Ethereum 2.0 Final Testnet, Medalla, Rolls Out; Is A 2020 Launch Now In Sight?


The Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0 Medalla public testnet finally went live on August 4, 2020 at around 1AM GMT giving hope of a possible ETH 2.0 mainnet launch this year. News coming in to BEG desk, confirms all five named client implementations have successfully synced to the Medalla testnet including Prysmatic Labs’ Prysm, ChainSafe’s Lodestar, PegaSys’ Teku, Status’ Nimbus and Sigma Prime’s Lighthouse.

Over the past two years or so, Ethereum developers have launched testnets with an aim to improve the development towards ETH 2.0. The Medalla testnet, the fifth and final official testnet in the transitioning of Ethereum to a proof-of-stake (PoS) network, is the only public test net so far.

The launch follows previous releases of the Sapphire testnet, when developers tested the validators by depositing 3.2 ETH. The Topaz testnet, released by Prysmatic Labs, introduced the full 32 ETH validators fee and in June, the Ethereum community introduced the Onyx testnet to boost the number of validators to 20,000.

Finally, a coordinated multi-client testnet dubbed Altona went live in early July to ensure further stability before the Medalla testnet could be rolled out this month.

A slight bump in the road

According to the Beacon chain, ETH 2.0 staking explorer, the Medalla testnet launched at Epoch 0 with 20,084 validators on board with over 640,000 ETH staked on the platform. Despite the successful launch, the platform faced a challenge with only 57% of validators available, presenting an issue in block finality.

However, Ethereum Foundation’s, Hudson Jameson said on Twitter, the low count in validator participation offers a learning moment for the upcoming ETH 2.0 mainnet launch. He wrote,

“We are getting to experience firsthand how the network operates with a low number of validators and how it will improve as more validators come online! This is what testnets are for and I'm excited to see the situation develop as we get more folks online on the testnet. Get hype. Eth2 is coming :)”

The low participation levels is mainly caused by the people who staked the 32 ETH but are not online to validate the blocks. This issue is set to be settled out with these validators expected to be thrown out in order for the Medalla testnet to reach the optimal 80% validator participation threshold.

The Medalla testnet, a Spanish name for medal, is similar to the final testnet of ETH 1.0, labelled Olympic testnet, which gives a possibility that the ETH 2.0 mainnet launch could be completed later this year despite earlier predictions of a 2021 launch.

More developments on the story to follow.

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