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Fragmentation to extreme fragmentation? What is the difference between the ETH2.0 beacon chain and the Polkadot relay chain?



In 2020, the blockchain industry is surging, the summer of the DeFi bubble, the full spread of distributed storage projects, and the explosion of several major public chain giants. Multi-chain ecology is discussed.

Just at the beginning of this month, the Ethereum project announced that the Beacon Chain main network (Beacon Chain) is planned to be launched on December 1, but only if the storage contract has a minimum deposit of 524,288 ETH and there are no less than 16,384 validators. According to the official roadmap, the launch of the ETH2.0 mainnet will be divided into three stages: 0, 1, and 2. The task of stage 0 is to launch the beacon chain.

As the vanguard of the launch of ETH2.0, the importance of the beacon chain is self-evident. When we compared ETH2.0 and Polkadot before, the most common sentence we said was: "Polkadot is the ultimate sharding." The implication is that Polkadot and ETH2.0 are very similar in structure. So what are the similarities and differences between the "beacon chain" and the "relay chain", which are the core hubs of the two? the

Vitalik issued an article: A step-by-step roadmap for expanding Rollups using calldata and sharding: On November 26th, Vitalik released a "step-by-step roadmap for expanding Rollups using calldata and sharding". In this article, Vitalik stated that transaction fees on L1 have been very high, so it has become more urgent to take any necessary measures to help promote the transformation of the entire ecosystem to Rollups. Rollup has significantly reduced fees for many Ethereum users: shows that Optimism and Arbitrum offer fees ~3-8x lower than the Ethereum base layer itself, however, even these fees are too expensive for many users up. V God proposed 4 steps, the first step: txcalldata expansion, the second step: some shards, the third step: N shards and protected by the committee, the fourth step: data availability sampling. But this leaves a question: if the Ethereum core protocol doesn't store this data, who does? V God proposed several possibilities: individuals and institutions; block browsers; RollupDAO, clients; portal networks; protocols like TheGraph. Some of these solutions (individual and institutional volunteers, block explorers) are already available. [2021/11/26 7:11:58]

Central Service Manager

Zilliqa: The shard node failed to join the network at epoch 1315200 and has recovered after a short-term disablement of transactions: official news, the shard public chain Zilliqa stated that the shard node failed to join the network at epoch 1315200, so the transaction was processed on July 28. 10:15 to 10:53 temporarily disabled. At present, the shard nodes have successfully rejoined, and the network is progressing smoothly. Transaction processing has resumed. [2021/7/28 1:19:56]

The English literal meaning of the beacon chain is lighthouse, signal buoy, which means that the shard chain will be indicated by the signal of the beacon chain when it is working. For example, we can compare the work on the chain to the cooperation of a battle. The battle strategy and formation of the shard chain will be based on the instructions given by the beacon chain. "General" exists.

V God: Fragmentation is the future of Ethereum scalability: V God issued an article stating that sharding is the future of Ethereum scalability. It will help the Ethereum ecosystem support thousands of transactions per second and allow the world to The key to regular use of the Ethereum platform at an affordable cost for most people. In it, he explains the specific properties that sharding provides, how sharding differs from other technologies without sharding, and the sacrifices that must be made to achieve these properties. He stated that the main goal of sharding is to replicate as much as possible the most important security properties of traditional (non-sharded) blockchains, without requiring every node to personally verify every transaction. [2021/4/8 19:57:24]

As the core of ETH2.0, the beacon chain will establish and maintain a brand-new proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. The basis for the Beacon Chain to start working is to form a team, that is, the contract deposit is now pledged. After this step is completed, the Beacon Chain will start working immediately.

