A new parallel running test network called „Spandina“ will be introduced and will take place for three days as a final test of the Ethereum 2.0-network.
Provided no drastic errors are found, developers Raul Jordan and Afri Schoedon consider the November launch realistic.
The launch has already been postponed several times and developers are still finding vulnerabilities in the new system. An early introduction of the upgrade would be very advantageous, especially because of the currently immensely high transaction fees.
Ethereum users have been waiting a long time for the new update „2.0“. Especially the continuing immense burden of high demand leads to extremely high transaction fees and is currently pushing the network to its limits. The upgrade is intended to strengthen Ethereum’s decentralization and increase efficiency at the same time. The company is switching from a proof-of-work model to proof-of-stake. Before the new update can be implemented, a number of challenges must be overcome.
New parallel testing-network as final check
A further step for progress in development is a second and parallel running test-network announced by the Ethereum Foundation. This carries the name „Spandina“ and will exist beside the test network „Medalla“, which is already active so far.
With Spadina a more updated form of the test-network is introduced, which runs beside the main program. The reason for this is to enable developers to test certain specific elements. But Medalla testers are not affected by this. This was announced by the developer Danny Ryan in a blog post:
“We realize that both the engineers and the community could use one more public testnet launch before mainnet to run through the motions. At the same time, we want to avoid disrupting Medalla’s momentum.”
The focus at Spadina is on Deposits and Genesis. In order for the new Beacon-chain to start with the first Genesis block, 16,384 validators must have staked over 524,000 ETH to each other. Spadina will only run for three days and will be a kind of final test. Ryan says:
“If all goes well, it should give us greater peace of mind before we jump into the real deal later this year.”
The test network could also pass the three-day period, but will not receive any further support.
When will it start?
At the beginning of 2020 there was still a lot of uncertainty as to whether the new Ethereum update could still be implemented this year. Due to the long duration of the public test-network as well as technical implementations and bug-bounty, the development could last until 2021, according to Justin Drake of the Ethereum Foundation.
But in the meantime some more positive news have been announced. According to developer Raul Jordan, the launch of Ethereum 2.0 is currently planned for November 2020. Jordan is in the Prysmatic Labs developer group working on the Ethereum 2.0 clients for the first phase of the upgrade. In a blog he stated that it will be launched in November:
“ We can likely perform a feature freeze by mid October, allowing us to only work on security improvements and UX before going live. If all goes well, November is still looking good for a launch from our perspective.”
Jordan said the checklist for the first phase of the update with security audits, user customizations and other improvements has progressed well. Afri Schoedon from the Beacon-chain department also believes that November is likely to be a good start:
„The Ethereum 2.0 beacon chain will go live in November if we don’t find any serious bugs in the clients or the protocol. I’m in-between Vitalik and Justin with my estimation here, I don’t think that we necessarily need to delay Ethereum 2.0 into 2021 unless we find critical issues. We are well on track for a late 2020 launch.“
Launch only if no more major bugs are found
So if there are no more major bugs, Ethereum 2.0 will probably launch in 2020. However, the launch has already been postponed several times and developer Lior Yaffe recently found another weakness. The execution of a second test network also suggests that problems still exist.
ETH-2.0 will, however, be a massive update and the full integration is likely to take several years. Proof-of-stake and other important features like sharding should make the network more powerful and stronger. Especially because of the high transaction fees, many people are eager to get the update as soon as possible.