Ethereum Altair Upgrade: Launch Date and What it Contains

Only a short while ago, Ethereum released the EIP-1559, and now its next upgrade is on the way. Ethereum is ready to launch the Altair upgrade, adding new features to the beacon chain.

The EIP-1559 upgrade brought significant changes for miners, and Altair will do the same for developers. Altair is the first upgrade for the beacon chain to take place on the mainnet. Every ETH forecast is shooting upwards with the much-anticipated release.

Beacon chain is currently assisting Ethereum transit from the proof-of-work model. However, as per Pooja Ranjan, Head of Ethereum Cat Herders, Altair might be the sole upgrade to the beacon change before Ethereum adopts the proof-of-stake mechanism.

Ethereum launched the beacon chain in December 2020 as a PoS chain operating on its mainnet. The chain works parallel to the proof-of-work model and undertakes multiple things.

First, the chain brought staking to Ethereum. The network used miners to process every transaction. The process required hefty consumption of electricity and carbon emissions. With staking, Ethereum facilitates complete security and decentralization by locking user tokens. The users receive rewards (ETH) for staking the tokens.

Secondly, the chain prepares the Ethereum mainnet for shard chains. These chains make transactions to the oft-congested network quicker by preparing the 64 blockchains that operate in unison. The feature allows Ethereum 2.0 to operate at full strength. Users expect the feature to go live in 2021, as the Ethereum Foundation released a document suggesting it.

Currently, the beacon chain lets users stake Ethereum without the withdrawal option. Once the merge takes place, the network will switch completely from proof-of-work to the proof-of-stake model, stated Pooja. Ethereum might allow users to withdraw funds in one of the upgrades in 2022.

According to Tim Beiko, who is responsible for coordinating the Ethereum developers’ work, Altair comes with three primary benefits. 

  • It allows developers to develop light clients on the beacon chain. It is a less bulky version of node software used to validate blocks and their transactions.
  • It raises inactivity penalties to the optimal level. Staking does not mean users can do nothing and enjoy yields. They must keep their nodes updated to the software or get penalized. The network has reduced the penalties with the newer updates.
  • It presents the chance to ensure the blockchain is ready for the upgrade on the beacon chain.

With such functionalities, the market is already expecting an Ethereum boost. The update will bring several features and will be a game-changer in the long run.

Scott Cook

Scott Cook got into crypto world since 2010. He has worked as a news writer for three years in some of the foremost publications. He recently joined our team as a crypto news writer. He regularly contributes latest happenings of crypto industry. In addition to that, he is very good at technical analysis.

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