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Ethereum 2.0 progress: Medalla is advancing smoothly and clients are more diverse




Medalla progresses smoothly

Client diversification is imperative

End-to-end Demo of Eth 1 + ETH 2 (Phase 1.5)

Phase 0 launch is approaching, testing and auditing work continues

The calmer the testnet, the more worrisome it is.

If you have been following the Medalla testnet in the past few weeks, you must know that on August 15th (Beijing time), there was a network-wide failure that lasted for 5 days. Afterwards, Prysm published an article detailing the technical details and timeline; Ben also provided a more in-depth analysis in a recent blog post (,). The client team worked overtime the weekend after the outage to deploy syncs and fixes to help restore the shattered network.

Data: After the merger, the total open interest of Ethereum futures dropped from $8 billion to $6.8 billion: Jinse Finance reported that according to the analysis data of Glassnode, a blockchain analysis company, the total open interest of Ethereum futures after the merger dropped from $8 billion to 68 billion. billion, down 15%, impacting the dollar value of futures position sizes denominated in ethereum. Based on ethereum-denominated open interest, futures open interest is actually at an all-time high, up nearly 80% since early May. Over the past week, futures leverage appears to have actually increased rather than decreased, suggesting that many risk-hedged positions have not been closed. In addition, post-merger Ethereum call options open interest fell by $600 million (down 10%), leaving a total value of $5.2 billion in outstanding call options positions, well above 2021 norms. The Ethereum put options market experienced a more pronounced relative decline of 19%, but still a much smaller net position value of $294 million. [2022/9/23 7:17:00]

Although this failure has brought enormous pressure to the test network, it is an experience for all clients to deal with extreme situations. To be honest, after this incident, the client software is much more robust. I slept a little more at ease at night.

TikTok cooperates with Audius, an Ethereum-based music streaming platform: According to news on August 17, according to Rolling Stone magazine, TikTok, the world's most downloaded application, has chosen the blockchain-based project Audius as its No. a partner. Artists who use the app to share popular videos will be able to post their music under the "TikTok Sounds" section. The Audius app was initially launched on the Ethereum-based POA network. In October, the project partially migrated to high-throughput competitor Solana. Earlier this month, it announced that it had reached 5 million monthly users, making it one of the most widely used applications powered by blockchain technology. ( [2021/8/17 22:18:09]

In hindsight, the Medalla testnet has been going great: there are now 39,000 active-ethexc validators, and 12,000 prospective validators queued up (12 days to wait)!

Report: 70% of the assets based on the Ethereum network have achieved positive returns this year: The latest report released by the encryption market analysis company Messari shows that there are currently 178 assets on the Ethereum network, with a total market value of 63.7 billion US dollars. Including stablecoins, 124 assets have achieved positive returns during the year, which means that despite the impact of the global economy during the new crown pneumonia epidemic, 70% of ether assets have appreciated in value. Among them, a third of tokens more than doubled their market capitalization, and 10 tokens recorded gains of more than 500%, including major decentralized financial protocols Bancor (BNT) and Kyber Network (KNC). ETH itself ranks 41st among the strongest performing assets, with a year-to-date gain of 142%. (Cointelegraph)[2020/7/30]

While there are many (excellent, viable, robust, practical...) Eth2 clients in active-ethexc development, Prysm currently dominates the entire network.

Ethereum developer: Using stateless clients and other 3 measures can effectively improve ETH1 network throughput: On July 22, Ethereum developer Philippe Castonguay tweeted that there are 3 measures that can significantly improve ETH1 network throughput : 1. Stateless client (or something like ReGenesis). Stateless clients can safely increase the block gas limit, making it easier to synchronize and maintain nodes. 2. Reduce the known triggers of spam messages. 3. Bundle deals. Many transactions can be grouped, allowing users to save some effort and bring a better user experience. At the same time, Philippe Castonguay reminded that these measures will reduce Gas consumption, but also increase the block Gas limit. [2020/7/23]

There are historical reasons for this: for over a year, Prysm has prioritized early testnets, community engagement, and usability. Hats off to the Prysmatic team. At the same time, community building can be difficult but critical to our industry.

Still, since the vast majority of validator nodes on the Medalla testnet use the Prysm client, the outage was doubly damaging. As the mainnet launch approaches, as a community, we must find a solution. As someone who has tried all the ETH 2 clients on Medalla, I can tell you from personal experience that most of them are very functional and well documented. All client teams are active-ethexc on discord and github, actively helping users with any issues.

Client diversity not only makes Eth2 consensus more robust, but also protects validators in extreme cases: given Eth2's anti-correlation incentives, the more validators who make mistakes at the same time, the more each validator is penalized Heavy.

Assuming that client A fails, 60% of the verifier nodes in the entire network are offline for several days, but the verifier nodes running client B and client C are stable online. Although validators running clients B and C will continue to produce blocks, the network will not be able to finalize blocks because offline nodes exceed 33% of the entire network. If you are running the A client, as long as the network has been unable to finalize the block, the penalty you receive will increase every epoch (period), which is the so-called "inactivity leak". However, if you're running client B or C, you're exempt from the penalty since you've been in the current state. (Note: The slowdown penalty is much higher than the normal offline penalty.)

Assume that the niche B client (20% of the entire network) has a serious error, causing the client to crash. In this case, the network can still finalize the block (since the participation rate of the whole network is 80%). In this case, offline validators will only be subject to normal offline penalties, not slowdown penalties. Therefore, those validators running the B-client lose much less than in the first case.

In addition to community members trying out the new client, the client team is working hard to make client switching safe and easy. With the addition of some cross-client standards, in the near future you will be able to quickly switch from one client to another without any risk of accidental slashing.

Cross-client standards prevent client centralization and are critical to the robustness of the Eth 2 network. If a client goes down, client switching allows the community to resolve the issue more quickly, preventing a recurrence of the Medalla incident.

One of the main goals of Eth2 is to achieve Phase 1.5 (ie, "merge"). At that time, the existing Eth 1 consensus will be integrated into Eth 2. In other words, Ethereum will completely transition from the PoW consensus mechanism to the PoS consensus mechanism.

By design, the transition to Phase 1.5 is as seamless as possible for existing users and clients. State, transactions, and execution are still undertaken by the ETh1 client. Since the user layer remains largely unchanged, Ethereum is able to leverage existing tools and APIs to support transactions and dApps, as it does today.

To that end, Mikhail from the TXRX team and Guillaume from the geth team recently released an end-to-end demo of a multi-shard beacon chain (the Eth1 blockchain will become one of the shards). In the released Demo video, Mikhail sent some transactions to the Eth1 shard using an unmodified metamask wallet.

Click here to experience the dockerized version of the Eth1 + Eth2 Demo. If you want to dig deeper, you can build and run from source.

Testing and auditing continue as usual.

The client team is hard at work, and the auditors are doing a full audit of the code. Everyone is making intensive preparations for the launch of the mainnet.



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Ethereum 2.0 progress: Medalla is advancing smoothly and clients are more diverse

Summary: Medalla progresses smoothly Client diversification is imperative End-to-end Demo of Eth 1 + ETH 2 (Phase 1.5)Phase 0 launch is approaching, testing and auditing work continuesThe calmer the testnet.

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