Sharding project Elrond has reached a partnership with digital collectibles platform Terra Virtua: Sharding project Elrond has announced a partnership with digital collectibles platform Terra Virtua. Terra Virtua will be integrated with the Elrond mainnet, enabling its users to add Elrond-based NFTs to their collections. Terra's multi-chain function will complement Elrond's interoperability in order to achieve multiple innovative scenarios, such as allowing NFT to move across chains, connect to multiple chains at the same time or to specific Elrond items, and encourage users to participate in the Elrond blockchain to complete collect. [2021/1/6 16:34:21]

The first is the management work, which roughly manages the validators who have become a consensus mechanism through pledge. The specific management includes the validator list, validator fund management, and validator reward and punishment distribution management. Secondly, proof and randomness will be provided for fragmented blocks. The proof means that the beacon chain will store a series of calculated strings, also known as authentication. The randomness comes from a random number generator to help select block producers and pledges. The supervisor of shards will prevent malicious events from happening by providing randomness to assign tasks to shard verifiers. Again, the beacon chain is responsible for block proposals. In the gap between the generation of previous and subsequent blocks, the proposer selected by the beacon chain will collect all the agreement votes (proofs) of the beacon chain validator set from the previous block, and Include them in the blocks that will be published.

Generally speaking, the beacon chain is mostly management-oriented, and there are no transactions or smart contracts on it. As a "management center" in an isomorphic state, it must have the backbone of ETH2.0 and Ethereum 1.0. Compatibility, which is also a crucial step in ensuring the orderly connection of 1.0 and 2.0.

A hub hall responsible for recording, delivery, and security

The core of Polkadot's design is cross-chain, so the network architecture design is heterogeneous and multi-chain from beginning to end, which is different from the homogeneous environment of traditional public chains. The emergence of the slice chain still follows the general format in the processing method, and the difference is the network performance improvement of the slice synchronous calculation. Polkadot's heterogeneous environment gives parachains sufficient freedom. Projects can set their own consensus mechanism and customize the development of the basic framework according to their needs. This requires the Polkadot relay chain to have the ability to coordinate complex environments to a certain extent.

This also means that in terms of the overall structure, the environment that the relay chain deals with is much more complicated than that of the beacon chain, and the Polkadot project itself will serve as the security center of the parallel chain to ensure the security of the parallel chain. finality and governance. How to understand? The relay chain is like a consensus container, which will regularly collect the blocks generated by the parachains and finally package the blocks.

For example, the relay chain is like a government affairs hall system, which connects various departments (parallel chains). Each department is responsible for business records and processing, final audit and confirmation of business, and transmission of information to other departments. hall to deal with. The final confirmation of this kind of task assignment mainly depends on the powerful consensus mechanism of the Polkadot system. While ensuring the security of the parachain project party, it allows the project party to focus on technology research and development and its own business without worrying about possible consensus issues in the chain. .

In addition, the relay chain is not limited to the management of parachains, but also the management of parathreads. The difference is that parachains permanently occupy the resources of the relay chain, while parachains only occupy them when needed. Moreover, it will have a small number of transaction types such as network governance and parachain auctions, which means that it bears more important responsibilities both internally and externally. Although the relay chain wants to weaken the binding relationship between the consistency and effectiveness of the parallel chain, but because it assumes a larger role as a security steward, security issues will be its top priority in the future relay chain technology upgrade plan, which will also It is a problem that the whole industry has to face.

Therefore, we can see that Polkadot and ETH2.0 are very similar in general structure, but due to their different starting points, Polkadot's heterogeneous multi-chain and ETH2.0's sharding structure still have great differences in details and reality. difference. In theory, ETH2.0 is to provide Dapp with sufficient scalability and performance, so the most important task of the beacon chain is to ensure the security of the system under the premise of ensuring efficiency. The task of the Polkadot relay chain is more complicated.

In short, judging from the current project's voice, the technical logic and upgrade route are all based on the project's own needs and future vision. Polkadot is building an ecology of interoperability and value interconnection, while ETH 2.0 is building a powerful and unified underlying blockchain system, and through improving performance, it can realize the mutual empowerment of Dapps in different industries. There is no better solution between the two. Both of them have set a good example in promoting the development of the blockchain industry


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