Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin released the plan for HF1, the first hard fork of the Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain, on Monday.
The first hard fork of the new chain will allow developers to make some key updates to Beacon Chain launched in recent months that will serve as a useful test for future bigger changes.
The biggest change will be made in thin client support, which has minimum resource requirements and can run on mobile devices. In this way, “trusted wallets” can be created that can verify the blockchain on their own instead of relying on external service providers.
Other improvements include fixes to fork selection rules, which developers found the protocol to be vulnerable to reorganization attacks. While these subtle problems require the right time, they allow malicious actors to abuse the network by checking some of the validators. Buterin said these vulnerabilities were discovered before the chain was launched, but it was too late to fix.
It also aims to revise the way hard fork, slashing and stagnation leak mechanisms work. Staking in ETH 2.0 can currently lose some of their capital due to stagnation or by trying to support the minority fork. This situation is punished by slashing (removing the validator’s shares).
Stagnation leak is seen as a deterrent for staking as it also penalizes bad internet connection or outages. The developers are working to improve the situation for stakers whose internet connection is unstable.
Stagnation leaks will end in time and allow offline nodes to depreciate until the network reaches the required level of security.
The exact time the hard fork will be performed is not yet known.