First, a basic understanding about Ethereum:
Ethereum is a platform based on blockchain technology that gives developers a base to create decentralized applications. Smart contracts is one of the main characteristics of Ethereum, it is a computer code that facilitates exchanges of value. Once all criteria are met, the contract will self-execute. And last but not least, Ether is the Ethereum’s coin. If you would like to find out more follow the link:
The arrival of Sharding.
“A significant improvement in scaling” says Ethereum’s creator.
Sharding was the scaling solution for optimizing transactions and smart contracts by allowing some transactions nodes to go to a shard, meaning not every transaction node will go through the entire transaction history verification, processing more transactions. Plasma is already in the works of scalability, it is the second layer where it sorts the bundles transactions and connects it to the chains. The difference between Sharding and Plasma is that when an invalid block hits Plasma there is an exit mechanism where everyone gets their money back, and blockchain keeps on moving.
With Sharding, if a block is invalid then the whole chain is invalid.
Metropolis is the third stage of the Ethereum’s blockchain platform (1. Frontier, 2. Homestead, 3. Metropolis, 4. Serenity ), planned to have the fork released between September 22nd and October 27th 2018.
- Security is expected to be enhanced. To a regular ETH holder there is an expectancy for a better blockchain experience.
- Ethereum’s anonymity should also be reinforced by zk-SNARKS, an integration of Zcash’s cryptography that will connect Ethereum and Zcash’s blockchain directly.
- Mining will no longer be by proof-of-work(POS) algorithm, which is an inefficient process, but instead Casper proof-of-stake(POS) will be in its place, which is said to reduce the amount of electricity consumed by mining. With proof-of-stake, miners will be replaced by validators.
Casper POS is the protocol created by Vlad Zamfir. It is different from other POS because it has an implementation that allows it to punish malicious elements & validators.
Here is the process:
- To start, validators stake a part of their Ethers.
- When they find a block that can be added to the chain they must place a bet on it.
- If it gets accepted, the validators will get the rewards according to their bets.
- Now, if the validator acts maliciously by not adding anything “to stake” they will be reprimanded right away, having all their stakes slashed.
Because the validators have something to lose, there will hardly ever be anyone trying to be malicious because it would cost them something.
Laziness and negligence will also cause them to get their stakes slashed.