The Ethereum Altair update was released on the Ethereum 2.0 mainnet on October 27, 2021. In our new summary, we explain why it was so anticipated and what it means.

Important Points to Remember

  • The Ethereum Altair upgrade is the Ethereum beacon chain’s first scheduled upgrade (Ethereum 2.0). It was released at 10:56:23 UTC on October 27, 2021, and it brought several improvements to consensus, incentives, and punishment.
  • End-users of the Ethereum beacon chain will not be affected by the hard fork, which will require action from node operators and validators.
  • This upgrade is expected to act as a stepping stone towards the merging of the traditional Ethereum chain with Ethereum 2.0, as well as the transition to Proof-of-Stake.

What is Ethereum Altair Upgrade, and how does it work?

The Proof-of-Work Ethereum chain has seen eleven upgrades to far, the most recent being the London hard fork. Until recently, however, this was not the case with the Proof-of-Stake Ethereum chain.

The first scheduled upgrade to Ethereum’s beacon chain is Altair (commonly known as Ethereum 2.0). It was done as a hard fork, which means that once it’s up and running, there will be a new chain with new rules and an old chain that will die out.

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When is the Ethereum Altair Upgrade Scheduled to Take Place?

The Ethereum Altair update will take effect in epoch 74240, according to the official blog article. In layman’s words, this block became live on October 27, 2021, at 10:56:23 UTC.

When will Ethereum 2.0 be released, and when will it combine with the main network? While this proposed update to the beacon chain will help to speed up the merging process, the delivery dates are yet unknown. According to optimistic estimations, the launch will take place in 2022.

What Will Be Different?

The Ethereum 2.0 chain will be upgraded with various new features and regulations thanks to the Ethereum Altair update.

Participants in core consensus will be allowed to use light clients (abridged versions of the blockchain).
Bugs were fixed, and incentive accounting (rewards calculation) was tidied up.

Slashing parameters that are more stringent (for stakers that do not participate and validate properly). This is important for network security because it encourages all nodes to function properly.

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The list of modifications indicates that they will only affect validators and node operators.

What should an ETH holder do to upgrade to Altair? Users and holders of Ethereum do not need to take any action. To continue operating in the live version of Ethereum 2.0, node operators and validators must update until the deadline.

What will happen to ETH staking following the Altair upgrade?

The hard fork does not fundamentally alter staking, therefore aside from modest adjustments to reward and penalty computations, Ethereum staking remains unchanged for the time being. Validators will have to wait until the merging because Altair does not currently allow withdrawals of ETH stakes.


The Ethereum Altair update has already been branded a “low stakes warm-up” for the Ethereum 2.0 merger by community members. Because the current version of the beacon chain depicts how Ethereum will function in the future, having at least one dress rehearsal is essential.