Ethereum 2.0 will host the first HF1 hard fork to make key updates to the recently launched Beacon Chain. The update will include support for light clients and changes to the validator penalty system.
According to the plan published by the co-founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin, the first hard fork under the HF1 index will soon be held in the “signal chain” of Ethereum 2.0. The hard fork will allow developers to make several key updates to the recently launched Beacon Chain, which will serve as a useful test for more major changes in the future.
The biggest practical change will be support for lightweight node clients with minimal resource requirements that can run on mobile devices. This will create “wallets with minimal trust” that can verify the blockchain themselves, rather than relying on external service providers.
Support for light clients is implemented through special “synchronization committees” – groups of validators that are randomly assigned to create special signatures that make it easier to determine the correct version of the chain.
Other improvements include fixes to the fork selection rules, in which the developers identified several protocol variants potentially vulnerable to reorganization attacks. These vulnerabilities could allow attackers to enter the network, controlling only a small part of the validators. Buterin wrote that these shortcomings were known even before the launch, but were discovered too late to fix them.
In terms of practical changes, the hard fork aims to completely change the principle of punishing validators for unfair work. Currently, Ethereum 2.0 stake holders can be fined due to low activity or due to an attempt to support a minority fork of the chain.
The developers plan to redesign the mechanism to make life easier for stayers with an unstable Internet connection. The system will take into account whether the validator was inactive permanently or periodically. For example, a stacker who disconnected from the network ten times for six minutes will lose ten times less money than a validator who simply disconnected his node for sixty minutes.
Although some changes will make the system more flexible to involuntary errors in the behavior of validators, the development team is changing some parameters to introduce more severe penalties for unfair work.
It is not yet clear when the hard fork will be held, as some details of the proposal need to be finalized and verified. Meanwhile, the developers of Ethereum 2.0 are discussing the naming system for this and future hard forks. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the names of stars, planetary systems, World of Warcraft zones, and months of the year.
Recall that recently the number of coins blocked for staking on the Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract reached