What is needed to launch Ethereum 2.0?

What is needed to launch Ethereum 2.0?

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

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

The developer of the Ethereum Foundation, Tim Beiko, published a roadmap with the necessary steps to achieve the transition to Ethereum 2.0. This describes three outstanding requirements relating to test networks (testnets), simulations of the merger and implementation of the transition in the public test networks.

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

According to Beiko’s article, in order to move towards Ethereum 2.0, more tests are needed in which shadow forks (“shadow forks”) of Ethereum. These forks are small splits that are made with few nodes on the network to test how customers respond to the merger of the old blockchain with the new one.

In other words, the shadow forks they are like simulations of the fusion to the new version of the network. In this way, detailed information about possible failures can be obtained. According to Beiko, 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 fusion”.

So far, as Crypto News reported, several of these forks were made on the Goerli test network and two on the main network of Ethereum. The second of them, the MSF2, details the specialist, turned out to be “almost perfect”. In the coming days, another one, MSF3, will be carried out, and these tests will be continued “on a regular basis” to guarantee the security of the network throughout the process, Beiko assured.

Testing the fusion

The second condition that this developer lists in his roadmap is the 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.

Combination customers.
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 consensus layers in interaction with the execution layer was added.

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

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

Finally, this period of testing 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, says Beiko, has “massively increased” the cooperation and coordination of human resources between the test teams.

Public test networks, the last step towards Ethereum 2.0

The last point of the Beiko roadmap is related to public test networks. As the developer explains, “once the shadow forks if the networks develop normally and all customers pass the test networks, we will be able to implement the merger in the existing public test networks, Ropsten, Goerli and Sepolia.”

These test networks, explains the developer, they demand more coordination in the Ethereum ecosystem than previous network updates, 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, indicates the specialist.

With the merger, Ethereum 2.0 validators will have to run an execution layer node (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 test networks are forked and stabilized without further difficulties, the conditions will be given to set a date for the merger, says Beiko.

That transition will take place in three steps, explains the developer. First, customers will release a software that supports the merger and the difficulty bomb will be prepared, which will end the proof of work (Proof of Work or PoW) on Ethereum.

The Merge of Ethereum.
In the second lower block from left to right, Ethereum begins to fully work with PoS. Source: hackmd.io .

Once the difficulty bomb is activated, a validator will produce the next block on the Beacon Chain, the original fragment 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 Criptonews 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 by 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.