The Ethereum team is launching the ‘Spadina’ testnet for a “dress rehearsal” of Eth2’s genesis in the coming months.
This is the next in a series of testnet blockchains the team has launched to probe the new network’s performance. But not all the kinks have been worked out yet.
While the next generation of Ethereum will use several chains to achieve its goals, the testnets are hoping to nip any potential problems in the bud.
In the case of Spadina, the purpose is to probe the success of genesis mining and deposits. Developer Danny Ryan called the Sep. 29, 2020 launch a “dress rehearsal.”
Spadina launch tomorrow (Sept 29) at 12pm UTC!
This is a full "dress rehearsal" so ethstaker (@Eth2Scc) will be hosting a launch viewing party. Turn your nodes on and tune in!
— dannyryan (@dannyryan) September 28, 2020
Spadina will run alongside Medalla, a testnet launched on Aug. 4, 2020. Developers saw Medalla as the last big testnet to run before the eventual launch of Eth2 (Ethereum 2.0).
Though much has changed in the rapidly developing world of crypto since then, Spadina could be a harbinger of good news for the token’s price. ETH was trading around $400 at the time of Medalla’s launch. Currently, it is trading at around $360.
A Valid Argument
Spadina is one of several testnets such as Sapphire and Onyx, which tested progressively larger transaction sizes. To carry out these tests, the Ethereum team has relied on volunteer validators via their validator launchpad. Anyone with the right know-how and enough Ether could become a Spadina validator here.
Though innocuous at first glance, validation is actually integral to ETH 2.0. Validators will allow for better decentralization, security, scalability, and speed. Though Ethereum now runs via Proof-of-Work, Eth2 will gradually transition to Proof-of-Stake.
There will also be several chains, including shard chains (each of which carries only some of the validation burden) and the Beacon Chain.
The Beacon Chain basically links the shard chains and the current Proof-of-Work chain together. Developers recently suggested that Beacon Chain would launch in “weeks.” This would mark a major milestone in Eth2’s adoption.
The Eth2 stakers have had the habit of doing community calls and getting together via video chat for the launch of these testnets. Spadina’s launch is no exception.
15 minutes until the Spadina testnet launch party goes live!https://t.co/BYt3R5zdDs
— EthStaker Community Call (@Eth2Scc) September 29, 2020
Not all is perfect in the land of testnets, though. Developer Chase Wright recently warned that he would not stake ETH on the new network right away, citing security concerns. His experience was that bugs in the system were not being acknowledged or fixed by the testnet teams.
He also noted that, at the time, ETH 2.0 test stakers were financially in the red, and was not sure staking ETH would actually be worthwhile.
In a 20 Sep tweet thread, Wright said that despite known bugs,
the Medalla response to do f*** all is an unacceptable response.
Shots fired. Danny Ryan responded that Wright was expecting too much from a testnet. Risks were expected in “Phase 0,” and Wright was putting the cart before the horse.
I suppose first of all is that I personally don't expect Phase 0 participation to be for everybody.
Staking comes with many risks and staking early in eth2 comes with even more than if you jumped in a couple of years down the line https://t.co/PSOYhj1ulm
— dannyryan (@dannyryan) September 23, 2020
No matter what the controversy behind testnets or speed of release, Ethereum needs Eth2 to solve a lot of problems, and fast. Scalability continues to make small transactions unprofitable, and the huge interest in DeFi threatens a migration away to other blockchains, like Binance Chain.