Ethereum 2 Will Launch New Testnet After ‘Spadina’ Fails

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In Brief
  • The Spadina test network revelead bugs and problems in the Eth2 code

  • The failure resulted in only a small number of validators participating.

  • Developers see this as a learning experience and will launch a new testnet with applied fixes.

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The three-day test of the Spadina network for Ethereum 2.0 has been declared a failure. Engineers will now create the “Zinken” network to test out fixes.

Houston, We Have a Problem

Ethereum 2.0 is nearing the final stretch. First conceived in 2014, the updated, scaled, Proof-Of-Work upgrade to the popular Ethereum network is probably needed now more than ever.

Spadina hoped to be one of the last in a series of testnets. The network, launched Sept 29, 2020, was to test genesis mining and deposits. This was to be a “dress rehearsal” for Eth2’s true genesis.

Unfortunately, core developer Danny Ryan, said there were errors. The test revealed problems with configuration, bootnodes, calculation, and more, he tweeted:

An internal document written by the core team but released to the public lays bare the issues experienced with Spadina and its theoretical fixes.

Now, the team will launch a new “dress rehearsal” on the Zinken network. Collin Meyers, a Consensys Codefi product strategist, said that the failure was good in that, “There is no better way to learn.”

This is another in a series of testnets that have garnered mixed results.

An Ethereum Learning Experience

This is not the first time Eth2 developers have learned from their mistakes. The Ethereum team launched the Medalla testnet on Aug 4, 2020. Just ten days later, on Aug 14, a bug took the majority of validators offline.

Raul Jordan, a developer at Prysmatic Labs, did not see the bugs as a setback, also calling them a “learning experience.” He said that the initial Medalla failure was a setback, but a good lesson.

In September, developer Evan Van Ness said that the Phase 0 launch was just weeks away. Though Spadina’s launch experienced a hitch, it’s better to experience it on the testnet now than on the mainnet later.


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Harry Leeds is a writer, editor, and journalist who spent much time in the former USSR covering food, cryptocurrencies, and healthcare. He also translates poetry and edits the literary magazine

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