Altair , the first hard fork of the Ethereum Beacon Chain is now ready and will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, October 27. The fork will introduce considerable improvements to the network to bring the merger between Ethereum and Ethereum 2.0 even closer.
This first update to the Ethereum Beacon Chain mainnet is considered a “low risk warm-up” for the upcoming merger, when the current Ethereum mainnet, which is secured by a proof-of-work (POW) consensus mechanism, It will be merged with the proof-of-stake (PoS) system.
As reported by the developers of the Ethereum Foundation, this upgrade adds support to thin clients for the central consensus, cleans the accounting of incentives of the status of beacons -beacons-, fixes some problems with the incentives of validators and increases the penalty parameters .
Tim Beiko, developer of the Ethereum core, claims that the update would make it easier for people to interact with the network, charge a penalty for idle stakers, and ensure that the network could be updated on the beacon chain smoothly.
The Beacon Chain, which was launched in December last year, is a proof-of-stake chain that runs on the mainnet in parallel to the proof-of-work chain.
This chain is designed to perform different functions : First, it introduces staking into the Ethereum ecosystem. Currently, the Ethereum blockchain uses “miners” to process transactions; each miner uses specialized hardware to compete to be the first to solve the crypto equation. Staking removes this, ensuring decentralization and security by getting people to lock some of their ETH into the software. In exchange for this “sacrifice”, rewards can be received in the form of more ETH.
Altair also prepares the main network for “chunk chains”, which will make transactions on the often congested network faster by creating 64 blockchians that will work in harmony. This feature, which will make the so-called “Ethereum 2.0” fully functional, is expected to go live sometime next year, according to the Ethereum Foundation documentation.