Updated: Jan 7, 2019
The Ethereum protocol has been widely adopted by app developers to host their own smart contracts and build dApps (decentralized applications), accepting mostly the native currency, Ether, as their form of funding. Ethereum became the premier choice for dApp developers, responsible for the fabric of over 300+ projects in the industry. But as the broader market began its downward trend in January of 2018, it was no surprise that project developers were frantic to secure their funding by also selling their Ethereum for fiat.
It was a tough year for digital currencies and especially Ethereum, with market sentiment at record lows and a price correction as much as 95% from all-time-highs. But as the market continues to consolidate, developers from Ethereum have re-visited the initiative known as Ethereum 2.0, which developers have been worked on quietly for the past 4 years, with plans to completely restructure the Ethereum network with a safer, faster, and lighter computational protocol.
At the basis of these network upgrades is the updated consensus protocol known as Proof of Stake which will work concurrently with the older consensus model known as Proof of Work to improve economic and security protocol. In addition, developers will implement a scaling protocol, known as Sharding, to enhance the transactional speed and data capacity of the network.
This information, however, does not come as new news to the public. These concepts have been under constant research and development since 2014 as they still pose weaknesses for the network, however, Vitalik Buterin, Co-Founder of Ethereum, claims that after strong deliberation, planning, and time to market, the introduction of these new upgrades is “really not so far away”. The latest network improvements are understood to be the next development phases for the Ethereum network, with developers projecting a 1000x higher scalability function, lower fees and stronger governance.
"Ethereum 2.0 is a combination of a bunch of different features that we’ve been talking about for several years, researching for several years, and actively building for several years that are finally about to come together in one cohesive whole” – Vitalik Buterin, Co-Founder of Ethereum
In the same way the World Wide Web was the infrastructure layer for online platforms and websites, Ethereum is the infrastructure layer that allows developers to build their decentralized applications and economic protocols. Before, Ethereum suffered from poor scalability, security, and the mining difficulty bomb but as the Ethereum protocol enters the next stages of development, users and developers alike will be able to utilize the Ethereum infrastructure the way it was meant to be, a world computer to host smart contracts, handle financial transactions, and run decentralized applications.