First Ethereum 2.0 (ETH) hard fork Altair set for October

Wed 29 Sep 2021 ▪ 16h28 ▪ 3 min read — by Katie Donaldson

Ethereum 2.0 developers have announced that Altair, which is described as the first mainnet upgrade to the Beacon Chain, is set for 27th October, in time for Epoch 74240.

The future of proof-of-stake 

According to Ethereum Foundation researcher Danny Ryan’s blog, the upgrade will bring light-client support to the core consensus, clean up beacon state incentive accounting, fix problems with validator incentives, as well as step up the punitive params as per EIP-2982.

“Keep your eyes peeled for another blogpost on Monday, October 4th. This will include all mainnet Altair releases. And then you can upgrade your nodes,” Ryan added.

Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin said the update is supposed to put ETH on track to become “ultrasound money.” The concept of “ultrasound” money refers to an asset that is not susceptible to a sudden depreciation in value or purchasing power.

Joseph Lubin, who co-founded Ethereum before moving on to ConsenSys, said ETH has been put on track to become “ultrasound money.” The concept of “sound” or “ultrasound” money was popularised by the Bitcoin (BTC) community and refers to an asset that is not susceptible to a sudden depreciation in value or purchasing power.

Named after the brightest star in the northern constellation of Aquila, Altair is a relatively small update with one of its key new features being the “Light Client Synchronization Committee,” where validators are regularly incentivised to provide block header information to light clients. 

EIP-2982 includes “punitive parameters” to ensure that the proof-of-stake protocol is secure. “Inactivity leak” and “slashing” are the two proposed penalties under the improvement proposal. 

The Altair upgrade ups the ante on validator responsibilities. 

Currently, fully inactive validators lose roughly 11.8% of their staked ether balance. After the upgrade, they’ll lose about 15.4%. In addition, validators who are slashed by the network for malicious behavior such as double-signing or double-proposing blocks will get fined 0.5 ETH after hard fork activation instead of 0.25 ETH. 

The plan to deploy Altair was first announced in spring.

Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake continues, with the first upgrade of Beacon Chain scheduled for Epoch 74240, 27th October.

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Katie Donaldson

I went full time crypto back in June 2018, and have never looked back. I want to help persuade as many people as possible to come and build the decentralised future! Let’s go!


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.

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