Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has just taken to Twitter to share a "working block explorer" for the beacon chain. This is a separate proof-of-stake chain that will run parallel to the network's existing proof-of-work chain.
Understanding the beacon chain
The beacon chain is supposed to be the cornerstone of the initial phase (Phase 0) of the much-anticipated Ethereum 2.0 (Serenity) upgrade. Its main purpose will be to store a set of validators who are responsible for maintaining the network.
In order to become a validator and get assigned to a specific shard, one must make a deposit of 32 ETH (about $4,700 at press time) into his or her smart contract.
The members of the Ethereum community are financially incentivized to become validators -- they can earn anywhere from 4.6 percent to 10.3 percent in annual interest.
Phase 0 will also include crosslinks that are necessary for securing shard chains that will later appear in Phase 1.
A step closer to Ethereum 2.0
Meanwhile, it's almost time for the release of the Istanbul hard fork that is supposed to act as a bridge between the PoW chain and the beacon chain.
The eight upgrade of the Ethereum network is expected to take place on Friday, Dec. 6. This is the last hard fork of Ethereum 1.0.
As reported by U.Today, the Constantinople upgrade was released back in February after being delayed due to a critical vulnerability.