After a very long time, the Ethereum 2.0 beacon chain has finally went live and the genesis block (first block) has been produced. This event took place today, December 1st 2020 at 12:00UTC.
— Ethereum (@ethereum) December 1, 2020
ETH1 vs ETH2
The first version of Ethereum runs on the same consensus algorithm as Bitcoin: Proof-of-Work (PoW). This route has been beneficial from a security standpoint but also had is limitations, mainly scalability which is crucial for applications built on top of Ethereum.
Since 2015, a difficulty bomb concept was introduced to force the transition from PoW to PoS (Proof-of-Stake), which is a more scalable. The difficulty bomb would increase the time it would take to mine a block to the point where the network would come to a halt, forcing the transition.
Now after 5 years, Phase 0 has finally been launched, Phase 1 will include the introduction of shards and Phase 2 is the final execution.
For more details about Ethereum 2.0 click here
ETH2 on Exchanges
When Phase 2 is completed, ETH from the ETH1 chain and ETH2 will migrate at 1:1 ratio. Until then however, all ETH staked into the deposit contract are not withdraw-able until Phase 2 is completed, which may take years. While depositing into the ETH2 contract earns ~20% yearly staking rewards, the risk is not appealing to all cryptocurrency users.
Coinbase has already proposed a solution which they plan to take live in early 2021. Right now, like all exchanges, Coinbase offers one type of ETH only, the original one. Soon they will offer ETH2 which will be tradable on their exchange and will offer users staking rewards. It is very likely that the two don’t trade at the same price.