Ethereum 2.0 developers are now claiming the testnet may go out in June, that being weeks away, despite an ever growing list of things that have to be done first.
Afri Schoedon, a long time ethereum developer who now appears to be in charge of the ethereum 2.0 testnet, stated:
“First attempt at testnet failed due to issue with timestamps around genesis….
Given the current stability, will start working on coordinating a multiclient testnet for v0.12, with 16k genesis validators, and maybe 3 different clients at genesis. Could do dry-run deposit contract ceremony. Target June for this, potentially to allow clients to update to v0.12.”
They’re now calling everything a testnet. What he means is the attempt at the first release candidate failed due to some issue which has now been addressed and thus they’re continuing work on the release candidate.
While a testnet as the word is usually used is a near live environment that has pretty much everything sorted out except obviously what problems may occur in what would be a pretty much living of the network, but with worthless eth tokens rather than with real eth.
This testnet they claim can now be launched in June with Danny Ryan, the ethereum 2.0 coordinator, agreeing in stating:
“Will put up a [difference between versions comparison] for v0.12 so we can get a sense of how long it will take to upgrade. Coordinated start in June makes sense, with some test runs ahead of this.”
A new eth2 spec is now needed “to include the updated BLS draft 07,” they say. That spec hasn’t gone out. Once it does, clients need to implement it. Then they need to get the testnet release candidates out, probably have some restarts, and then launch the actual testnet.
Above we have now the added complication of eth1 having a potentially show stopping say over all this as they have to upgrade to include BLS signatures with James Hancock, the eth1 coordinator, saying “July is a good estimate” for the eth1 BLS upgrade.
Presumably that would include an eth1 testnet upgrade that includes BLS signatures, and that links to the eth2 testnet, and so we get to see how these test eths move.
Meaning first presumably we need the deposit contract to launch on the eth1 testnet, and thus that is perhaps the next big milestone, with the eth2 testnet then to launch or at the same time.
All this suggests next month is pretty unrealistic. Maybe even July is unrealistic with it unclear as it stands what eth1 is doing in regards to their upgrade.
They’re calling it Berlin, because informing the people is obviously not an aim, and also because there are many other Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) in that eth1 upgrade.
We doubt the general etherean public cares about any of those other EIPs, however, so we’ll rename it to the BLS upgrade as thats the most important one.
We haven’t heard about any eth1 testnet for this upgrade, and that appears to be because there isn’t one.
So they’re at the stage of looking over the implementation, and then testneting it, meaning July is unrealistic for this to launch.
The eth1 testnet presumably can launch however, although you’d think you’d need some audit of this eth1 BLS implementation, with that being the ownership signatures so one has to take care because money can ‘easily’ be lost.
So the first milestone then is the launch of the contract on the eth1 testnet, which first requires a testnet at all. Then the eth2 testnet. This testnet has to run for about three months, and that’s at best.
Then you need the live launch of the contract on the live eth1 network. This too then needs maybe about two months for people to deposit their eth. And then finally they can launch the eth2 genesis block.
So a live launch this year seems very unlikely. Maybe they can just about make it, but there appears to be a lot that still has to be done, so early next year now is maybe the ‘at best.’
Ethereum Scaling, A Shamble?
All of this is to launch just what can be called an incentivized testnet. It’s not real Proof of Stake (PoS) in as far as it is not quite a running network as you can’t move the eth in the PoS chain and you can’t return them back to the current eth1 Proof of Work (PoW) chain.
All you’d be doing is effectively locking the eth, and then get eth2 coins at a variable rate depending on how many stake, that rate probably being maybe 5% or 8%.
All this eth is doing is checking the PoW blocks, with it having no real say over the network so it’s, well it’s not clear how it makes any sense. What’s the point of it?
It’s useless, because it’s not doing anything, and therefore it’s irrelevant, so why even launch it?
Then they’re going to add storage sharding in stage one and again that does pretty much nothing except maybe allow dapps to access some more storage.
Then we get the merger of eth1 and eth2 in what is being called phase 1.5. At that point one can finally say Proof of Stake has launched. That point being god knows when.
At that point we basically have the current network, but without miners, only stakers. Something some people care about, but no one does really because what people care about is scaling.
So then scaling finally follows in phase 2, maybe by 2024. That phase 1.5 is basically the turning of the current eth1 blockchain into a shard in the PoS blockchain. Phase 2 is then the adding of 63 other shards.
How exactly they plan to do that is not at all clear because the bitcoin devs could not connect two different networks so how do eth devs do it.
That would be a pretty big breakthrough with it unclear why we need all these other phases first when you could connect a blockchain network or shard to the current blockchain if they actually knew how to.
If the suggestion is we have to wait half a decade to find out, then obviously the presumption is they don’t know.
So we get these fake testnets and imminent launches and all sorts of claims with nothing of relevance expected to materialize until god knows when.
Certainly not next year because the eth2 genesis block is… what on earth is it? People can already lock their eth and earn interest and without increasing the network wide inflation rate. So how is this genesis block launch even relevant to anything?
Shame. But at least now we know, and knowledge is probably around 90% of the battle.