The latest in a series of Ethereum 2.0 testnets, called Spadina, was launched with mixed success

The latest in a series of Ethereum 2.0 testnets, called Spadina, was launched with mixed success - Testnet Spadina 1024x538Spadina was proposed as a short-lived "dress rehearsal" for the mainnet launch process, signaling that Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0 is getting closer and closer. The network was launched on September 29 and was only supposed to last 72 hours.

The developers said this will likely be the last chance for potential Ether stakers (quotation ETH) to test the deposit and launch tools prior to the genesis of Phase 0.

From this point of view, the test appears to have been very successful. There were no major issues in the deposit process and customers handled the blocks correctly.

Participation rates below expectations

As with the initial launch of the Medalla testnet, however, attendance rates were far below expectations. The first rounds of validation saw less than 34% of participation in the consensus process, while the target percentage was 80%.

Such low participation rates suggest that many community members who signed up as validators have failed to get their customers online in time for launch.

Despite this, Danny Ryan, the principal coordinator of Eth 2.0 at the Ethereum Foundation, said: "I think we got 90% of what we wanted."

As the testnet was specifically targeted at the launch process, low attendance is not a major concern. However, some users have reported problems with Teku, one of the newer clients to enter the preparation phase.

Others have pointed out a potential problem with port forwarding, as most clients seem not to be using Universal Plug & Play. This technology dynamically opens router ports to allow incoming connections to be accepted by the local network, which is critical for peer-to-peer networking.

Its absence could create problems for some less tech-savvy users, who may not know how to manually open network ports.

Stable and successful testnets

Although no indications have yet been given, the testnets launched so far appear to be relatively stable and successful. Three months to go, these results look good for a 0 Phase 2020 launch.

However, Phase 0 will not have an immediate impact on the larger Ethereum ecosystem. The proof-of-work blockchain will continue to work exactly as it has done so far, except for the presence of an Ethereum 2.0 deposit smart contract.

Afri Schoedon, who has been deeply involved with Eth 2.0 testing networks, called Phase 0 "an incentive testing phase," suggesting that it is primarily a way to test stakers' behavior in realistic scenarios.

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, was however optimistic that the raw Phase 0 beacon chain could still be useful for Ethereum 1.0 customers.

He also said that its launch signals a change in approach focused on shipping and iterating features. “The Eth 2.0 network will gradually add functionality and become more important to the ecosystem over time,” he added.