The Ethereum testnet got a resounding welcome after netting close to 20,000 validators within just two days of its launch on April 18. The number of validators surged soon after the genesis block was successfully mined, triggering an interest in the new network.
Ethereum 2.0 testnet is a game-changer
The fanfare around the Ethereum 2.0 testnet launch is driven by its game-changing capabilities on the second-largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization. The new development officially known as Ethereum Topaz testnet is created by Prysmatic Labs, an engineering team focused on creating a new blockchain architecture for Ethereum. The Topaz infrastructure will replace the existing Sapphire test network.
The Topaz testnet is a major step forwards for Ethereum as the network aims to shift from a Proof-of-Work (PoW) to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) protocol. This change will see miners move from a system that requires validation of blocks through complex mathematical computaions to a more energy efficient system.
Under Topaz PoS model, miners will comprise ordinary users that stake their Ether (ETH) to facilitate the verification of transactions and validation of new blocks. As such, the miner rewards will be assigned to the stakeholders rather than miners with powerful computing required under the PoW model. The Topaz model will also improve decentralization as users are required to only stake at least 32 ETH to become validators when the mainnet goes live.
Provisional mainnet launch set for July 2020
The successful launch of the Ethereum testnet has opened doors for the mainnet that is conditionally scheduled for July this year. The shift to the PoS model is expected to occur in six stages once the Topaz testnet is deemed successful. Various changes will be rolled out in each phase to ensure a smooth transition of the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade.
Ethereum cofounder, Vitalik Butterin tweeted news of the new testnet launch while indicating that the Topaz network could be the much anticipated Multiclient Testnet that will usher in a new era for the blockchain.
These plans seem on course for the July mainnet launch date as interest is growing fast. At the time of writing, Etherscan data shows that there are 18,779 active validators. The testnet activity is quite high showing signs of the things to come under a new PoS model. Now, all that remains is ironing out the finer details in anticipation of the official Ethereum 2.0 mainnet upgrade.