The second eth2 phase 0 “dress rehearsal” testnet, called Zinken, went live yesterday and is currently humming along with a validator participation rate of over 80%. This will (hopefully) be the second last dress rehearsal testnet before we finally set an eth2 phase 0 mainnet launch date. I’m also expecting the deposit contract to go live any day now - this is the smart contract that handles the logic of sending your ETH from eth1 to eth2 and is obviously a critical piece of the eth2 rollout.
Other than some minor bugs requiring people to restart their validator clients and/or beacon nodes, the Zinken testnet was a smooth launch. This was a sigh of relief for both the researchers and implementers because unfortunately the first dress rehearsal testnet, Spadina, didn’t go as smoothly as they hoped. Though not all was lost with Spadina - it provided some much needed lessons for those involved with eth2 - if you want to learn about what went wrong with Spadina, you can check out their incident report here or Danny Ryan’s recap here.
Following Zinken’s launch, PryLabs released the first version of their eth2 staking interface which looks gorgeous. I believe interfaces like this are critical to the success of one of the core pillars of Ethereum 2.0’s design philosophies - that is, to ensure that as many people stake using their own hardware as possible. This not only requires a dead simple staking process, but also a straight-forward UI for people to monitor important stats such as gains/losses, network uptime, validator participation and more.
At this point it seems like the implementers and researchers have done as much as they can with the testnets as they can only provide so much insight. We need to get this thing onto a mainnet with real value at stake instead of testnet ETH - this will fix the participation issues that have plagued most of the other testnets (since there is real money at stake). Additionally, if there is a critical bug on the phase 0 mainnet, the community will most likely be in favor of a “rollback” to fix it since phase 0 isn’t securing smart contracts or user balances (beyond the ETH that is staking which can’t be moved).
So, I know I’ve said it a lot, but eth2 phase 0 is now very close! If I had to put money on it, I’d bet that the deposit contract goes live in the next few days and then we get a mainnet launch date announcement shortly after that - probably for late November (don’t quote me on this though). Then we can start looking forward to phase 1 and possibly phase 1.5 going live next year which would let Vitalik’s rollup-centric roadmap kick itself into high gear.
Have a great day everyone,
All information presented above is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice.