Ethereum is soon due for an upgrade to version 2.0, but when is the Ethereum 2.0 release date?
With Ethereum 2.0, known as Serenity, ETH will soon transition away from Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithms - also used in Bitcoin mining. Instead, it will move towards Proof-of-Stake (PoS) and Ethereum staking. The upgrade will bring changes that will, according to Ethereum, make the currency "more scalable, more secure, and more sustainable".
So, how long will we have to wait for Eth2?
Ethereum 2.0 Release Date
The full release of Ethereum 2.0 is not estimated to happen until at least 2023, following the first phase's launch in 2020.
Initially slated for a 2019 release, Ethereum 2.0 has undergone several hefty delays during its development period.
This event will merge the mainnet with Ethereum 2.0's Beacon Chain, enabling full staking. After this, Ethereum sharding will launch in 2023, increasing the blockchain capacity.
This is a slight delay on a previously expected August date for the merge. During the Permisionless conference, Ethereum Core developer Preston Van Loon said: "As far as we know, if everything goes to plan, August. It just makes sense."
This comes after the Ethereum Difficulty Bomb finally went off at the end of June.
The full launch of Eth2 is still subject to change, especially after already suffering more delays.
Of course, even after the merge, Ethereum 2.0 will not be complete. In an interview with the Bankless podcast, Vitalik Buterin described the current progress on Eth2:
I would say around 50[%]. I’d be willing to go past 60 once the merge is fully complete, and I’d be willing to go past 80 once we have a full sharding implementation.
Ethereum 2.0 is currently live on the testnet, with holders already staking over 13.5 million ETH.
Before this 2.0 upgrade, Ethereum received another update in the London hard fork on August 5, 2021. This update implemented EIP-1559, which changed Ethereum's transaction fee system, and kickstarted the Ethereum burning of ETH.
Ethereum's final Merge date is scheduled for September 15/16. The upgrade will shift the blockchain to PoS consensus, thereby slashing its energy consumption in half.
After The Merge, Ethereum Triple Halving will add deflationary pressure on ETH, which can affect its supply and prices.
With the merge mania ebbing and flowing each day, the prices of Ethereum are also pretty volatile.
Meanwhile, OpenSea has announced its support for the upcoming Ethereum Merge but has further clarified that it will not support any Ethereum Hard Fork NFTs. Instead, it will solely be committed to supporting the post-Ethereum merge NFTs.
Once the merge has been successfully deployed, a new staking mechanism will also be introduced to award attractive Ethereum staking rewards to the users.
While several other aspects of crypto, including Bitcoin, have been affected by the merge, it is yet to be seen how the entire crypto ecosystem will be impacted by the merge.
After the merge, Ethereum will also undergo two significant updates dubbed Ethereum Shanghai and Ethereum Sharding to bolster the network up a notch.
Ethereum 2.0 Roadmap
Vitalik Buterin has now given a more comprehensive look at what's next on the Ethereum 2.0 roadmap for after the merge.
The Merge is just one of the distinct sections in Ethereum's upgrades. These are: The Beacon Chain, The Merge, and Sharding.
The Beacon Change (Phase 0), which implemented the PoS algorithm, first launched in December 2020. Compared to PoW algorithms, PoS is less energy-intensive. Ethereum Staking is currently being tested.
The next stage is The Merge. This substantial phase will merge the Beacon Chain into the mainnet and see the end of PoW algorithms. This is the current stage of Ethereum.
However, when speaking at EthCC in Paris, Buterin said Ethereum will only be "55% finished once The Merge is deployed", with more updates coming afterwards.
The final upgrade mapped out for Eth2 will see the implementation of Shard chains. Introducing sharding to Ethereum 2.0 should allow for heightened scaling of Ethereum, as transactions can be split across 64 new chains.
In a keynote at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, Ethereum's co-founder Vitalik Buterin described this scaling as "even more important than Proof-of-Stake". With so many new NFT projects launching and increasing the demand on the blockchain, this could be vital for Ethereum. Overall, the Ethereum 2.0 Transactions Per Second could reach 100,000.
Indeed, the Ethereum gas fees after The Merge will likely remain fairly similar. It is only when sharding is implemented that these may drop.
Of course, Ethereum 2.0's current plans are not set in stone, with the Ethereum website cautioning:
This is how we view what’s happening based on the information out there. But this is technology, things can change in an instant. So please don’t read this as a commitment.
Ethereum 2.0 Price
As with all things crypto, many Ethereum holders are wondering how the upgrade will impact the price of ETH.
We won't be speculating on any Ethereum price action here, but Ethereum's co-founder Vitalik Buterin has touched upon this in an interview with Bankless. He said:
I basically expect that the Merge is going to be kind of not priced in, by which I mean not even just market terms, but even just psychological and narrative terms.
Meanwhile, other Ethereum holders are hoping to see the flippening - a fabled event in which Ethereum would overtake the Bitcoin market cap. Currently, the Bitcoin market cap is double that of Ethereum.
As with all crypto prices, nothing is guaranteed, so we'll need to wait until the next launches to see what happens.
Is Ethereum 2.0 A New Coin?
Ethereum 2.0 is not a new coin, and will not change the amount of ETH you hold.
In terms of Ethereum vs Ethereum 2.0, Eth2 is simply an upgrade that will improve the Ethereum blockchain.
It will more likely have an impact on Ethereum miners rather than holders, as the shift to PoS will see 'staking' take over from 'mining' to approve transactions on the Ethereum blockchain.