“Finally connected with some lighthouse peers… got blocks from a lighthouse node.”
So says Nishant Das, a coder for the ethereum 2.0 client from Prysmatic Labs, which is a dev studio of sorts running on grants.
He has been working for months to get this node to “speak” to the other eth2.0 client, Lighthouse, with his effort starting all the way in November, and more recently at the very beginning of February.
Finally, devs have now achieved the goal of “one step closer to multi-client testnet” as another coder from Prysm, Terence Tsao, described it.
This specific Lighthouse testnet is the ETHDenver testnet, more for coders to hack around. Age Manning of Lighthouse says:
“This testnet doesn’t have attestation subnets or aggregation topic, so might run into issues once synced if prysm are expecting them.”
Subnets as you might know are kind of shards. Topic is a new term for us, and what it appears to be is more how you send people to different shards.
A new interop testnet is coming according to Manning who says “we’re finishing up some edgecases, doing some local tests and then will make an ‘interop’ testnet which has everything, including noise and compression.”
When, is a good question and perhaps even pointless to estimate, but this has reached the stage where they are now also focusing on the User Interface (UI).
The deposit contract should hopefully be ready by April we were told, with Danny Ryan, the eth2 coordinator, seemingly working on a new spec.
The Beacon chain spec has been undergoing an audit that has led to some changes so a new spec, version 0.11, is a key step as that greenlights the launch of the multi-client testnet.
At that point this is basically running, but still in lab like conditions with play money rather than real eth.
Single client testnets have been running for weeks and they’re working on refining as well as edge cases, with one of them being higher security if eth1 is upgraded to include BLS signatures.
ETH1 devs have stated this upgrade could be in June, so they could potentially meet the target date of 30th July for the eth2 genesis block if the multi-client testnet goes out next month and then runs for three months without problems.
There are no hard dates however as what work has to be done and what work comes up makes estimates difficult, but many of the ethereum 2.0 clients have added new devs so this is moving.
Meaning staking and the base skeleton for sharding is now taking a very real form and once the multi-client testnet goes out, ethereum 2.0 becomes very concrete as at that point we can all play with it to see just what is this new chain with these subnets.