In preparation for the launch of the Beacon Chain as early as November, the Ethereum Foundation has announced an additional public testnet, Spadina, coming out in late September on which the community can once again practice the genesis block launch before mainnet lift-off. We’re looking forward to testing out how our system behaves during genesis one last time before the imminent launch of the Beacon Chain!
Latest Testnet: Medalla
Medalla multi-client testnet went live on August 4th and despite lower initial participation, was chugging along relatively smoothly until August 14th when a 5-day incident occurred surrounding a roughtime server error that caused the Prysm client to malfunction and eventually go offline.
Due to the error, validators incorrectly proposed blocks and attestations for future slots leading to over 3000 slashing events.
Client teams have since strengthened their chain sync code and imperatively, the Beacon Chain proved robust as it remained running throughout the entire incident. Refinements in Medalla are still ongoing but the chain has finalized hovering around 75% participation.
Blox’s Insights from Medalla
The greatest insight at Blox during the Medalla slashing event was that our built-in slashing protection mechanism (housed in KeyVault remote signer) proved truly effective. The separation of signing logic from key management and slashing protection allowed us to avoid slashing penalties for all of our validators during the incident.
Our slashing protection mechanism was cross-referencing the incoming signing requests with internal history logs and deemed that the incoming requests were in fact not valid. Although we were unable to attest during the downtime the network suffered, we did not incur slashing penalties for incorrect proposals and attestations along with the rest of the group!
Here Comes Spadina
The configuration parameters and launchpad for Spadina are set to be released the week of September 21st, followed by genesis of the testnet the following week. It will run in parallel to Medalla so as not to disturb the ongoing refinements happening there. With a 3-day end-of-life (EOL), the goal of Spadina is to allow everyone the chance to run through testnet launch again and undergo specific testing improvements before mainnet launch.
This gives us the chance to ensure that our system behaves as expected in node preparation and validator bootstrapping. It also gives us the opportunity to test out a multinetwork implementation of our product given that Medalla and Spadina will be running in parallel. Ensuring that our system supports a multinetwork implementation is key for success once the main net goes live in parallel to Medalla in the near future. We are very excited to be participating in Spadina as it brings us one step closer to the successful genesis of the Beacon Chain (hopefully coming soon!).
November Mainnet Launch
As for us, Blox Beta will be live September 24th. You can sign up at that point to test out our non-custodial platform running on the Medalla testnet. As soon as the mainnet goes live, we will follow up with our full product release.