The zero stage of Ethereum 2.0 which activates the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) algorithm is scheduled for launch on 3 January 2020.

Justin Drake, one of the Ethereum 2.0 developers, announced plans to launch the zero stage of the project on 3 January 2020. The date was not chosen by chance: it will be the 11th anniversary of the first mines block (Genesis Block) in the bitcoin network.

Ethereum 2.0 zero stage specifications are scheduled to be published in two weeks on 30 June 2019, Drake added.

Before launching the zero stage, ETH 2.0 developers will have to overcome two milestones. First, they have to create a special smart contract where transaction validators will be able to deposit their funds. The launch ceremony of the smart contract will take place during the Devcon conference, scheduled for 8-10 October in Japan. It is expected that at least 2 million ETH will be deposited.

The second important milestone is the launch itself and genesis block mining.

“That would be soon after Christmas and after the new year, so symbolizing a new beginning for Ethereum,” Trustnodes writes. By this time, the special deposit contract will have accumulated the validators' funds for three months already.

Currently, at least three Ethereum 2.0 test networks are launched, each of which uses its own client. It is assumed that the next step will be the creation of a cross client testnet supporting multiple clients. Its launch may take place in a few weeks.

After the zero stage, the network will move to the first, or intermediate, stage, and then go to the second stage, which implies full sharding. The second phase of Ethereum 2.0 is estimated to launch in about two years.

Currently, Eth devs are discussing the question of what will happen with the Ethereum 1.0 network. At first it was supposed that it would be organized into a separate shard, but Drake argues that such a decision will require considerable engineering and governance efforts. As an alternative scenario, Drake proposed to develop a tool that ensures compatibility of the two protocols.

“The native integration should be compared to significantly cheaper medium-term alternatives. For example, a two-way bridge between Eth1 and Eth2 can be built using light clients.”