Görli Testnet Set To Undergo Preliminary Testing
After several months of development, the Görli testnet on the Ethereum blockchain is ready for the pilot testing phase.
The Görli testnet operates on a proof-of-authority consensus algorithm. However, its standout features are its compatibility with several clients programmed in different languages. This functionality is included to make Görli available to as many developers as possible. Before the completion of the latest prototype, several versions had failed due to compatibility issues.
The Origin Of Görli
The Görli testnet was intercepted at the ETHBerlin hackathon earlier this year. Back then, Afri Scohedon form Parity teamed up with Chainsafe Systems to develop a revolutionary public testnet on the Ethereum blockchain. The main activity involved the porting of the proof-of-authority consensus mechanism to assist in the creation of Görli.
Eventually, Scohedon won the competition. It was then that he highlighted the absence of an Ethereum testnet that can handle cross-client transactions in a fast, secure and reliable manner. Scohedon also called for the improvement of scaling options on the Ethereum network.
According to Anthony Lusardi, a developer of Ethereum Classic, it is impossible to deploy a testnet across different Ethereum clients without experiencing difficulties. This makes it hard for developers to test their apps. Anthony’s ETC Cooperative supported the Görli testnet development team with a $125,000 grant.
The Görli testnet: Importance Of Testing
Before implementing a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain, it is recommendable to run a testnet version. This allows developers to identify and rectify weaknesses (if present) for free and without interrupting activities on the network.
There are several ways of developing a testnet, among which is using the proof-of-authority consensus protocol.
Proof-of-Authority is mostly similar to the Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm, with the notable exception being that the former requires the physical identification of users. As a result, proof-of-authority systems are likely to be centralized.
Typically, the strength of a blockchain’s security mechanism grows with an increase in the number of validators. Proof-of-authority testnets have few validators, meaning that their networks are comparatively easier to breach. This means that this consensus algorithm is ideal for private networks rather than public decentralized blockchains.
So far, proof-of-authority is functional across two Ethereum testnets, namely Rinkeby and Kovan. The two are not compatible with each other because their consensus mechanisms vary slightly. Kovan uses Aura proof-of-authority, whereas Rinkeby uses Clique proof-of-authority.
The Ethereum blockchain has two major clients, Geth and Parity. Rinkeby is exclusively compatible with Geth while Kovan is compatible with Parity. The Görli testnet intends to solve this challenge by providing a solution that operates smoothly on both Parity and Geth clients. This will spare developers of the hassles of creating a testnet for a specific client.
As of now, the development team behind the Görli testnet has not announced the release date. Nonetheless, Scohedon has indicated that the launch will be spontaneous. Initially, the Görli testnet will be available for the Clique client. Compatibility with parity is expected to come in the near future.