- Ethereum 2.0 testnet Spadina faces difficulties during its launch.
- The launch had low participation rates and issues of finality.
- Developers will run another dress rehearsal to be called Zinken before ETH 2.0’s official launch.
- Ethereum 2.0’s shift to PoS results in rewarding validators, not miners.
Spadina testnet’s dress rehearsal for Ethereum 2.0, the forthcoming Proof-of-Stake (PoS) network, faced difficulties during its launch. The participation rates were vastly low and there was a problem with finality during the trial run.
Challenges experienced during testnet launch
In retrospect, Spadina was meant to last for 72 hours after it was launched. However, the major problem was the low participation rate of validators. Moreover, those who signed up as validators failed to bring their clients online by the time of the launch. To add on, there were no penalties for validators who were offline.
There was also a problem with finality during the dry run. A document shared by the team behind Prysm, one of Ethereum 2.0 node implementations, has revealed finality as a setback. Prysm further went on to say there was low participation, confusion, users sending invalid deposits, and overall loss of confidence.
In response to the challenges experienced at the launch, Ethereum Foundation lead coordinator Danny Ryan mentioned that there will be another test run before Ethereum 2.0’s official launch:
In response to these issues, we’ll be hosting -at least- one more dress rehearsal — Zinken — prior to genesis.
I personally won’t consider low participation on Zinken a failure. Instead, I’m primarily looking for a clean client release process and minimal headaches for users
— dannyryan (@dannyryan) September 29, 2020
The Spadina testnet follows the Medalla testnet launch during early August. Medalla is the first Ethereum 2.0 testnet under phase 0.
Ethereum 2.0 rewards validators, not miners
The Spadina testnet was mainly focused on checking out potential issues before the launch of Ethereum 2.0, expected to happen before the end of 2020. This most awaited mainnet upgrade is when Ethereum’s blockchain network will move from Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus to PoS.
This also means moving to a less-congested blockchain with lower gas fees. Adding on, in Ethereum 2.0, validators and not miners will confirm block transactions and therefore receive block rewards.
In preparation for the PoS migration, Medalla and Spadina were tested. Ryan clarifies the purpose behind this:
“The main objective is to give us all another chance to go through one of the more difficult and risky parts of the process – deposits, and genesis – before we reach mainnet.”