Last week, Ethereum developers deployed a testnet version of Ethereum 2.0, named Kintsugi. While this doesn’t mean Ethereum 2.0 is ready, it’s a strong signal that the Ethereum developers are making progress and we’re getting close to a full deployment.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen the 2.0 launch date pushed back many times, resulting in a loss of confidence by the wider crypto community that we’ll see a true Ethereum 2.0 deployment. The development work for 2.0 is to move Ethereum from a Proof of Work consensus to Proof of Stake, which will result in a faster, more energy efficient blockchain that is cheaper to interact on. This will completely remove the need for mining hardware from the average user.
“Kintsugi” is a Japanese word referring to the practice of fixing damage and cracks with gold to highlight the flaws, instead of trying to hide it. This is very fitting for the problems the Ethereum foundation is trying to fix with the 2.0 development. Over the past couple of years we’ve seen Ethereum’s gas fees spike to levels which has opened the door for competition, with fees to transact reaching hundreds of dollars per transaction. This has allowed high speed chains like Solana and Avalanche to grow rapidly due to their very low gas fees. Solana fees are consistently under a penny.
The last major 2.0 development was at the end of 2020 when the Ethereum foundation launched the Beacon Chain, which allowed people to stake ETH prior to the full 2.0 launch. This was considered “Phase 0” of the 2.0 upgrade.