This Testnet is labelled as official as it is deployed by the Ethereum Foundation (EF), butis still run by a decentralized group of programmers, developers and code auditors organized by fork coordinator Afri Schoedon.
But, Medalla joins multiple prior tests of Eth 2.0’s code bank on various client implementations, including Görli, Witti, Schlesi and most recently Altona.
“The Schlesi testnet was one of many steps in that direction. The Witti testnet was another. The Altona testnet is yet another. The Medalla testnet aims to be the final one prior to mainnet launch,” Schoedon said in the testnet GitHub a few weeks ago.
Clients and Attacknets
Clients by Prysmatic Labs (Prysm), PegaSys (Teku), Status (Nimbus) and Sigma Prime (Lighthouse) will again join this testnet with Chainsafe’s Loadstar also coming in and having the ability to join Medalla, the GitHub reads.
Each testnet, furthermore, has chosen to focus on different parts of Eth 2.0’s launching sequence, given the enormous technical challenges associated with moving a running blockchain network onto an entirely different consensus algorithm.
In the case of Medalla, the testnet will focus on improving the experience for moving ether (ETH) over to the new network in what is called “staking.” As Schoedon explained:
“Medalla means “medal” and can be seen as a reference to the Olympic testnet that was used to prepare the ETH1 launch. It emphasizes the importance of the network at this stage towards the ETH2 launch. It can also be seen as a hint that Medalla validators will receive a proof of attendance “medal” on the Ethereum network for participation,” it was explained.
There will also be stress testing of the network as the declopers have released guidelines for “attacknets” complete with $5,000 bounties. The attacknets will help finalize each client’s specification – written in different programming languages – before launch.
Eth 2.0 developers have pushed for a multi-client release of the project due to lessons learned from the current Ethereum network. The original network launched with a few implementations, but grew to be dominated by only one, Geth.
The Ethereum 2.0 upgrade has been a long time in the making, but it is also expected to take a long time to complete. The first phase that will take place, at the end of this year by the looks of things, will be phase 0. It will be a major change though as it will introduce an entirely new chain.
But there is more than just the major chain upgrade and the new consensus algorithm, there are performance upgrades to come as well — including sharding — and the creation of a new cryptocurrency which will be known as BETH.
All of this integration will take time, but if successful, it could catapult Ethereum to be more usable and relevant in the blockchain space going forward.