Ethereum 2.0 may not be fully operational as of now, however, with the launch of its first major public net Kintsugi, users can get an idea of the network’s functionality. Tim Beiko, an Ethereum developer, first broke the news for the testnet release on the network’s Foundation blog. The latest launch is seen as the final step towards the blockchain’s transition from Proof-of-Work [POW] to Proof-of-Stake [POS] consensus algorithm that is scheduled to take place by the first half of 2022.
As for the name, Kintsugi is a Japanese art of repairing broken objects without attempting to hide the damage, on a philosophical level it emphasizes being transparent about something’s history.
Earlier in 2020, Phase 0 of the upgrade went live with the launch of the Beacon Chain, which would facilitate the bridge of the current network to the new one. In addition to that, billions of dollars in ETH have already been staked to the new network. To prepare for the merge, developers have created four temporary testnets designed to mimic the mainnet once it transitions to the proof of stake protocol. Further, in the blog Tim Beiko stated,
“The Kintsugi testnet provides the community an opportunity to experiment with post-merge Ethereum and begin to identify any issues. Once feedback has been incorporated into the client software and the specifications, a final series of testnets will be launched. In parallel, testing efforts will continue ramping up. After this, existing long-lived testnets will run through The Merge. Once these have upgraded and are stable, next up is Ethereum mainnet’s transition to proof of stake”
Interestingly, the news of the announcement for the testnet going live appears to have been previously posted back on Thursday, Dec. 16. Nevertheless, ETH Developers have made much progress towards the highly anticipated ETH 2.0 merge.
Ethereum 2.0 Merge in First Half of 2022
As mentioned earlier, the merge is slated to commence between the first six months of 2022. Following that, Ethereum 2.0 will move toward “Phase 2.” This will introduce Sharding, a scalability feature that is aimed at improving fees and transaction times and is expected to arrive in late 2022. As per a November report from ConsenSys over 8.4 million ETH has been staked on Ethereum 2.0’s beacon chain.