Lighthouse over the past few months, primarily because the team wanted to launch its testnet by late March of 2019 at the latest.
As is usually the case with any testnet, there is room for further improvements. The team is looking to offer three hash caching implementations, as well as other improvements and bug fixes. Ultimately, the team hopes to achieve true interoperability with other Serenity clients, such as the ones named above. Building a multi-client testnet is no easy feat, yet achieving it will be the main objective prior to ushering in the era of ETH 2.0.