The Altair update to the Beacon Chain brings Ethereum 2.0 one step closer
3 min readMay 6, 2022


On August 5, 2021, the Ethereum network received a significant London update. One of the highlights of which was a change in the transaction cost mechanism. As of October 27, the creators of the second-largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin released another update named Altair. Altair, the first upgrade to the Beacon Chain network, was released in December 2020. This article will tell you about Altair and how it boosted the Ethereum network.

First of all, the Ethereum 2.0 Altair Beacon Chain upgrade is live and updated, according to the announcement of Preston Wanlong, one of the Ethereum 2.0 developers. Altair, the first significant network update to Beacon Chain, went live in epoch 74240, or October 27. Therefore, the Ethereum network has moved one step closer to Proof-of-Stake with this major change. Altair is a validation that Ethereum’s PoS transition is proceeding as planned. The upgrade also motivated further projects to switch from Ethereum to Beacon Chain (difficulty bomb).

The “Difficulty bomb” feature in Ethereum encourages the development timetable for switching to the PoS consensus. The difficulty bomb is an ancient piece of code that, over time, makes Ethereum mining slower and less economical by exponentially increasing the time between the generation of each block. The bomb was planted in 2015 to motivate developers to use Ethereum 2.0. A block on Ethereum currently takes an average of thirteen seconds to mine. If the difficulty bomb is detonated, the time between blocks will be longer than twenty seconds.

In its turn, Altair is a Beacon Chain update that includes light customer support, small incentive changes, inactivity leak accounting for each validator, enhanced rigor, and cleanliness for validator awards, all with a focus on easier state management. Before the upgrade, the Beacon Chain could only operate nodes with the complete network version. As a result, developers faced technological constraints. Thus, they have decreased the bar for using the network by supporting light nodes.

Moreover, the Altair hard fork also corrects a minor imbalance in reward distribution. The vast majority of validator money is made out of prizes for correctly verifying blocks. By offering the following block, you get only 3% of the overall incentives. Following the update, the incentive for providing a block will be a 12.5 % validator payout. Revenue from different validator duties will be more equitably divided.

In conclusion, the project’s move to the second edition of its protocol (Ethereum 2.0) means a total abandonment of mining in favor of stacking as a leaner and quicker transaction processing option. In its turn, the Altair patch is a final step before this.

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