On Oct. 27, Ethereum core developer Raul Jordan posted that the Altair upgrade on the Beacon Chain had been successfully deployed.
Ethereum stakers needed not to take any action as the improvements were all made in the background, but validators did have to pay attention. The Altair upgrade is another step closer to the full launch of ETH 2.0, Phase 0, and the highly anticipated “merge.”
The first network upgrade on the Ethereum proof-of-stake chain, Altair, was successful! Really proud of the rockstar devs I get to learn from at @prylabs and everyone involved in Ethereum that made this happen. You can follow the block explorer here https://t.co/AvgfGaQ2tp
— Raul Jordan (@rauljordaneth) October 27, 2021
The upgrade comes almost a year after Beacon Chain was activated and staking commenced. Ethereum client developer Preston Van Loon commented:
“Finality was uninterrupted and participation dropped as low as 93.3% in the first Altair epoch (exact number to be confirmed). Participation is now above 95%,”
Altair Under the Hood
According to an Ethereum Foundation (EF) release earlier this year, Altair is an upgrade that brings light client support, minor patches to incentives, and per-validator inactivity leak accounting. It also introduces an increase in slashing severity and cleanups to validator rewards accounting for simplified state management.
Most of its features are behind-the-scenes upgrades that can now be applied after 11 months of successful Beacon Chain operations. It has been described by the EF as a “warm-up upgrade” for the chain and clients.
“Ethereum’s proof-of-stake system has run quite smoothly since genesis, but before performing the high-stakes merge, client teams want to go through the process of a live upgrade to further test and ready their codebases and the live system.”
After Altair, there will be no major changes to the blockchain until “the merge,” which is expected in Q1 or Q2, 2022. This is when the existing Ethereum 1.0 blockchain is docked with the ETH 2.0 chain.
At the time of writing, there were just over eight million ETH staked on the Beacon Chain. At current prices, this is worth around $32 billion.
ETH Price Falls Below $4K
The bullish development news has not stopped ETH prices from falling below the psychological $4,000 level. According to Tradingview, ETH prices dropped to $3,900 during the Thursday morning Asian trading session.
At the time of writing, they had recovered slightly to claim $4K but were trading down 4.6% on the day. As usual, Ethereum is trading in the shadow of Bitcoin, which is also correcting from a recent all-time high.
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