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I hear alot about the terms:

  1. Casper
  2. Serenity
  3. Constantinople
  4. Ethereum 2.0

At some point I thought that all are the same, the next release of Ethereum, but apparently there’s an upcoming fixes patches before the proof of stake release.

Can someone please explain what does each term stands for?

And which if them may lead to hard-forking the system?

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Casper is the proof-of-stake protocol. There are two being developed, one by Vitalik Buterin and another by Vlad Zamfir. Vitalik's is known as Casper FFG. Vlad's is known Casper CBC. They are NOT complementary AFAIK, but rather being developed in friendly competition based on differing philosophies. I suppose one of them will be selected or perhaps ideas from both will be merged.

Serenity and Constantinople are Ethereum development phases. https://hackernoon.com/the-beginners-guide-to-ethereum-s-2020-roadmap-2ac5d2dd4881

Constantinople is apparently to be released soon.

There is no longer an Ethereum 2.0 if Vitalik can help it. What we call Ethereum 2.0 is simply the Serenity release and that's what he'd like it to be called though I'm sure Eth 2.0 will stick.

Both Constantinople and Serenity will result in hard forks.

  • AFAIK Serenity doesn't need to be a hardfork, and no one has said that it would be. The Serenity network will be run by separate clients than the existing clients, and the existing client will continue as is. – flygoing Nov 9 '18 at 13:34

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