Ethereum’s planned consensus change to proof-of-stake mechanics has taken a step closer to reality today, as developers have announced that that EIP 1011 or ‘Hybrid Casper FFG’ is now ready for review.
The move marks the beginning of a massive change for Ethereum – one that has been discussed by co-creator Vitalik Buterin and other developers in the past.
EIP 1011 would introduce a hybrid system to Ethereum, which would combine both proof-of-work and proof-of-stake mechanics in a step to bridge the divide as the platform moves to adopt the latter mechanic.
During a meeting of Ethereum core developers, Danny Ryan – one of EIP 1011’s authors – proclaimed that the proposed code change is now ‘ready for review’ and ‘community discussion’ before adding that the development work for Ethereum clients would begin shortly.
“As these pieces of the puzzle are getting closer to being completed… I’ll signal that it’s time to start talking about fork block numbers”, Ryan said.
The introduction of Casper will mark a monumental hard fork for Ethereum, and little certainty yet exists as to precisely when this will happen. Ethereum’s move to proof-of-stake (much less hybrid) mechanics will not be compatible with existing software, and will necessitate a split.
Speaking on the nature and the timing of the hard fork, Ryan went on to say that developers should “leave the EIP up for discussion a little bit longer before we start doing testing on that side.”
The move to proof-of-stake mechanics would invalidate concerns about the impact of high-end ASIC mining rigs on the Ethereum network.
In early April, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin publicly come out against a proposal to issue an Ethereum hard fork with the view of mitigating the impact of ASIC mining.
Considering the imposition of both Casper and a hard cap, Buterin commented that “Getting everybody to upgrade is likely to be fairly chaotic and detract from more important things. So, at this point I personally lean quite significantly towards no action.”