Blockchain network Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin released a plan for the first hard fork of the Beacon Chain (Ethereum 2.0) yesterday. The preliminary codename is HF1. The main goals of HF1 are to add light-client support and fix some vulnerabilities in the Beacon Chain that was discovered too late to be addressed at Genesis. In addition, the hard forking mechanism should become testable “with a relatively small change” “before major changes like sharding and merging need to be made.” The plan proposes several consensus changes with HF1 as well.
A randomly selected “sync committee will create support for low clients.”
According to the Vitalik Buterin’s announcement, support for light clients – nodes with minimal resource requirements and could run on mobile devices – will be created by a randomly selected “sync committee.” The purpose of this is to allow light clients to determine the head of the chain with a low amount of overhead (~20 kB per day minimum to keep up, and ~500 bytes to verify a single block). This would allow light clients to be viable for mobile devices, in-browser use cases like the beacon chain.
HF1 is intended to mitigate the highly debated issue of slashing.
HF1 of Ethereum is intended to mitigate an issue that has been hotly debated for months, “slashing.” Until now, it is the case on the Beacon Chain that validators can lose some of their staked ETH in the event of inactivity, which made staking dangerous, especially for smaller “home stakers” as they are penalized for events that were not their fault, like an internet or power outage. HF1 further aims to mitigate this by distinguishing between intermittent and continuous inactivity. The hard fork aims to mitigate this by distinguishing between intermittent and continuous inactivity.