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
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:
Even though we expect moderately low participation on a short-lived non-incentivized testnet, small errors in the client release process great exacerbated this problem, resulting in ~1/3 participation in the first few epochs.
— dannyryan (@dannyryan) September 29, 2020
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
Zinken here we come – stoked to see failures prior to the real deal. No better way to learn. Shoutout to @dannyryan and all the client teams for the hard work. Get your goerli ready
@prylabs @sigp_io @Butta_eth @VitalikButerin @protolambda https://t.co/wA2BnBeYyV
— Collin Myers (@StakeETH) September 29, 2020
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.