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Medalla is the first public testnet for Ethereum 2.0 where validators can participate with any central governance by the developers. This is a closer glimpse to how Ethereum 2.0 will work with multiple clients.
As per the earlier schedule, Ethereum 2.0’s “official” multi-client testnet Medalla finally goes live on Tuesday, August 4. This is the final public testnet for Ethereum 2.0 before the launch on its mainnet expected by the year-end.
This testnet launch is basically a glimpse into how the Ethereum 2.0 will work in coordination with multiple clients. The five clients, as stated by Ethereum Foundation, running at the genesis of the Medalle testnet include Status’ Nimbus, ChainSafe’s Lodestar, Prysmatic Labs’ Prysm, PegaSys’ Teku, and Sigma Prime’s Lighthouse.
Over 20,000 validators joined the Medalla testnet network by staking over 650,000 Ethereum (ETH). Note that Medalla is one of the many testnets launched in over the last two years of Ethereum 2.0 development. However, the only difference is that the Medalla testnet is completely public. Meaning the Ethereum 2.0 developers do not centrally co-ordinate the network of validators. Hence, the Medalla testnet launch matters the most as it presents a real working environment. Ethereum developer Danny Ryan wrote:
“The launch of Medalla is a huge milestone in the development of eth2 – if Medalla proves stable, mainnet launch is next – and represents years of hardwork by countless engineers, researchers, and community members. We hope you are as excited as we are :).”
Soon after the testnet launch, Ethereum developers were focusing on new blocks and checking if validators have any issue. A few seconds later, the first block was observed.
The first block on the ETH2.0 Testnet "Medalla" has been proposed!🏅
This will be the last Testnet before mainnet release.
Follow the chain on https://t.co/MifgdYScnp⛓️
Track your validator performance on https://t.co/yfoXt95x2J💰
Receive validator alerts by signing up.🚨
— Bitfly (@etherchain_org) August 4, 2020
If no crucial bugs exist with the Medalla testnet, the developers will proceed for the launch of ETH 2.0 Phase 0 aka the Beacon Chain.
Less Than Expected Participation by Validators
While the testnet functioning has been going smooth as expected, the validator participation has been less than expected said the Ethereum developers. There were some issues that surfaced at the early stage of launch.
Ethereum Core developer Danny Ryan said that he was hopeful that the validator participation percentage will go up. Another Ethereum developer Hudson Jameson made some important tweets and observations with the Medalla testnet launch.
2/2 low number of validators and how it will improve as more validators come online! This is what testnets are for and I'm excited to see the situation develop as we get more folks online on the testnet. Get hype. Eth2 is coming 🙂
— Hudson Jameson (@hudsonjameson) August 4, 2020
For all the Ethereum users looking to run a validator node, they first need to go through a certain technical process and keep the node constantly running. But average users can also stake their ETH without running a node through third-party staking pools like Rocketpool.
With staking pools, an average user doesn’t need to worry about running a validator node online or any minimum investment. The staking pool does in on their behalf just by taking a small fee.