Ethereum 2.0 Testnet Medalla Running 'Reliably' at 76% Participation
Medalla, the final Ethereum (ETH) 2.0 testnet before Phase 0 (the Beacon Chain) of ETH 2.0, has been running "reliably" for at least two days now, as Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said, and is currently well above the minimum number of validators that are required to be actively participating for the chain to finalize.
At pixel time, per Beaconcha.in, the participation is around 76%. For the last two days, it moved between the higher end of 60% and up to 81%, mostly staying in the mid-70% range. There were a couple of short, sudden drops, for example epoch 4837, which passed several hours ago, and saw an immediate drop to 1% but quickly recovered.
As previously reported, Prysm coder Terence Tsao wrote that the chain requires at least 66% of validators to be actively validating for the chain to finalize.
Buterin noted the higher numbers, stating that the testnet "seems to be reliably at >75% participation", and his observation appears to remain largely correct.
According to the latest data from Beaconcha.in, the testnet is seeing 33,354 active validators, with more than a million staked ether - marking a sharp, 8.6% rise in three days.
The latest figures suggest that earlier calls on the community to step up their participation, as seen on Reddit’s r/ethereum forum and elsewhere, have finally paid off, marking another step forward towards the full release of Ethereum 2.0.
Further, Ben Edgington of Ethereum development firm PegaSys wrote just this past weekend, after the problem on the testnet on August 14, the network finally reached “healthy” status again on the 19th, five days after the incident.
“Throughout that time, there were always clients able to build the beacon chain: it never stopped running. The beacon chain is robust; the beacon chain can recover,” Edgington wrote in his 'What’s New in Eth2' update this weekend.
As previously reported, the testnet abruptly ran into issues last week, with most of the network’s validators going offline on August 14. As Prysm's Raul Jordan said, Medalla "spiraled into a series of cascading failures last weekend which exposed several vulnerabilities and process faults in how to best handle critical scenarios."
With additional issues prompted, "chaos" ensued and continued for five days, Edgington said.
A week ago, Australian blockchain company Bitfly stated that the testnet had been experiencing “finality issues” for about three days. It was finalized on August 19.
As Edgington and others stressed the importance of client diversity, Carl Beekhuizen, an ETH 2.0 researcher at the Ethereum Foundation, wrote recently that client diversity is important in order to properly test the network, and that the failure of the network to finalize showed why this matters:
“With the launch of the Medalla testnet, people were encouraged to experiment with different clients. And right from genesis, we saw why: Nimbus and Lodestar nodes were unable to cope with the workload of a full testnet and got stuck. As a result, Medalla failed to finalise for the first half hour of its existence,” the Ethereum researcher wrote.
He added. "Now is the time to experiment with different clients. Find a client that a minority of validators are using [...] Lighthouse, Teku, Nimbus, and Prysm are all reasonably stable at the moment while Lodestar is catching up fast."
As of press time (8:00 UTC), ETH traded at USD 382, down 3.4% over the past 24 hours and 7.7% in a week.
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