One of the biggest ongoing cryptoeconomy headlines in 2020 is Ethereum’s coming pivot to the Ethereum 2.0 blockchain. That pivot comes with the start of the smart contract platform’s “Serenity” upgrade, a.k.a. Phase 0, which is set to launch as early as July this year.
The best news yet for that pivot notably came this week, then, with the launch of Schlesi: a multi-client Ethereum 2.0 testnet that activated on Monday, April 27th, and which will be a major proving ground for the optimized Ethereum to come.
Schlesi, which was announced by noted and talented Ethereum developer Afri Schoedon, is an explicitly multi-client Ethereum 2.0 testnet.
The Prysm project’s Topaz testnet has already been something of a smashing success, but it’s an in-house Prysm project. Schlesi is a big deal because it’s working across both the Prysm and Lighthouse in-progress Ethereum 2.0 clients, which signals Ethereum’s future is near.
As the Schlesi GitHub FAQ explains:
“The first phase of Ethereum 2.0, the phase 0, is the beacon chain. For the first time, a variety of new clients will be working together on a brand new blockchain with a new, unique approach to networking and consensus … Before such a mainnet can be launched, we need testnets that mimic mainnet conditions as good as possible. This requires us to have stable, long-term, and persistent testnets up and running that are supported by not only one client but multiple clients, ideally, all clients … The Schlesi testnet is one of many steps in that direction.”
Ethereum 2.0 On Course
One of the most significant aspects of the arrival of the Schlesi testnet is that it seemingly puts Ethereum 2.0 to launch as expected this summer. Why?
Last month, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin projected to The Block that the first Ethereum 2.0 multi-client testnets to launch would likely come in April 2020. At the time, Buterin said:
“The best way to think about when Phase 0 mainnet launch will take place is, first we need a multi-client test net, then we wait for that testnet to run for some time without issues, and if it does then we launch. This is a similar procedure to what we did back in 2015 for eth1 … So it is not easy to predict when mainnet will happen, though we absolutely expect multi-client test nets very soon; April seems very likely.”
With the launch of Schlesi in late April, then, Buterin was right on the mark with his recent multi-client testnet timeline estimation. That generally bodes well for the roll out of Ethereum 2.0, that is unless major roadblocks spring up in the near future.
Why Serenity Phase 0 Is Huge for Ethereum
One of the reasons Phase 0 of the Serenity is so major for Ethereum is that the upgrade will introduce proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus, or security via staking, to the Ethereum 2.0 blockchain.
The arrival of staking has the potential to be seismic for Ethereum’s trajectory going forward. That’s because Ethereum’s planned form of staking will be very accessible, at least generally speaking, while also being very environmentally friendly. These are powerful dynamics in tandem.
Moreover, though, staking will make Ethereum more competitive with Bitcoin because it will make the smart contract platform that much more differentiated from the cryptoeconomy’s proof-of-work (PoW) OG.
Ethereum will be the king of staking for the foreseeable future, in other words, which makes it very attractive as staking is just starting to come in vogue.
Yet the arrival of staking also comes at a time when Ethereum’s decentralized finance and digital collectibles sectors are really starting to hit their strides.
In this sense, many key threads are coming together for Ethereum right now, which makes the top smart contract platform a key project to watch in 2020 and beyond.