Altair Goes Live
Ethereum continues to develop and upgrade itself as it heads towards the full transition to Ethereum 2.0; a move from the standard POW (proof of work) mining consensus algorithm to POS (proof of stake). With every Ethereum upgrade, the network becomes more accessible through faster transfers, lower fees, and increased scaling.
Recently, Ethereum has received the anticipated Altair upgrade. Here’s what you need to know about Altair:
What is Altair?
Ethereum 2.0’s POS consensus has to be managed in a new kind of blockchain than its original POW chain. This new chain, the Beacon Chain, is what is slowly being transitioned to for the Ethereum network to solve its existing scaling and gas challenges. Altair is the first mainnet upgrade of the Ethereum Beacon Chain and is indication of the merge between Ethereum’s old and new chains, respectively.
With this upgrade, the transition to proof of stake becomes closer and closer with expected time of arrival due sometime in 2022.
Ethereum had its burn-mechanism introduced during its London upgrade. With this latest upgrade, Ethereum is adding punitive measures for validators not acting in good faith or fulfilling their responsibilities as consensus operators. This penalty is related to the amount of Ethereum the validator has staked. As such, Ethereum Beacon Chain validators will need to be well versed in node maintenance to reduce the risk of penalties.
In addition, the Altair upgrade adds light-client support for users who do not need a full, trustless node to run themselves. Adding support for light-clients is important because these users want to use Ethereum but do not want to wait for a node to sync in order see the latest change in their transactions.
Next Step is the actual “Merge”. Ethereum gets one step closer to fully transitioning to Ethereum Beacon Chain. This will open more doors for users, businesses, developers, and communities.
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