The Ethereum Kintsugi testnet was released today after the developers released a few short-lived testnets to experiment with the merge. The release of the public testnet should be one of the last steps before ETH 2.0 becomes functional. Ethereum developer teams were working hard to prepare for Ethereum 2.0 as the proof of stake platform that is designed to make blockchain transactions faster, less energy-intensive, and cheaper.
Over the past few months, client teams have been working tirelessly to implement a new set of merge milestones. They are now live on a new testnet: Kintsugi 🍵!
Here’s how you can join the testnet and help with testing: https://t.co/ARDezguzXE 👀
Christmas came early🎄!
— Tim Beiko | timbeiko.eth 🍵 (@TimBeiko) December 20, 2021
While ETH2 is not ready yet, its first major testnet is providing the public with a look at how the network could function. Tim Beiko who coordinates the ETH core developers announced the Kintsugi testnet on the Ethereum Foundation blog. Kintsugi is actually a Japanese word for using gold to repair broken objects without attempting to hide the damage. The word brings a sense of transparency about something’s history and while the network in its current state isn’t broken, it became a victim of its success. After pioneering popular Defi apps, NFTs, and blockchain-based games, the network transaction costs are scaring off some users. Swapping assets on a peer-to-peer basis or bidding on the digital collectibles on-chain requires part of the network’s energy to push the transaction through quite fast so people have to pay higher fees or wait until there is less activity on the blockchain.
Ethereum 2.0 will solve that as it moves the network from a proof of work system like Bitcoin that has miners to validate the transactions to a proof of stake system that allows people to secure the network by locking up their ETH into the protocol. While both of the miners and stakers get rewards, the Ethereum proof of stake system scales up the space that is available on the network. Phase 0 of the upgrade went live in December with the launch of the Beacon Chain that will be used to bridge the current network to a new one. To prepare for the merge, the developers introduced four other testnets to simulate how the network will work once it goes to proof of stake. Kintsugi will stay forever but it is also designed for all members of the public. Tim Beiko wrote:
“Although client development and UX continue to be refined, we encourage the community to start using Kintsugi to familiarize themselves with Ethereum in a post-merge context. Once these have upgraded and are stable, next up is Ethereum mainnet’s transition to proof of stake.”
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