Ethereum 2.0 developers have launched yet another testnet, this time to give on-boarding stakers a dry run before the launch of Eth 2.0 sometime this fall.
Called Spadina after a subway stop in Toronto, the testnet follows the official Ethereum Foundation’s Medalla testnet which launched in early August.
Developers will only be supporting Spadina for the next three days while Eth 2.0 stakers practice joining the network with the testnet, said Ethereum Foundation researcher Danny Ryan in a September 14 blog.
“The main objective is to give us all another chance to go through one of the more difficult and risky parts of the process – deposits and genesis – before we reach mainnet. If all goes well, it should give us greater peace of mind before we jump into the real deal later this year,” Ryan said.
The release of Eth 2.0 – a fully functional Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain to replace the current Proof-of-Work (PoW) Ethereum mainchain – has been years in coming. An official launch date has not yet been given, but is expected before the end of 2020.
Testnets practicing different parts of Eth 2.0’s launch began rolling out in 2019.
The Eth 2.0 software is maintained by five separate teams which have programmed the same central specification in different computer languages. Writing and developing those languages has been the main hurdle to deploying the project in a timely manner.
Medalla is the first Ethereum Foundation–backed testnet of Eth 2.0 Phase 0. That testnet was preceded by a slew of others such as Goerli and Schlesi. The PoS version of Ethereum will deploy in at least three phases, according to current schematics.
Structurally, Phase 0 is comprised of the Beacon chain, a central coordinator of the future multi-chained Eth 2.0 network. Once enough Ethereum investors have deposited ether (ETH) into the new blockchain’s deposit contract, the Beacon chain can begin validating transactions.
Those ether holdings work as skin in the game for those participating on the new blockchain. Stakers validate transactions and receive staking rewards in return. Ether deposits are slashable in the case that multiple investors try to collude against the blockchain by validating invalid transactions.
Yet the process of moving ETH from one blockchain to another can be difficult for investors, particularly for those new to the space. In that vein, Eth 2.0 developers opted to have yet another testnet to practice moving funds over to the Beacon chain.