0.4 The Journey to the Beacon Chain

Introduction

Currently the Ethereum blockchain is all housed on one chain. Over time this has gotten very long and takes a lot of storage space. In Eth2, there will be shard chains which are smaller chains that run alongside each other to reduce the total space required for each chain. Additionally, there will be more transactions that can take place simultaneously because there are multiple active chains. The Beacon Chain will act as the controller for the various shard chains. The Beacon Chain will allow stakers to validate their shard chains as well as propose new shard blocks.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about the functions of the Beacon Chain and its Shard Chains

  • Understand how Rollups will improve the speed and scalability of the Ethereum network

Reading List

Key Points

  • Beacon Chain

    • It’s the core system chain of Ethereum which manages the consensus algorithm for itself and all of the sharded chains.

    • The Beacon Chain will be responsible for randomly assigning stakers different shard chains to validate.

  • Shard Chain

    • Allow for the Ethereum network to be split up across 64 chains.

    • Once shard chains become part of Eth2, validators will be able to run a node using a simple laptop or smartphone.

  • Rollups

    • Literally "Rollup" groups of transactions and create a single transaction off-chain. The smart contract will ensure that the transaction will eventually be published to the main chain.

    • These rollups will help the Ethereum network to support over 1,000 transactions per second (tps), which is significantly more than the 15 tps it currently supports.

Review Questions

  • What is the function of the Beacon chain?

  • How will Rollups benefit the Ethereum network?