Maximum Genesis - The Daily Gwei #120

Should there be a maximum genesis date/time for eth2 phase 0?


So as most of you are aware, eth2 phase 0 is slated to launch on December 1st at 12PM UTC if the deposit contract receives the minimum ETH required (524,288) by November 24th at 12PM UTC (7 days before). I wrote in-depth about this in a previous post here so I won’t rehash it today but what I did want to talk about was a new proposal from Eric Conner that suggests that there should be a maximum genesis date/time regardless of if the minimum ETH deposit is reached or not.

Initially, I was not in favor of this idea for a few different reasons but the main one is that setting a launch date of December 15th would be too close to the holiday period (or already inside of it for some people) which would mean we’d be launching the Beacon Chain at a less-than-ideal time. Though, once I thought about it some more, I figured that in theory the minimum deposit amount could actually be reached on December 18th which would then mean genesis happens on Christmas day!

There were arguments for and against in the proposal itself with the arguments against being most favored by those closer to the metal (researchers and developers). To summarize, the arguments against were that there is no real reason to rush the launch and it would require the phase 0 spec to be changed which would require client teams to update their software which in turn would pose security risks. One interesting argument that was adjacent to the maximum genesis time discussion was that the minimum ETH required amount was set back when ETH was at a much lower price so it doesn’t make sense for it to be as high as it is. I actually agree with this - I’m pretty sure this minimum was decided upon when ETH was in the $100’s and now ETH is ~4x that price - so does it make sense to reduce the minimum ETH required from 524,288 to something like 200,000? Maybe!

Another point brought up was that there are many prediction markets currently live with outcomes based on when eth2 phase 0 will launch (such as if it will launch in 2020) and this could be tainting people’s judgement and introducing perverse incentives. I don’t think anyone that commented on the proposal harbors these perverse incentives but it’s definitely something interesting to think about as it’s not isolated to just what happens in eth2 land.

At this point, I don’t think a maximum genesis date is going to be set but what I do believe will happen is that if the minimum is not reached for a certain period of time (say, a month after expected genesis date), then the minimum will simply be lowered to whatever amount of ETH has been sent to the deposit contract. Though, I remain hopeful that we’ll reach the original minimum ETH required to kick-start this thing!

Have a great day everyone,
Anthony Sassano


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All information presented above is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice.


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