64 Shards (9 of 9)
While DeFi and NFT projects continued to evolve into the explosion of interest they attracted in 2020 and 2021, many teams of developers worked with the Ethereum community to build what has been promised early in Ethereum's designs: a move from proof-of-work consensus (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS). PoS is touted as being more energy efficient and more scalable, primarily because it does not rely on competitive hashing as a basis for growing the blockchain. Known as Eth2, and originally termed "Serenity," it has now become an elaborate technical specification to scale Ethereum through PoS and other design upgrades. "Miners" are now "validators," and they cooperate on a consensus protocol that is based on skin in the game: Each validator must commit 32 ETH to participate in the validation process. There will be new clients that oversee the PoS process, forming a critical centerpiece to PoS and another upgrade: Ethereum's blockchain will be fractionated into 64 separate shard chains. These shards involve validation in parallel, permitting even more scalability, with blocks accumulating in each. The so-called Beacon-chain clients will fuse these shards into the single, unitary layer 1 blockchain that will be the new form of Ethereum.
These shards are not yet implemented, but the Beacon clients and the Beacon chain are now live. Indeed, one can already find excellent block explorers for the Beacon chain, where the PoS process and sharding will be coordinated. In this original, the 64 shards are depicted with the very first 64 slot roots associated with the Beacon chain. These are analogous to block hashes in traditional PoW, but they are now slotted into epochs, which update each 6 minutes or so -- the new clock for Ethereum. Depicting the fundamental role of these new clients, the codebase for the Go-based (Prysm, green) and Rust-based (Lighthouse, orange) clients stitch these symbolic shards into one structure. Key terms from Eth2 are highlighted, visible in both clients much as core concepts from Eth1 are shared on its clients (see Original 1, Series 2): slashable, PublicKey, validator, Epoch, slot, CommitteeIndex, attestation, etc.
- 9 editions
- Square, high-quality JPG (linked in unlockable content)
- Scalable vector-quality PDF (linked in unlockable content)
Ethstory, Original 3 in Series 4: "0x00000 (Transforming)"
Prior series depict Ethereum's dynamism. Ethereum will transform yet more. An upgrade is now underway -- Eth2 -- the major transformation of Ethereum sometimes known as "Serenity." While Ethereum's developer community continues to innovate and expand on top of Eth1, in parallel teams of developers are beginning to implement and test Eth2. Both agendas continue to transform what is possible on Ethereum and blockchain. This is the final series of Ethstory. It is, approximately, where the story of Ethereum is at the time of this writing (mid 2021). The originals here depict this further transformation. All are based on actual data, structured and laid out in a manner that produces visuals that relay this future significance.
Ethstory is a data visualization project using network and other diagrams to describe the history of Ethereum. Each original uses thousands of data points from on-chain and other resources creating symbolic depictions of Ethereum's intriguing history. On OpenSea, owners (and only owners) unlock a password-protected vector-quality PDF, permitting printing, zooming, etc. to any resolution.
Ethstory is complete. Thanks to collectors. Thanks so much for your support. Over 30 ETH have been donated to various nonprofits. Extensive detail about this project including charitable donations from initial sales can be found on the main website: ethstory.eth.link
Some thematic summary on Medium blog post.
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