Hello Ethstaker fam – this is the ‘big things upcoming in the ETHosphere’ timeline update. For those who may have seen this before, I have been posting this to the Ethfinance Reddit weekly for months now but as this is on the verge of exceeding the character limit for posts there, it needs a less ephemeral, more bookmark-able home. Big shout outs to the Ethstaker team for letting me post this here.
The format of this is that we update first on major developments during the week that have impacted the overall timeline, then re-state the timeline itself. Note, this isn’t intended to be a replacement or rival for many of the other very awesome newsletters that abound in the Ethereum space. This is purely timeline focussed, so won’t be catching many of the technical (or otherwise) releases that happen across defi, gaming, NFTs etc, unless they happen to be relevant to this timeline. Hopefully some of you out there find this useful laid out like this. I also welcome any corrections – it’s a lot to keep track of.
Lots to get into this week, starting with scaling updates:
- Optimism, fresh off having to roll back their ill-fated ‘we’re unilaterally bringing forward our launch date’ announcement due to not first consulting their launch partners about said announcement (yikes!), this week announced a mainnet launch delay to July (!!) 2021. You could feeeel the collective disappointment in the ETHosphere. Optimism have since returned to their ‘public testnet first’ approach, which should happen towards the end of April, followed by a July mainnet launch. We’ll have to wait until then for that sweet sweet 1000+ TPS. Inb4 disparaging optimism puns said merely-in-jest but not really :/
It’s not all bad, however, as Optimism are still running what they are describing as a closed mainnet whitelist. That is to say that if partners are genuinely ready to launch prior to July, then they can still go live. Optimism are signalling that approx. a dozen projects are pursuing this approach including SNX (already live!), vital tooling-type projects eg oracles, multisig, token bridges, and…
- Uniswap – hype levels increased this week this fun teaser trailer dropped followed shortly thereafter by the announcement the long-awaited plans for Uniswap v3. This is planned to launch 5th May. Note that v3 is initially without L2 scaling via Optimism, but as above, rollups implementation should be ‘following shortly’ in mid-May, possibly 12th May according to this source as Uni is one of the whitelisted projects. Uniswap has indicated that there is a significant challenge to create a front end experience that avoids confusion for users when presented with both L1 and L2 DEX options… godspeed UNI UX gurus!
- Worth mentioning that Synthetix, already live with Phase 0 of their transition to Optimism, confirmed this week that their roadmap towards full L2 remains unchanged, taskwise, but is taking slightly longer than expected.
- One wonders if all of this opens the door to Optimism’s competitors? It’s likely no coincidence that rival rollup solutions, Offchain Labs’ Arbitrum and Matter Labs’ zkSync have both dropped big roadmap updates in the past few days.
- Arbitrum launched their optimistic rollups v4 testnet (their mainnet release candidate) this week. No details yet on how long v4 will run for but I’m guessing mainnet in April until someone tells me otherwise.
- Similarly, zk rollups solution zkSync are offering trading of fungible tokens on L2 in April, followed by NFT minting and transfer in May, all on their current 1.x platform. In addition, their all-singing, all-dancing 20k+ TPS zkSync 2.0 platform is planned for public testnet in May, ahead of mainnet launch in August. Details here.
- Last week I rudely, incorrectly, predicted that long-awaited NFT scaling solution Immutable X would not launch this week. Very happy to have been proven wrong as it has kind of launched, I guess? It’s now possible to link your wallet to IMX on Gods Unchained. What are you waiting for? I’ll keep it on the timeline as the next stages roll out – Marketplace is next.
- And finally, the upcoming Eth1 and Eth2 upgrades – Berlin (April), Altair (June), and London (July) – are all still on track. Solid updates from Tim and Danny in addition to the Eth2 dev call this week. Big ticket item upcoming will be discussions on the scope of the Shanghai upgrade… to merge or not to merge? It’s worth pointing out that merge proof of concept transactions are already happening. For more detail on the upgrades, Ben Edgington has a great update in his latest ‘What’s New in Eth2’ newsletter.
Disclaimer: All dates are moderately informed guesses by me, and should definitely NOT be viewed as commitments from the respective teams.
Delivered or In Progress this week
18 March – Rocketpool final beta.IN PROGRESS and final audits almost complete. 24 March – Hermez Launch.IT HAPPENED! Tether now mintable on Ethereum L2. 24 March – Eth1 Berlin upgrade on Rinkby testnet. Final stage of testing prior to mainnnet launch on 14 April.All going to plan!
Q2 (Apr-Jun) 2021
- 14 April – Berlin – Eth1 upgrade. On track for release.
- Mid-April – RocketPool live launch. Decentralised staking for all!
- April – Next stage of Immutable X live launch – Marketplace opening. This is a big deal for NFTs.
- April – Optimism / DAI initial bridge. First stage towards eliminating 7 day optimistic rollups withdrawal lockup.
- April – Coinbase staking and stock listing.
- April – Arbitrum optimistic rollups mainnet (guess by me based on their v4 release candidate announcement)
- April – zkSync 1.x L2 trading of fungible tokens
- Late April – Optimism Public Testnet.
- 16 April – 14 May – Scaling Ethereum Hackathon @ ETHGlobal – Attempt at a merge testnet by the Eth1/2 client teams.
- 5 May – Uniswap v3
- Mid-May – Uniswap goes live with optimistic rollups. This tweet, acknowledged by Hayden, is suggesting 12 May
- May – zkSync 2.0 Public testnet
- May – zkSync 1.x NFT minting and transfers
- June – Altair – Eth2 beacon chain/clients upgrade, formerly known as HF1.
- 15 June – Go/no-go decision for Hawaii 2022
- Clearly defined specification for the merge. Spec PR now exists!
- Synthetix v3 / L2 synth swaps – Phase 1 of the SNX / Optimism transition
- Connext P2P Networking release
- StarkNet Planets release. Single-App zk rollups
Q3 (Jul-Sep) 2021
- July – London – Eth1 upgrade to include EIP-1559 and ice-age delay.
- July – Optimism Public Mainnet.
- August – zkSync 2.0 Mainnet release. 20,000+ TPS zk rollups.
- The Eth1/Eth2 merge production testing.
- Optimism fast withdrawals via MakerDAO.
- StarkNet Constellations release. Multi-app zk rollups
- Argent L2 scaling with ZK Rollups
Q4 (Oct-Dec) 2021
- Shanghai – Ethereum upgrade to potentially include the Eth1/Eth2 Merge
- StarkNet Universe release. Decentralised zk rollups.
Q1 (Jan-Mar) 2022
- Ethereum upgrade to include validator withdrawals / post-merge cleanup. Scope fully TBC at this stage.
- Eth2 Sharding
- Eth2 Light Clients
- 21-30 June – Hawaii 2022. Get hype.