June 24, 2021

Ethereum 2.0’s First Block Written On A Strange Message

3 min read
ETHEREUM 2.0 Beacon Chain

Today the new Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain is launched. The world’s second-biggest blockchain by market cap is starting to scale upgrade its first phase.

The planned launch went well, but there was one surprising element. In the first block, a message is written that nobody at first understood.

The first block came from Validator 19026, with a graffiti message, “Mr. F was here.” After twelve seconds the next block graffiti indicating the validator might be located in Zug, Switzerland. Every 12 seconds the Eth2 Beacon Chain grew steadily. Next, it came to a hurdle: would there be enough validators online to finalize the first Epoch? Yes! 82.27% of the validators attested the validity of the Epoch 0, the proverbial ground floor of the Beacon Chain. The first Epoch became immutably finalized. Eth2 is here.

Beacon Chain

The excitement on this first major step in launching the Eth2 Beacon Chain can be lost on those not fully steeped in the technical lexicon of Eth2  — slots, epochs, finality? While its terms in fully new to Ethereum 2.0, the concepts are not new to those who know a little about blockchains. Across the globe, there are over 21,063 validators that are online and agree that the first new blocks are new and valid. This new chain is called Ethereum 2.0’s Beacon Chain, which coordinates the network, and introduces Proof of Stake into Ethereum.

Consider the syntax message, it was written in the “graffiti” section of the block, where validators will be able to make their own messages. Similar to Bitcoin blocks where miners can leave messages.

But what does the message mean? Who is Mr. F?

Some thought that the reference is a hit TV show Arrested Development, since it was the name of the third’s season 5th episode. In that show, nobody knows Mr. F, until it was revealed an inappropriate acronym.

Mr. F’s origin is quite different. According to a screenshot of Discord conversation, an entity named Mr. Fahrenheit was an honor in creating the first Etherium 2.0 block. Trustnodes reported before the launch, he wrote “does this mean I’m in block 0 or 1?”

The name Mr. Fahrenheit is derived as Queen reference – a decentralized app (dapp) developer who was an expert in the Ethereum ecosystem before researching into Tron blockchain. It was January 2019, he was responsible for running the “Tron Shrimp team,” and created a dapp called the Tron Shrimp Farm. It was popular at first, rising 31,671 users in a day but it was not active today.

Trustnodes quote. Mr. Fahrenheit asked what he should write in the first Ethereum 2.0 block. “What if I denounce bitcoin and compare it to the typewriter,” he suggested. After the Beacon Chain launched, he made a decision and it was up to the Ethereum Foundation’s official Hudson Jameson to clear up the mystery.

Then Hudson Jameson asked Mr. Fahrenheit on Discord about the block graffiti was a reference to Arrested Development.

“Nope,” he replied, “[it’s] just short for Mr. Fahrenheit as in the Queen song, or if you are looking at my [Vitalik Buterin] autograph it’s short for “Mr. Farenheit” instead.” End of quote.

And with that mystery solved!