Launch of Ethereum 2.0 Multi-Client Testnet, Expected in June


May 15, 2020 8:16 pm

Launch of Eth 2.0 Multi-Client Testnet Expected in June
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On May 14, an after-action report of the Ethereum 2.0 developer call reveals that the majority of the work is devoted to fixing code bugs and improving ways of detecting them and the Schlesi testnet was successful enough to hope for a more official multi-client testnet in June based on 0.12 specs.

Work on Ethereum 2.0 is now almost completely directed to fixing bugs, with the team trying to synchronize all clients into one single version of the blockchain. Mehdi Zerouali of Sigma Prime reported significant improvement in designing “fuzzing” techniques for latter, which feed false data to the program to find where it breaks.

Sigma Prime analysis already supported locating several low-level bugs in Ethereum 2.0 client software and the libraries they rely upon. Precisely, the analysts discovered an infinite loop bug in the Teku client and a memory segmentation error in Nimbus.

Multi-Client Ethereum 2.0

The clients must be fully synchronized with each other Since clients are responsible for holding and validating the blockchain. For Ethereum 2.0, seven separate clients are under development and most of them are working on optimizations for the Schlesi testnet, the first multi-client Ethereum 2.0 testnet that affects the mainnet environment.

The initial Schlesi network was developed by Prysmatic Labs and Sigma Prime and launched with the Prysm and Lighthouse clients, respectively. The former was already running a well-known single-client testnet. Following the launch of Schlesi, PegaSys’ Teku client also entered the testnet, while Nimbus and Lodestar are achieving only limited success so far.  

Expected Launch date June 2020

The lead on the Schlesi testnet initiative, Afri Schoedon described on the call that the network had a tough start. Bugs prevented the first launch and once it was fixed, due to the clients crashing repeatedly, transaction integrity “was terrible” but Schoedon commended the client developers for their responsiveness in fixing these issues, which enabled the network to stabilize. “I think we’re all surprised how stable it is,” he continued.

Schoedon proposed launching a new multi-client testnet, given these successes, that would be even closer to mainnet specification, targeting the yet unimplemented 0.12 spec, as opposed to the current 0.11.2 and though he noted that this depends strongly on the release of 0.12 clients, he said, “I would carefully target June 2020 as the launch date.”  

While enabling “dry runs” of the deposit contract that bridges Ethereum 1.0 and 2.0, he wished for the new testnet to start with three clients at genesis.

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