Ethereum 2.0’s Nodes Need to Talk – A Solution Is ‘Hobbits’

Ethereum 2.0’s Nodes Need to Talk – A Solution Is ‘Hobbits’ 1

Developers working to create the next iteration of the ethereum blockchain have developed code intended to help client developers boost their testing efforts ahead of the upgrade.

Ethereum 2.0 is by far the biggest upgrade on the agenda of developers said to bring massive improvements to scalability and usability on the now four-year-old blockchain network, which with its $17 billion market capitalization is the world’s second-most valuable blockchain. The work on the 2.0 iteration (also known as Serenity) continues apace, and according to Fredik Harryson, chief technology officer for client developer Parity, code specifications for the initial phased roll-out of the upgrade are about half complete.

As such, while many aspects of the upgrade are still under research and presently being finalized, on April 23 new code was unveiled that, if approved and ultimately implemented, will facilitate the basic communication between nodes that run the ethereum 2.0 software.

The protocol, called Hobbits, was developed in partnership between blockchain performance testing company Whiteblock, ethereum venture capital studio Consensys, and ethereum 2.0 implementer teams Chainsafe and Yeeth.

In a blog post introducing the tech, Trenton Van Epps wrote:

“As Ethereum 2.0 clients get closer to live testnets, they’re going to need a way to pass information back and forth between each client. This occurs over a set of links called the wire protocol.”

The wire protocol gets at the heart of how these distributed networks work, because nodes pass critical information between one another — namely transaction histories — that compose the blockchain itself.

Speaking to CoinDesk back in February, ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin explained that a wire protocol essentially determines “the rules for what messages get sent across the network.”

“For example, if two nodes talk to each other and one node wants to sync to the blockchain or publish a block, then how do you say I want to hear about a block? How do you say I want to hear about transactions? ” Buterin told CoinDesk.

Ethereum 2.0 will be actually be leveraging a wire protocol called “libp2p” developed and maintained by San Francisco-based startup Protocol Labs, the firm behind projects like Filecoin and IPFS. However, until that implementation is fleshed out for all ethereum 2.0 clients, Hobbits is envisioned as a means to establish cross-communication between those clients who don’t have libp2p ready.

Jonny Rhea, a protocol engineer at Consensys  who contributed to building Hobbits, explained to CoinDesk:

“We don’t have libp2p yet so we needed to find a minimum wire protocol, sort of like a test wire protocol, just until we can put all the pieces together.”

Libp2p

Every blockchain, Buterin pointed out at the time, has a wire protocol or “mini-language” to define how messages get transmitted and received across the network. For bitcoin and ethereum presently, the wire protocol uses what are called gossip networks.

As Buterin told CoinDesk:

“For bitcoin and [ethereum 1.0], they’re both what we call gossip networks. Anything that’s broadcasted eventually reaches everyone but for [ethereum 2.0] we can’t do that because there’s more total messages than any single node can download.”

As such, the new ethereum 2.0 wire protocol – libp2p – will have two major benefits. It will first leverage a new protocol design called “gossipsub” to prevent the network from being flooded and congested every time a node wants to send a message.

“If I have a new block and I’m connected to six of my peers, I’ll randomly send that block to two or three of my peers,” Rhea said. “I propagate that message. Then those nodes have peers, they don’t send it back to me, but they probabilistically pick two more peer to send the message to.”

More generally, the second benefit of using a libp2p wire protocol Rhea adds is modularity.

“The nice thing about libp2p is that it is modular,” Rhea said. “Let’s say you don’t like … how one node finds another node on the Internet. That can be replaced. It can be swapped out.”

At present, according to Van Epps, there are only two implementations of libp2p for ethereum clients written in programming languages Go and Rust.

However, Van Epps notes that “the long path to a ETH 2.0 launch hinges on having proper implementations of libp2p for each client language.”

As such, until these other implementations in programming languages such as Java, Javascript,  and Swift reach completion, Hobbits will serve as a “minimal transport spec that supports basic messaging types and allows nodes to communicate with one another.”

Rhea told CoinDesk:

“There’s a lot of [research and development] stuff that we want to be able to test. We developed this basic wire protocol so that our team, Chainsafe and any other team that doesn’t have a libp2p implementation in the [programming] language their developing in can all make a [test network] and basically still be able to communicate.”

