Faster confirmations, Vitalik Buterin’s new proposal for Ethereum 2.0

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Ethereum 2.0 (or ETH 2.0) is not quite here, and they are already thinking about further optimizations. Recently, Vitalik Buterin, co-creator of Ethereum, together with a group of developers, launched a proposal with which he intends to establish irreversible transactions in ETH 2.0 in a period of 12 seconds.

The proposal It took place on January 24. Buterin, in a blog post on, published the details of this implementation.

Technical aspects of the proposal

First of all, it should be noted that the notion of a block that is commonly known within Bitcoin or the current version of Ethereum changes to what Ethereum 2.0 is. This is due to the implementation of new concepts such as slots.


Faster confirmations, Vitalik Buterin's new proposal for Ethereum 2.0

Within the Bitcoin block chain, a block contains the information of a certain number of transactions, which, when the block is confirmed, are embodied in the blockchain, forever. For Ethereum 2.0 slots have been implemented, 12-second periods in which a block may or may not be confirmed.

In a period of between 64 and 94 slots, what can be considered another type of “block” is completed, since, in the next cycle of slots, the block header uses the hash of the last slot of the previous “block”. This process occurs in networks such as Bitcoin, where each block points to the previous block and forms what is known as a “blockchain”.

Due to these complex confirmation processes, completion times, in which a transaction can be considered as irreversible within the Ethereum 2.0 blockchainThey take about 15 minutes. This is the average time it takes to complete all 64 slots.

Although 15 minutes could be considered an average time, since Bitcoin uses a time of 10 minutes per block, Vitalik Buterin wants to lower this confirmation (considered irreversible) to just one slot. That is, only 12 seconds.

A better user experience in Ethereum 2.0

For Vitalik Buterin, reducing the finishing times to 12 seconds will offer a better user experience, it will strengthen network security and reduce errors within the protocol. This within Ethereum 2.0 with proof of stake (PoS).

Regarding the user experience, in theory, those who use Ethereum 2.0, will be able to receive payments with waiting times of 12 seconds so that the transaction is irreversible.

The portal HowManyConf measures the number of confirmations a transaction on a given blockchain must have to be as secure as 6 confirmations in Bitcoin (which is an acceptable level of security). For Ethereum, it currently takes 2 hours and 39 minutes (or 709 confirmations). This under the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus protocol in version 1.0 of the network.

How to reduce confirmation times

For Vitalik Buterin, the solution to this type of acceleration in confirmation times is to create “super committees”. These would be a subgroup of validators within the Ethereum 2.0 network., with power to validate transactions faster.

Each group of “super committees” would be in charge of validating the blocks within a slot, which allows that a complete round of 64 slots does not have to be fulfilled for a block to be validated.

Faster confirmations, Vitalik Buterin's new proposal for Ethereum 2.0
In an internal survey in the Telegram group of Ethereum developers, they were asked what would be the minimum viable cost to attack the network. Source:

The validators would be chosen randomly according to each cycle, which will alternate with the passing of the confirmed blocks.

With confirmations in each slot, and with validations of the network by the “super committees”, Vitalik Buterin hopes that the cost of some type of attack will be unfeasible, because a malicious validator will have to burn his quota of 32 ETH —minimum amount to become a validator of Ethereum 2.0— to attack the network.

The number of validators that can make up a “super committee” is not specified in the document, however, it is detailed that there will be “a few thousand” within each committee.

Another idea is to increase the number of validators, assigning them “chunks” of confirmation from the network. This is because the Beacon Chain (Ethereum 2.0 blockchain) is designed to work in concert with sidechains. In this way, it could be operated in a more optimal way to speed up confirmations. But nevertheless, this implementation requires an increase in the number of Ethereum 2.0 validators, whose number currently it is over 280 thousand.

Challenges of this implementation

As Vitalik Buterin explains in the original document, to achieve this, multiple challenges must be faced. In the first place, there is the change of protocol in Casper, whose algorithm is in charge of carrying out the completions when the minimum 64 slots period is fulfilled.

Another challenge is finding ways to discourage 51% attacks on the network. In this, the number of validators that are chosen within a “super committee” would come into play.

For now, according to the document itself, a roadmap for this implementation has not been set. Currently only one proposal is being considered, this taking into account that Ethereum 2.0 is not yet fully operational and, as CriptoNoticias has already reported, it seems that it could be delayed another year, its arrival date being 2023.

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