Multi-Client Testnet for Ethereum 2.0 is Live, Bringing Phase 0 Closer
Coders from Prysm and Lighthouse have released a multi-client testnet for Ethereum 2.0 (ETH 2.0), as a vital step in the process towards Phase 0 (the beacon chain).
The news was announced by Afri Schoeden, release manager at blockchain infrastructure company Parity Technologies and ex-Ethereum developer, who recorded the Schlesi (Schlesisches Tor) v0.11 ETH2 multi-client testnet genesis event to share with the Cryptosphere on April 27. "It's up and running with both Prysm and Lighthouse validators for four hours now," says Schoeden.
This moves Ethereum (ETH) closer to releasing the first phase of its second version. Given that Ethereum aims to maintain decentralization, there are various different developers and companies that are creating their own ETH 2.0 clients, and these need to communicate with the same protocol. This is where the multi-client network comes into picture, as it will enable Ethereum 2.0 clients developed by different labs, like Prysm and Lighthouse mentioned above, to communicate with each other.
As for this specific testnet, the Schlesi, the GitHub document further explains that this is still work in progress, and that clients will be added one by one provided that they're able to connect, synchronize, and stay in consensus.
The document also makes note of previous steps that have been made towards a multi-client network, the ETH 2.0 Interop Lock-In and Multinet, and goes on to explain how Schlesi differs. Before a mainnet like a beacon chain can be launched, the document says, testnets that mimic mainnet conditions as closely as possible are needed. "This requires us to have stable, long-term, and persistent testnets up and running that are supported by not only one client but multiple clients, ideally, all clients. The Schlesi testnet is one of many steps in that direction."
At the beginning of March, a coder from Prysm, Terence Tsao, tweeted that a Prysm node had been synced with a Lighthouse node, describing it as "one step closer to multi-client testnet." Later that month, ETH 2.0 project lead Danny Ryan, said that it was the time for multi-client testnets and Phase 0 bug bounty program, suggesting that the testnets were around the corner. This was also confirmed in Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin's statement to The Block, saying that ETH 2.0 will follow a similar process as ETH 1.0: a multi-client testnet comes first, which needs to run without issues "for some time," and then it's time for Phase 0.
There are similar sentiments being expressed in the reactions to this news, with some people believing that this is the first step, a test for the test of sorts, and that the official multi-client testnet is yet to come, but all supporters seeing this as a vital step before the Phase 0 launch.
At pixel time (08:47 UTC), ETH trades at USD 156 and is almost unchanged in a day and up by 14% in a week.