Wires image via Shutterstock

About the author

E-Crypto News was developed to assist all cryptocurrency investors in developing profitable cryptocurrency portfolios through the provision of timely and much-needed information. Investments in cryptocurrency require a level of detail, sensitivity, and accuracy that isn’t required in any other market and as such, we’ve developed our databases to help fill in information gaps.

Related Posts

E-Crypto News Executive Interviews



bitcoin
Bitcoin (BTC) $ 60,188.00
ethereum
Ethereum (ETH) $ 4,032.23
binance-coin
Binance Coin (BNB) $ 474.33
tether
Tether (USDT) $ 1.00
cardano
Cardano (ADA) $ 2.12
solana
Solana (SOL) $ 188.62
xrp
XRP (XRP) $ 1.08
polkadot
Polkadot (DOT) $ 42.33
dogecoin
Dogecoin (DOGE) $ 0.255608
usd-coin
USD Coin (USDC) $ 0.998411
USD
EUR
GBP
bitcoinBitcoin (BTC)
$ 60,188.00
ethereumEthereum (ETH)
$ 4,032.23
tetherTether (USDT)
$ 1.00
bitcoin-cashBitcoin Cash (BCH)
$ 619.10
litecoinLitecoin (LTC)
$ 191.70
bitcoinBitcoin (BTC)
51.687,95
ethereumEthereum (ETH)
3.462,78
tetherTether (USDT)
0,858775
bitcoin-cashBitcoin Cash (BCH)
531,67
litecoinLitecoin (LTC)
164,63
bitcoinBitcoin (BTC)
43,676.93
ethereumEthereum (ETH)
2,926.09
tetherTether (USDT)
0.725675
bitcoin-cashBitcoin Cash (BCH)
449.27
litecoinLitecoin (LTC)
139.11

Automated trading with HaasBot Crypto Trading Bots

Crypto Scams

Behind The Scenes: How this Crypto Community Responded to + $50m Hack
October 18, 2021
Crypto Scams
Crypto Scams Still Persistent In 2021, SEC Warns About Red Flags To Watch
September 9, 2021
Poly Network
Here’s How Hackers Stole Over $600 million in the Poly Network Attack
August 12, 2021
The World’s Most Infamous Crypto Hacks and Scams
July 31, 2021
Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Cryptocurrency Exchanges and the Plague of Scams and Bans
June 29, 2021

Blockchain/Cryptocurrency Questions and Answers

ICo Presale
The Science Behind ICO Presales…
October 14, 2021
Beginner’s Guide to Investing in Cryptocurrency
August 9, 2021
Short-Sell Cryptocurrency
How to Short-Sell Cryptocurrency: A Brief Overview
July 17, 2021
Klaytn
What Is Klaytn (KLAY) And How Does It Work?
July 16, 2021
Cryptocurrencies
Our Crypto Roundup Interview Asks- Do Cryptocurrencies Have a Future?
July 15, 2021


CryptoCurrencyUSDChange 1hChange 24hChange 7d
Bitcoin60,625 0.52 % 2.09 % 0.88 %
Ethereum4,048.6 0.43 % 0.21 % 5.04 %
Binance Coin475.97 0.34 % 1.60 % 1.74 %
Tether0.9986 0.03 % 0.08 % 0.23 %
Cardano2.130 0.60 % 1.51 % 2.50 %
Solana190.25 0.42 % 5.93 % 20.20 %
XRP1.080 0.48 % 1.14 % 4.88 %
Polkadot30.87 2.19 % 17.29 % 10.73 %
Dogecoin0.2584 2.98 % 4.75 % 8.33 %
USD Coin1.000 0.14 % 0.20 % 0.17 %

bitcoin
Bitcoin (BTC) $ 60,188.00
ethereum
Ethereum (ETH) $ 4,032.23
binance-coin
Binance Coin (BNB) $ 474.33
tether
Tether (USDT) $ 1.00
cardano
Cardano (ADA) $ 2.12
solana
Solana (SOL) $ 188.62
xrp
XRP (XRP) $ 1.08
polkadot
Polkadot (DOT) $ 42.33
dogecoin
Dogecoin (DOGE) $ 0.255608
usd-coin
USD Coin (USDC) $ 0.998411