- The Medalla TestNet is the final TestNet before the launch of ETH2.
- Unlike other TestNets that came before it, Medalla is public, meaning all the network validators that participated in the process were not centrally coordinated by the core developer team.
- The TestNet launched on Aug 4, 2020, with enough validators joining the network to consider the launch successful.
- The TestNet ran five different clients at genesis: Teku, Prysm, Nimbus, Lighthouse, and newcomer Lodestar.
The launch of Medalla is a huge milestone in the development of Ethereum 2.0. Since Medalla launch was successful, this means that all the TestNets are now complete and the Ethereum 2.0 MainNet is all set to launch next. This has become possible only because of years of hard work of countless researchers, engineers, and community members.
The Medalla TestNet was primarily focussed on improving the experience of moving ether (ETH) from the current network over to the new network in what is called “staking.”
Medalla is the first and last community-driven TestNet (before the launch of ETH2). This basically means that the health of the network was tested in the hands of the Ethereum community, as opposed to earlier TestNets that were primarily focused on developers.
The TestNet went live on August 4, 2020, with over 20,000 validators joining the network and according to the Beaconcha.in block explorer, some 650,000 ETH were staked on the network (each TestNet uses its own tokens not equivalent to real ETH). It took about an hour for it to stabilize and allow for blocks to be finalized.
According to a tweet by Hudson Jameson of Ethereum Foundation, the TestNet launched successfully and was operating like it was supposed to. Although there was low participation of validators initially, the upside of this was, the developers got to experience first hand how the network operates with a low number of validators and how it will improve as more validators come online. Eventually, the required number of validators was achieved and the TestNet was ultimately deemed successful.
An important part of the design of Ethereum 2.0 is the diversity of clients users can choose from to connect to the Ethereum network. Among the core developers, one cause of concern is that the current Ethereum 1.0 network is overly reliant on a single implementation- Geth, which has almost an 80% share of the client market.
The requirement of multiple clients helps create a more diverse community of developers working with different coding languages. Having multiple clients also reduces the risk of a single point of failure restricting access to Ethereum chain (something which should never happen in any blockchain).
With the Medalla TestNet successfully running, the launch of Ethereum 2.0 is now on the horizon. And the much-anticipated improvements of Serenity like the ETH staking rewards and relief from growing concerns over sky-high transaction fees will soon be things of the past.
This is by far the bullish moment for Ethereum, and the fact that it comes in the 5th year anniversary of Ethereum, it is all the more reason to celebrate and look up to the ETH 2.0 release that has the potential to change the permissionless blockchains that we know of today.