Blockdaemon Adds Support for Ethereum (ETH) Open-Source Client Software

Blockdaemon is pleased to confirm that they have added support for Ethereum’s (ETH) open-source client software “in preparation for the ’the merge’.”

As part of their ongoing commitment, they’re offering $900,000 worth of IBM Cloud credits to fund Ethereum client stability testing. This will directly “aid the Ethereum Foundation’s efforts, as they continue to strengthen robust client software in the run-up to Ethereum’s full transition to proof-of-stake.”

As mentioned in the update, Blockdaemon has shared its commitment to Ethereum’s open-source initiatives, and “the benefits this funding will bring.”

Ethereum’s Post Merge Architecture

In order to better understand the importance of open-source clients, we must “first explore Ethereum’s new architecture.”

At present, Ethereum’s Execution Chain (proof-of-work) and Beacon Chain (proof-of-stake) are “the world’s leading smart contract and staking networks.”

Around summer 2022, ‘the merge’ will “fuse both of these chains into a single, fully unified Ethereum network with two layers.”

The merge moves consensus activities “from the Execution Layer clients to Consensus Layer clients.” The update further noted that this change “switches the network from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, cutting >99.9% of the energy consumption.”

By maintaining existing “battle-tested” Execution Layer clients, “no dapps, smart contracts, infrastructure, or tooling needs to be re-written.”

As explained in a blog post, a client is software that “runs the blockchain, checking transactions and the creation of new blocks.” Nodes are the servers “in a network that run this client software.”

Currently, the community “runs many open-source Ethereum clients for both the Execution Layer and the Consensus Layer.” The update further noted that these span multiple programming languages and “provide subtly different features, influencing how they are used and who uses them.” For instance, some “are enterprise-focused, while others are more concerned with low resource use.”

As noted in the blog post, client diversity is “a blessing for Ethereum’s ecosystem. It removes the risk of a single point of failure, by not solely relying on one client as many other blockchains do.”

As Ethereum is moving to a two-layer architecture, “two new pieces of client software are now needed to run the network successfully.” Both clients perform different, “yet equally important, functions.”

With billions of dollars worth of value on the line, “tested and robust clients on both layers are essential to Ethereum’s success.” After ‘the merge’, both types “need to work seamlessly in various combinations,” the update explained.

Blockdaemon further revealed that they run thousands of Ethereum nodes.

The company also shared:

“We rely on open source client software to successfully run these nodes. However, we are not alone in this domain. Other infrastructure providers also rely on a robust and diverse client software ecosystem. By contributing to open source clients, everyone running an Ethereum node is better able to serve the network.”

They added:

The Ethereum Foundation is working to develop post-merge Ethereum client software. This is a collaborative effort, in combination with the various organizations who maintain these clients. The Ethereum Client Incentive Program should ensure continuous client diversity for many years to come.”

They further noted:

“The Foundation has also launched several highly-successful test networks, the proving grounds for new client software. These test networks are invaluable ways of gathering client software feedback. In turn, this feedback fuels improvements to client software and specifications. Such improvements are the essential building blocks of the final path towards launch.”

To date, there have been “six devnets,” the update noted while adding that the main purpose of these devnets has been “to test the merge transition in a semi-public manner.” The result is that software “becomes more stable over time.”

The Kintsugi public merge testnet was “launched in December 2021,” the update confirmed while adding that this “allowed the community to experiment with post-merge Ethereum in a safe environment.”

On March 15, 2022 the Ethereum Foundation “successfully launched the Kiln public merge testnet.’

As noted in the update:

“Kiln tested the merge itself. It started with a separate proof-of-work and proof-of-stake chain, and had them transition to pure proof-of-stake. In this environment, both Execution and Consensus clients work in parallel. Following the valuable contributions from testers on Kiln, the Ethereum Foundation will help coordinate the update to existing public testnets.”

All of these developments are “essential to the delivery of open source client software.”

Blockdaemon: “Championing” Open Source

As noted in the update, Blockdaemon pointed out an interesting project to watch is currenly being led by Obol Labs. Obol is “a trust minimized staking protocol for public blockchain networks, such as Ethereum, based on Distributed Validator Technology (DVT).”

The update further revealed:

“We’re also a founding member of the Flashbots Eth2 Working Group. Collaboration with Flashbots is important for Blockdaemon, together we are working towards a democratized, rather than proprietary, MEV (Maximum Extractable Value) extraction Ethereum solution.”

The team added:

“As the world’s largest blockchain infrastructure provider, we rely on open source to deliver the exceptional service our clients expect. We are proud to play our part, and foster the thriving open-source culture on Ethereum.”

They concluded:

With this $900k in IBM Cloud credits, we hope to further drive the success of open-source client software in particular, as we stride, together, towards Ethereum’s future as the prime proof-of-stake blockchain.”

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