The ethereum 2.0 testnet that can handle about 100,000 validators is about to launch with it currently undergoing stress testing.
“It’s running the state transition code from spec v0.10.1, the latest multi-client interop spec,” says Paul Hauner, a Lighthouse dev.
Age Manning, another Lighthouse dev, said on Saturday they’re doing a final update to incorporate all the mainnet features which should hopefully be done by the end of this week.
Nishant Das of Prysmatic, another eth 2.0 client, said they’re in the process of updating to spec version 0.10.1. Once that is done, they’ll work on interop.
“I want to try run a local lighthouse testnet, and have a prysm node successfully handshake with them and be able to successfully interop with the lighthouse nodes. Then try vice versa for a lighthouse node with a prysm local testnet,” he said.
While Manning said they’re focusing on getting up to spec version 0.10.1 for everything and then do some interop.
Interoperability being the final stage before full launch where devs get different client nodes to “talk” to each other so creating a multi-client testnet.
You apparently can run this thing on the latest raspberry pi with 4GB ram.
“People have done it successfully on past testnets with smaller validator counts (16k),” Hauner says, adding:
“The new one is 100k, but with the latest optimizations I think the load will be similar. I haven’t proven it, but my gut feel is that it’ll work on this testnet too.”
He further said they’re optimizing to get this to run on cheap hardware.
It’s not clear whether that includes iPhones or Androids, but Nimbus by Status – the mobile eth browser – is playing with the first mobile Eth2 testnet.
These three clients, Nimbus, Lighthouse, Prysmatic, all appear to be in good relations with each other and preferably all three are needed for mainnet launch, but if one falls behind it can go ahead with just two.
All three appear to be well resourced financially. Nimbus and Lighthouse are both hiring
to get nine babies in nine months.
Due to the way staking rewards and punishments are designed the magic three are probably necessary for choice and variety, with all three having plenty of work for at least two years as sharding goes out and then thereafter for improvements.
Sharding as you might know is the parallelization of the ethereum blockchain to increase its capacity by the number of nodes.
The new Proof of Stake (PoS) Beacon Chain does not have full sharding from get go, but does kind of have some sharding called subnets. Michael Sproul of Lighthouse says:
“The shard subnets are the groups of nodes responsible for aggregating attestations before they’re broadcast. Rather than having 100k validators all try to send their attestations to each other, each committee sends their attestations amongst themselves, builds a big aggregate attestation, and broadcasts only that aggregate to everyone.”
So this is probably kind of how sharding will work, a group of nodes talking to each other that then send their “chat” to another group of nodes.
Meaning ethereum is about to launch not only staking this summer, but also the very beginning of sharding.