We are happy to share a report resulting from a grant made last year by the foundation to Sigma Prime for scientific research and development related to Ethereum 2 (Eth2). The report outlines challenges encountered and solutions found while implementing the Lighthouse Eth2 client. To illustrate the work, we list here a few items described in the report:

  • A validator shuffling optimization which resulted in a 200x speedup (see page 5),
  • An epoch processing optimization (page 6)
  • The Lighthouse slasher (page 6)
  • The Rust implementation of Gossipsub including an online scoring system (pages 7,8)
  • Lighthouse client fuzzing (pages 8,9)
  • Weak Subjectivity Sync (page 8)

The report has a wonderful set of links to further material that we encourage you to investigate for further info on these topics. The end of the report highlights the “The Merge” in which Ethereum (and Lighthouse) will transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake:

In the coming year, we hope to be bringing The Merge into its final stages and hopefully production. The specification for The Merge is available here (inspired by this research post and still going through significant changes). The Merge is a very broad initiative involving the entire community, so it’s difficult for us to define a timeline, but we’re optimistic for a merge in late 2021.

Additional info can be found in the Lighthouse book, by following the Sigma Prime blog, and by reading the report. We are grateful to Sigma Prime for their scientific research, their excellent work on the Lighthouse client, and for this research report.