Participation remains low, but does not seem to matter.
The latest in a series of Ethereum 2.0 testnets, called Spadina, was launched on Tuesday to mixed success.
Spadina was proposed as a short „dress rehearsal“ for the mainnet launch process, indicating that Phase 0 of Ethereum 2.0 is getting closer. The network was launched on 29 September at 12 p.m. UTC and was intended to last only 72 hours.
The developers said this is likely to be the last chance for future Ether stakers (ETH) to test the tank and launch tools before the genesis of Phase 0.
From that perspective, the test seems to have been a great success. No major problems were found in the deposit process and customers handled the blocks successfully.
However, as with the initial launch of the Medal test network, participation rates were well below expectations. In the first rounds of validation, less than 34% of participation joined the consensus process, while the target percentage was 80%.
Such low participation rates suggest that many community members who signed up to be validators were unable to get their clients online in time for the launch. The developers stressed during the launch party that this is a manifestation of the „nothing at stake“ problem. Since Ether’s testnet is worthless, the stakers don’t care if their capital is reduced while they are offline.
It is likely that a future mainnet launch with real ETH will involve more serious and dedicated participants, who would be heavily penalised for avoiding their obligations.
Danny Ryan, the main coordinator of Eth 2.0 at the Ethereum Foundation, said: „I think we got 90% of what we wanted from this.
Given that the testnet was specifically targeted at the launch process, low participation is not a major concern. However, some users reported problems with Teku, one of the newest clients to enter the preparation stage. Others highlighted a potential problem with port forwarding, as most customers appear not to be using Universal Plug & Play. This Crypto Code dynamically opens the router’s ports to allow incoming connections to be accepted by the local network, which is crucial for peer-to-peer networks. Its absence could create problems for some less tech-savvy users, who may not know how to open network ports manually.
Although no indications have yet been given, the testnets launched so far appear to be relatively stable and successful. With three months remaining, these results appear to augur well for the launch of Phase 0 in 2020.
However, Phase 0 will not immediately affect the wider ecosystem of the Ethereum. The blockchain test platform will continue to work exactly as it has until now, except for the presence of an intelligent Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract. Afri Schoedon, who has been deeply involved with the Ethereum 2.0 test networks, referred to Phase 0 as „an incentivised test phase“, suggesting that it is primarily a way of testing stakeholder behaviour in realistic scenarios.
Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, was optimistic that the chain of raw beacons from Phase 0 could still be useful for thin clients in Ethereum 1.0. He also said that its launch indicates a shift in focus away from theoretical work that is less efficient and towards sending and iteration of functions.
„The Eth 2.0 network will simply add functionality gradually and become more important to the ecosystem over time,“ he added.