The newest ethereum 2.0 testnet on the latest version 0.11.1 is being launched by Prysmatic labs with more than 22,000 eth already deposited for this testnet which now uses 32 eth to stake.
“The Topaz test network is unique as it represents the full Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0 mainnet configuration,” they say, adding:
“In the previous testnet, Sapphire, we targeted mainnet scale but used smaller 3.2 ETH deposits. For Topaz, validators are going to have to deposit the full 32 ETH on the Goerli ETH1 testnet to participate.”
This is a single client testnet, which is the first stage of a three part process with Lighthouse and Nimbus expected to launch similar testnets too on the latest version.
The next stage then is getting these different clients to talk to each other, with Nimbus already working on interoperating with Lighthouse.
By our own estimate that would take at least a month, if not more, with the actual multi-client launch then probably by June at best.
That’s what usually is called as just the testnet, with it being the final stage before the actual genesis block launches.
At this point, it looks like it would be September at best. Devcon would be close enough, so the live genesis block might launch at Devcon, governments permitting.
All this for a skeleton blockchain that although it can change monetary economics from an investment perspective, it basically does nothing where end users are concerned in as far as you can’t transfer value within that chain, let alone have smart contracts or defi.
Those come in at phase 2, when full sharding, which realistically might be ready by the time of the next halvening.
Meaning ethereum’s blockchain won’t be ready for even semi-mainstream usage, let alone full on mainstream, for many years.
There are different scaling methods than sharding by compressing many transactions onto one on-chain transaction to save costs and also to timely be included in the blockchain.
Usually however these methods require a deposit transaction that sends the funds to an accounting smart contract when then interactions can happen within the contract, rather than the blockchain, unless one wants to get out of the contract.
Arguably a decentralized exchange or a dapp could be the accounting contract itself, so for the dapp world this could work, but for it to make sense you need to interact a lot, and thus might be limited in use cases.