The Ethereum 2.0 Medalla testnet is still progressing on track as the number of simulated staked ETH approaches the two million mark.
Recently, all eyes have been on DeFi and the myriad of offerings and opportunities that have emerged in the nascent industry. As DeFi TVL tops $8 billion, attention has shifted away from Ethereum’s ongoing final testnet which is still making its own milestones.
According to data from the Medalla analytics platform Beaconcha.in, there have been over 1.1 million ETH staked on the testnet since it launched on Aug 4. It also reported that there are currently 37,490 validators taking part in the testnet.
As reported by BeInCrypto, the one million ETH milestone was reached around a week after the network was launched. Validators on the network have been happy with the progress made so far in the four weeks it has been running.
— mariano.eth (@nanexcool) August 30, 2020
Medalla is a simulation that does not use real ETH tokens but instead utilizes Göerli testnet ETH (GöETH) tokens that generate simulated staking rewards with no real value.
The official ETH 2.0 Launchpad dashboard reports that over 1.8 million GöETH have been staked so far.
A Few Bumps on the Road to Serenity
Medalla ran into its first hitch on Aug 14 when a bug took most of the testnet’s validators offline. One of the six servers reported the time and date as being one day into the future, which resulted in the system averaging out the discrepancy. This had the overall effect of knocking the time out by four hours for the rest of the servers.
Prysmatic Labs, which runs the majority of ETH 2.0 clients, called the incident a ‘learning experience,’ adding that the launch of ETH 2.0 can still proceed as planned. At the time, Prysmatic Labs’ editor Raul Jordan stated, “We believe the expected launch target of 2 to 3 months from Medalla genesis is still an ideal timeline.”
There have also been some growing concerns over client diversity as, according to Ethernodes.org, Prysmatic clients make up almost 96% of the network.
This does not bode well for other clients which also need extensive testing.
Geographical distribution is also somewhat skewed, considering the validators in the U.S. and Germany make up over 50% of the network.
There has been very little participation from Asian nations so far, with just a few percent of the total being split between Singapore, Hong Kong, and China.
ETH 2.0 Phase 1 Demoed
Lead developer Danny Ryan retweeted a demo of Phase 1 that has been tested with a prototype capable of performing any ETH 1.0 transaction in an ETH 2.0 environment:
eth1+eth2 Phase1.5 demo using metamask
— dannyryan (@dannyryan) August 27, 2020
Phase 1 is the next step in the Serenity upgrade, though it will likely not be launched this year. While Beacon Chain (Phase 0) begins with a consensus mechanism shift to proof-of-stake, Phase 1 will introduce much-needed scalability solutions such as sharding (side-chains).
According to the Ethereum 2.0 specs, Beacon Chain will support 1,024 shard chains, each of which will be validated by a collection of 128 nodes.
Scaling on Ethereum is still a long way off while surging gas fees have become the bane of the industry. An alternative solution with a restructuring of Ethereum’s fee mechanism could get the go-ahead long before Phase 1 sees the light of day.
Ethereum Price Update
Ethereum is leading cryptocurrency markets today as prices return towards their 2020 highs just below $430.
ETH prices have added on 7.5% over the past 24 hours. Its previous high on Aug 17 was just above $440, so this is the next target before any sustained move higher can occur. Long-term resistance beyond this point is found at the $500 level.
So far this year, Ethereum has made 225% to its current prices, outperforming Bitcoin which has only managed 62% over the same period.
From a DeFi perspective, the amount of ETH locked in DeFi protocols has now hit a record 5.1 million. This represents 4.5% of the entire supply.