The Ethereum Foundation has decided to retire the terms “ETH 1.0” and “ETH 2.0” in favor of their latest rebranding as Ethereum’s “execution layer” and “consensus layer” respectively.
Retiring ETH 1.0 And ETH 2.0
The company made the announcement via a blog post that the terms “ETH 1.0” and “ETH 2.0” had been internally retired since the end of 2021. Instead, the announcement stated that the terms “execution layer” and “consensus layer” were being used to refer to these two distinct phases of the Ethereum journey. In short, the rebranding was done to provide more clarity to each phase and avoid confusion over terminology that malicious agents can exploit.
Since the “ETH 2.0” roadmap would take several years to be fully accomplished, many other proof-of-work research initiatives were revived. Instead of waiting on a complex, uncertain scaling solution years away, the company has decided to focus on scaling via rollups instead of sharded execution.
Reasons Behind The Rebrand
The announcement addressed the reason behind moving away from the “ETH 2.0” branding, primarily to avoid creating a broken mental model for new Ethereum users. The intuitive idea that ETH 1.0 comes before ETH 2.0 or ETH 1.0 stops existing once ETH 2.0 is in motion is inherently wrong. Plus the evolving roadmap for Ethereum calls for a more accurate and inclusive representation through branding and word choice. Additionally, the rebranding is also to prevent scammers who try to exploit the “ETH 2.0” misnomer by telling users to swap their ETH for ETH 2 tokens and similar schemes. Finally, staking operators who have misrepresented the ETH staked on the Beacon Chain with the ETH2 ticker will gain more clarity from the scrapping of these terminologies.
Merge Will Create Collective “Ethereum” Blockchain
The former “ETH 1.0” will be rebranded as the execution layer and will refer to the Proof-of-Work blockchain that exists as Ethereum. The upcoming Proof-of-Stake Beacon Chain will overtake the consensus process once the two blockchains are merged and will be referred to as the consensus layer and not “ETH 2.0” anymore. This “merge” will be critical in uniting the current PoW chain with the PoS chain and is scheduled tentatively in June 2022. Once the merge is successful, the entire collective blockchain will be known as “Ethereum.”
By moving to a PoS consensus system, validators will be able to stake their funds on the network to validate new transactions, thus ensuring greater scalability and lower transaction costs.