The much anticipated Ethereum 2.0 upgrade is drawing closer, with a preliminary date scheduled for the final public testnet on August 4th.
Phase 0 of ETH 2.0, the initial stage of proof-of-stake upgrade, has been operating on testnets in the past few months.
The initial testnet was Beacon Chain, which was rolled out in April of this year using smaller 3.2 ETH deposits. Following its success, full 32 ETH validator nodes went live in May on the Topaz testnet, and staking rewards were issued.
Then, the Onyx testnet started in June and operated about 20,000 validators before its conclusion. It was followed by Altona, a coordinated multi-client testnet for Phase 0 which became operational at the beginning of July to ensure stability before a public testnet could emerge.
And finally, the Ethereum 2.0 multi-client testnet (mainnet configuration including minimum validator numbers) is set to go live tomorrow according to ETH platform’s launch coordinator Danny Ryan.
ETH on the Cusp of Layer 2 Scaling Solutions
Ethereum has been pushed to its technical limits some recently from a surge in stablecoin issuance and the ongoing DeFi explosion that has sent transaction volumes through the roof while slowing the network down.
Consequently, Gas usage and network fees on the ETH blockchain have shot up to record levels leaving the platform open to ridicule from its critics.
Layer 2 scaling solutions introduced in tomorrow’s public testnet should alleviate these logjams and drive gas fees back down to justifiable levels.
After a shift from the current Proof-of-Work system which involves miners, ETH 2.0 will be secured by users putting up a minimum of 32 ETH stake to run a validating node.
Prysmatic Labs which has conducted most of the previous testing for ETH 2.0, was successfully audited a few weeks ago by blockchain security and auditing firm Quantstamp.
After the audit, Prysmatic labs announced via an official blog post that its developers are “so close” to launching a final multi-client public testnet.
Eth 2.0 is the Biggest Driver of Ethereum Prices
The biggest driver to ETH prices over the past few months has been the imminent ETH 2.0. The upgrade is projected to improve the original back end of the blockchain and help to make the protocol more secure and faster.
As the hype around ETH 2.0 continues to build, the Ether token made a rapid push towards $400 in the past week, even hitting a new two-year high. This impressive surge prompted Kelvin Koh, co-founder of venture capital firm Spartan Black, to note:
“Every phase of ETH 2.0 over the next 2-3 years brings Ethereum closer to its final state and will be catalysts for ETH.”