Ethereum Casper Upgrade Releases Its Initial Version

Code now available on GitHub of the proof-of-stake protocol upgrade

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The latest code for the first release is now available on GitHub of the proof-of-stake protocol Casper upgrade on Ethereum. The general agreement standard on the Ethereum network has been released after a wide examination on the protocol by auditors and developers of the client.

On 8th May 2018, the initial version of the Casper upgrade was committed to GitHub by Casper FFG developer Danny Ryan. He noted, “v0.1.0 marks us more clearly tagging releases to help clients and external auditors more easily track the contract and changes”. FFG stands for Friendly Finality Gadget, which is the initial version of Casper, and most probably will be followed by others.

Ryan posted a reply in a Reddit post relating to the update in which he mentioned the following;

More than just the research team is using the contract now — auditors, client devs, etc. — so we wanted to start issuing clearer versioning and changelogs to help everyone stay organized.

The change now enables to build momentum on the protocol change through software scripting in other coding languages and test out software by Ethereum software clients.

During the first week of May at a conference held in Toronto, creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin brought forward details about the Casper upgrade stating it is, “hopefully one of the more joyous experiences in ethereum in a fairly short time”.

What Ethereum Casper upgrade means for the users

The Casper FFG will change the Ethereum software meaning that updating the blockchain will involve a set of proof-of-work and proof-of-stake. Proof-of-mining will be similar to Bitcoin mining. However, proof-of-stake utilizes validators to update the ledger through a voting system where users (stakers) put in Ether deposits. They will lose these deposits in any attempts for cheating.

At the early stages, Casper will use proof-of-work protocol of Ethereum for heavy work and proof-of-stake for periodical “checkpoint” validations. Due to limited validating node handling, start-off minimum deposit will be at 1,500 Ether, which at the current exchange rate is equivalent to 1.1 million USD. The long-term plan is to reduce the minimum proof-of-stake value.

The initial stage of Casper upgrade requires auditing and more code needs to be written for Ethereum clients to proceed with the auditing in the network. These are the programs downloaded by users to run the Ethereum protocol. A hard fork is necessary for Casper due to backward in-compatibility with earlier versions of Ethereum.

Earlier on April, Ryan stated the following to the developers;

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.

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