Second Ethereum 2.0 launch rehearsal puts it on track for 2020 release
Ethereum successfully launched yet another dress-rehearsal testnet for the upcoming Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0, dubbed Zinken.
The launch occurred on Monday at 12 P.M. UTC and unlike previous attempts, was a smooth launch with enough participation and no major bugs.
The testnet was organized following the bittersweet launch of Spadina, the first rehearsal that aimed to test the launchpad for stakers.
As Cointelegraph reported at the time, the Spadina testnet suffered from low participation rates, which meant that a lot of validators who signed up for the testnet failed to bring their clients online. While initially it was believed that this was due to lack of economic incentives, further analysis showed that bugs in clients accounted for a significant portion of the problems.
Maintaining a high participation rate is crucial for the integrity of the network, as more than 66% of the stake must confirm blocks in order for the blockchain to be considered finalized, meaning that blocks can no longer be reversed.
Zinken became the first testnet that passed the finalization threshold within a few minutes of its existence, proving to be the most successful testnet launch so far. While it was still below the ideal of 90%, participation was above 75% since genesis.
Ethereum 2.0 developers were pleased with the launch, noting that “the Discord chat is silent” — a positive sign when compared to the earlier streams of bug reports and issues, they said.
This was the confirmation that the developers needed to go ahead with the mainnet launch. Vitalik Buterin, who was also present during the call, added that the team may still do a few more rehearsals, but they’d likely be reserved to developers.
Danny Ryan, the Ethereum Foundation’s lead coordinator for Ethereum 2.0, was optimistic that a 2020 launch may be forthcoming:
“That’s my impression [that a 2020 launch is on target]. This is an ongoing dialogue with client teams, and we need to take a second to look at this testnet. But it is my understanding that this will trigger the next series of things. There’s always blockers that might show up, [so] we need to do this responsibly.”
He noted that readiness is difficult to gauge and requires input from all participants, but there has been good progress made on this recently.
Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0 will feature the launch of a beacon chain, the first building block of the new blockchain. Life on Ethereum 1.0 will continue as before though, since the two blockchains will have nearly no interaction with each other beyond a one-way deposit contract. Until later stages come in, stakers will be unable to withdraw or transfer the Ether (ETH) they committed.
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