Ethereum 2.0 Release Date: When does Eth2 launch?

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June 10, 2022: Updated to include details of the Ropsten testnet merge with the Beacon Chain.

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?

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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.

The next step in the Ethereum upgrade is to merge the mainnet with Ethereum 2.0's Beacon Chain, enabling full staking. After this, Ethereum shard chains will launch in 2023, increasing the blockchain capacity.

The latest Ethereum information suggests The Merge could happen in August 2022. 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."

However, he did temper these expectations by stating it would happen here if they did not need to move the EIP-4345 Difficulty Bomb. This was previously delayed until June 2022.

In EIP-4345, developers Tim Beiko and James Hancock said the Difficulty Bomb could happen later than June. They said:

Targeting for The Merge to occur before June 2022. If it is not ready by then, the bomb can be delayed further.

However, things do look on track for The Merge. The Ropsten testnet has now just implemented the merge with the beacon chain, as a test ahead of the mainnet merge later down the line.

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The full launch of Eth2 is still subject to change, especially after already suffering more delays.

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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 12 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 2.0 Roadmap

Much like with Cardano's network upgrades, Ethereum 2.0's release is staggered into distinct sections: The Beacon Change, The merge, and Shard chains.

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The Beacon Change (Phase 0), which implemented the PoS algorithm, first launched in December 2020. Compared to PoW algorithms, PoS is less energy-intensive and is used in Cardano staking. 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. 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.

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.

The latest Ethereum update was the Altair Upgrade, set to be the first major update to the Beacon Change since it released. Altair launched on October 27.

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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.