On Oct. 27, at epoch 74240, the Altair Beacon Chain upgrade is scheduled to activate on the Ethereum mainnet.
- According to the Ethereum blog, the upgrade represents a “low stakes, warm-up” to prepare Beacon Chain developers and client teams for the coming Merge, when Ethereum will transition from a proof-of-work to proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.
- It will provide the Beacon Chain with “light client support, minor patches to incentives, per-validator inactivity leak accounting, an increase in slashing severity, and cleanups to validator rewards accounting for simplified state management.”
- Anyone operating a Beacon node or validator is required to update their client version to the new standard or risk being stuck on an incompatible chain.
- Validators that do not update won’t be able to participate in the new consensus mechanism and will also face the risk of being slashed and paying penalties.
- Since the upgrade only affects the consensus mechanism on the Beacon Chain, it will not affect end-users of the current Ethereum proof-of-work blockchain.
- In order to encourage robust code review of the Altair upgrade, the bug bounty bonus has been doubled until Nov. 27.
- More information on how to update nodes and validators is available here.