A public testnet for Ethereum 2.0’s proof of stake had been highly anticipated. Now the wait seems to be over as the first phase of the TestNet is now out live.
💎 Prysm Phase 0 Testnet is here! 💎https://t.co/scQHLcLhY0
— Prysmatic Labs (@prylabs) May 7, 2019
Unlike Ethereum 1.0 that has Geth and Parity, the new version has only one client, the Prysm network. The TestNet implements the v0.4 version of the official beacon chain specification which was developed by the Ethereum Research team although it is not possible to carry out the simulation.
Additionally, this test won’t support smart contract or the EVM. The features for these functions would be available in phase 2 of the Ethereum 2.0 development as it is not designed to accommodate a large number of validators. While the TestNet is not a multi-client network, the team are working toward ensuring that it achieves that feat in the future.
Ethereum 2.0 is a totally new blockchain network, hence it will not be upgraded as a hard fork on the present PoW chain, rather, funds and value will be transferred to it from the proof of work chain, through a “one-way deposit smart contract.” To become validators and participate in the proof of stake consensus to earn returns, interested users are required to deposit 3.2 ETH from the Goerli test network which is a cross-client proof-of-authority testing network for Ethereum.
The team says:
“The protocol favors liveness, that is, the chain can continue even if a large number of validators are offline, although being offline will cause deposits to eventually become penalized and for those affected individuals to lose capital.”
The testnet implements the v0.4 version of the official beacon chain specification created by the Ethereum Research team. It is publically accessible and not a simulation. They provide a cloud cluster of nodes that participate in consensus but anyone can participate in maintaining the network alive.
Additionally, Ethereum 2.0 comes with the Shard feature which is aimed at fixing the scalability bottlenecks of the network. Shards are simply individual chains whose primary duty is to manage smart contracts, transactions, and state. The Shards are controlled by one root chain, called the beacon chain. Beacon chain is fully implemented in this phase 0 of Ethereum 2.0.