Eth2 Testnets Aplenty - The Daily Gwei #5

Yesterday, Prysmatic Labs announced the launch of their next eth2 test network release called Onyx. This new testnet will run a full mainnet configuration using the latest phase 0 spec (v0.12.1) and is fully multi-client ready. This spec version is also the target for eth2 phase 0 mainnet (barring any significant bugs/errors). The genesis event for this testnet is set to happen very soon. If you want to participate, you can check out this video guide here. Do note that the guide was made for the previous testnet (Topaz) but it still applies to the Onyx testnet.

PryLabs’ previous testnet, Topaz, was a huge success with over 1.2m gETH (Goerli testnet ETH) staked, ~40k validators and over 700 peers! Lots of valuable data was collected and the team has been hard at work (like usual) pushing lots of updates and improvements to their client. They are also still gathering feedback on this form so be sure to fill it out if you’ve been involved with the Topaz testnet.

PryLabs aren’t the only team that have been hard at work on the eth2 testnet front. We’ve had 7 independent teams successfully develop and deploy clients across different spec versions. Friendly reminder that you can support all of these teams on Gitcoin (next matching round starts soon)!

We’re now at the point where the clients are able to talk to each other on the multi-client testnets (first Schlesi, now Witti) which is a huge deal because it means we can progress towards spin up a long-running “official” multi-client testnet, let it run for 2-3 months, then (pending any critical issues or bugs) launch mainnet eth2 phase 0! A lot more info on the progress and state of eth2 can be found in this blog post from Danny Ryan (lead eth2 coordinator) and a recent interview that he did with Kobe van Reppelen. You can also read this guide if you want to connect to the Witti multi-client testnet.

One thing that I’ve been noticing lately is more confusion around exactly what the launch of eth2 phase 0 will contain. Basically, phase 0 launches the so-called “Beacon Chain” which is the central hub chain of the eth2 network that the shards will eventually connect to. The Beacon Chain is being deployed as an entirely new blockchain and will basically just allow staking (no smart contracts or anything of that nature). Then, we launch phase 1 (the shards that connect to the beacon chain), then phase 1.5 (the merger of eth1 into eth2 as a shard), then phase 2 (state execution aka smart contracts). More info on most of this here (phase 1.5 section coming soon but more details here).

So, when eth2? Well, answering that question has notoriously been a very difficult one but the best primer I’ve read was this short piece that was recently put together by Ben Edgington (you should subscribe to that newsletter by the way). The gist of it is that we’re really close to finally getting the phase 0 mainnet live (yay staking!) but we need to do it properly and safely.

As Justin Drake says, those involved with eth2 made it hard on themselves which contributed to the many delays, but the pay off is going to be biblical.

Have a great day everyone!

All information presented above is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice.

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