What is missing to launch Ethereum 2.0?

Client Combination.

Key facts:
  • It is still necessary to test what would happen in possible scenarios in the merger with the new chain.

  • The entire ecosystem collaborates for a successful transition to Ethereum 2.0, says a developer.

Ethereum Foundation developer Tim Beiko published a roadmap with the steps needed to achieve the transition to Ethereum 2.0. This outlines three outstanding testnet requirements (testnets), simulations of the merge and implementation of the transition in the public test networks.

These three requirements are: running more successful tests on shadow forks; do more testing on the interaction of Ethereum 1.0 and Ethereum 2.0; and implement the fusion in existing public networks. Each of these aspects will be detailed below.

According to him Article of Beiko, to advance towards Ethereum 2.0 more tests are necessary in the shadow forks (“shadow forks”) of Ethereum. These forks are small splits made with a few network nodes to test how clients respond to the merger of the old block chain with the new one.

In other words, the shadow forks are like simulations of the fusion to the new version of the network. In this way, detailed information about possible faults can be obtained. As Beiko explains, if these tests show stability after a couple of weeks, an important step will have been taken to finalize the transfer to Ethereum 2.0, called The Merge or “the merger.”

So far, as CriptoNoticias reported, several of these forks were made on the Goerli testnet and two on the mainnet of Ethereum. The second of them, MSF2, details the specialist, was “almost perfect”. In the next few days, another, MSF3, will be carried out, and these tests will continue “on a regular basis” to guarantee the security of the network throughout the process, Beiko assured.

testing the fusion

The second condition this developer lists in their roadmap is proof of the merger. In this case, the interaction between the execution layer (Ethereum 1.0) and the consensus layer will need to be tested (Ethereum 2.0). This interaction between clients can be tested by choosing several from each layer, as shown in the image below.

Client Combination.
The image above illustrates possible test interactions between Ethereum 1.0 (left) and Ethereum 2.0 (right) clients. Source: hackmd.io.

The Hive platform is one of those that will be used for such tests.. This has historically been used for execution layer testing, but in recent months the option to test the behavior of the consensus layers in interaction with the execution layer has been added.

Ethereum customers are currently “prioritizing support for Hive and making sure they pass all tests,” Beiko said.

On the other hand, AllCoreDevs has partnered with the company Kurtosis to develop staging networks or staging networks. These are simulations in The Merge that are carried out “on a daily basis” to detect possible failures in the clients and monitor the health of the network. Besides, unfavorable network conditions can be emulated to see how clients respond in a more hostile context.

Finally, this period of tests in The Merge it also includes a “long list” of tools created by customers, researchers, and test teams to test all possible scenarios. The merger, claims Beiko, has “massively increased” human resource cooperation and coordination between the test teams.

Public testnets, the last step towards Ethereum 2.0

The last item on the Beiko roadmap is related to public testnets. As the developer explains, “once the shadow forks develop normally and all customers pass the testnets, we will be able to implement the merger on the existing public testnets, Ropsten, Goerli and Sepolia.”

These testnets, the developer explains, demand more coordination in the Ethereum ecosystem than previous network upgrades, especially for node operators. This is because they will not only have to update a single piece of software, the execution layer client, but they will have to download, configure and run a consensus layer client in parallel, he says.

With the merger, Ethereum 2.0 validators will have to run a node of the execution layer (Ethereum 1.0) in order to verify the validity of the blocks and receive commissions when proposing a new one.

After these steps, Ethereum 2.0

Once the Goerli, Ropsten and Sepolia testnets are forked and stabilized without further difficulties, the conditions are ripe to set a date for the merger, says Beiko.

That transition will take place in three steps, explains the developer. First, clients will release software that supports fusion and difficulty bomb will be preparedwhich will kill the proof of work (Proof of Work or PoW) on Ethereum.

The Merge of Ethereum.
In the bottom second block from left to right, Ethereum goes full PoS. Source: hackmd.io.

Once the difficulty bomb is activated, a validator will produce the next block in the Beacon Chain, the original shard of the new blockchain. When this block is ready, Ethereum “will have completely passed the proof of stake” (Proof of Stake or PoS), comments Beiko.

It is necessary to clarify that, as CriptoNoticias has reported, the transition to Ethereum 2.0 is a decision that has been postponed. The last thing that was known about it is that in mid-2022 there could be further progress. Meanwhile, Tim Beiko told what is done “behind the scenes” to get to the transition in the best possible way.

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