Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin on Monday released the first plan for hard fork for the new Ethereum 2.0 lighthouse network, currently called HF1.
The hard fork will allow developers to bring several major updates to the recently launched Manara series, which will also serve as a useful test for deeper changes in the future.
The biggest business change is light customer support – nodes that will have minimal resource requirements and can be run on mobile devices. This will create “low-trust wallets” that can verify blockchain alone, instead of relying on external service providers.
Lightweight clients are supported by dedicated Sync Committees, which are groups of randomly assigned validators to create special signatures that facilitate identification of the correct version of the chain.
Other improvements include fixes to the branch selection rules, as developers have identified several instances of the protocol that are potentially vulnerable to reorganization attacks. The problems are subtle and time consuming, but they can allow attackers to exploit the network by controlling a small subset of validators. Buterin wrote that these errors were known before the launch, but were discovered too late to be corrected in time.
When it comes to practical changes, the hard fork aims to change the way the idle mechanism and leakage mechanics work. At the moment, Eth2 owners may lose some of their capital either because they are inactive or because they are trying to support a minority that branches off from the chain, which can be punished with foreclosure.
Idle leakage is sometimes seen as a deterrent to the home due to penalties for force majeure such as unstable internet connections or power outages. Although the system is set to be extremely vulnerable, the team is now continuing to change the mechanism to make life easier for stores with unstable connections. Leakage should be square, which means that there is a big difference between intermittent and continuous idling. As a rough example of size, an exhibitor who had a 10-minute outage every six minutes, for an hour, would lose 10 times less than an exhibitor who only closed the car for one hour at a time.
Idle leaks will also stop gradually rather than immediately, ensuring that autonomous nodes continue to lose value until the network exceeds the required security threshold.
While some changes make the system easier for honest mistakes, the team changes some criteria to impose stricter financial penalties for misconduct. This aims to “loosen the learning wheels” in the system.
It is unclear when the total split will take place, because some of the details of the proposal are still needed for development and analysis. Meanwhile, Ethereum developers are trying to find a naming convention for HF1 and future hard forks. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, star names, planetary systems, World of Warcraft regions, and months of the year.