- What is Ethereum Beacon Chain?
- Functions of a Beacon Chain
- How does Ethereum Beacon Chain work?
- How to become a Beacon Chain Validator?
- Ethereum Beacon Chain Release Date
- “Ethereum Beacon Chain Explained” – Summarized:
What is Ethereum Beacon Chain?
The beacon chain will be a key element of Ethereum 2.0. It is a proof of stake blockchain that runs parallel to the Ethereum blockchain. But the existing concept of proof of work on the Ethereum blockchain is going to continue to exist.
So the beacon chain sits between the main chain and the shards. It is like a connective tissue providing a heartbeat. A smart-contract on the current Ethereum blockchain will allow validators to participate in the proof-of-stake protocol by taking deposits of 32 Ether.
After they are put into the pending validator set on the beacon chain, they may be become active validators and can participate in the proof-of-stake protocol.
The beacon chain then generates a random number for a random sample of validators for block proposal and voting duties. With this random sampling, we stop validators colluding and influencing the system.
So there are smart contracts that run on the main chain. And as part of the main chain state, there will be a contract where users will be able to send deposit transactions. As a result, you have a second blockchain that works with the proof of stake concept but is still reliant on the main chain.
Functions of the Beacon Chain
1) The main task of the beacon chain is the management of the validators. Therefore, you must deposit at least 32 Ethers on the proof of work chain. Afterward, they check if everything is valid. If this is the case, they will add you to the beacon chain as a validator.
2) Thus it manages not only its own proof of stake protocol but also that of the child chains.
3) The beacon chain also decides who may validate the next block.
4) Another function of the beacon chain is to ensure randomness. This is important so that nothing is predictable or biased.
5) In addition, to ensure safety, there is a committee. They vote on which blocks represent the true history of the beacon chain. For this purpose, they count all votes of the committee up to create an attestation. This certificate confirms that everyone agrees on the right story.
6) The beacon chain is also responsible for rewards and penalties. If a validator behaves well over time, they get a reward. But if someone tries to cheat or breaks a rule, they lose some of their deposit. When the deposit of a validator falls below 16 Ether, they get removed from the validator set.
How does Ethereum Beacon Chain work?
The beacon chain is going to exist parallel to the Ethereum blockchain. Because of the attestation mechanism, it will probably have a rate that is much lower than 25 percent. Some proof of stake blocks have pointers that point back to the main chain. And later blocks of the beacon chain points to later blocks in the main chain. Therefore, there is a hard consensus rule.
So the main chain reference of a child has to be either the same or a descendant of the main chain reference of an ancestor. When you process a later block it will be part of the consensus rules that you also have to execute.
So, whoever deposited earlier would end up adding themselves into the pending validator set that is stored in the later block. Inside the beacon chain, you have some validator sets. Now in the current set, you have an active validator, a pending validator, and an exited validator set. If you deposit you will be a joint into the pending validator set.
How to become a Beacon Chain Validator?
You need to send your 32 Ether into the deposit contract along with two other parameters. So the function has 3 parameters. First of all, any transaction that is depositing has to contain 32 Ether. You also need a specific public key and a specific withdrawal address. Thus, you will have a pub key for Ethereum and then you have another pub key that you use for withdrawing.
You specify some data and at the very least you have two pub keys. When you deposit a correct transaction it will end up creating a receipt. So any client of the proof of stake beacon chain will need at least enough access to the proof of work chain. Therefore you have to know what the block hashes are and what the deposit receipts have been between any two checkpoints. So for a proof of stake client being a proof of work light client is totally enough.
Ethereum Beacon Chain Release Date
Vitalik and his team announced that the beacon chain will be released during phase 0 of Ethereum 2.0. But the launch can only happen when a minimum number of deposits is registered. They also need at least three production-ready clients. They said that we can expect a launch date around mid-2020 if everything works as planned.
“The Ethereum Beacon Chain” – Summarized:
- The Ethereum beacon chain runs parallel to the Ethereum blockchain.
- The beacon chain works based on the proof of stake concept.
- If you want to participate in the proof-of-stake protocol you need 32 Ether, a pub key and a withdrawal address.
- The proof of stake blocks have pointers that point back to the main chain.
- Whoever deposited earlier adds themselves into the pending validator set that stored in the later block.