Ethereum PoS-based Public Merge Testnet Is Now Live
Ethereum Chief developer Tim Beiko has announced that the Kintsugi Merge Testnet is now live, fresh from the Amphora merge workshop. Speaking on the Ethereum blockchain’s official blog, Beiko encouraged the community to start using the Kintsugi testnet to familiarise themselves with Ethereum as it will be post-merge.
Why The Merge?
The merge event on the Ethereum network is the transition to the Proof-of-Stake model from the currently employed Proof-of-Work model. This merger means that the Ethereum mainnet system and the new Beacon chain will merge. It is quite significant since only a handful of cryptocurrencies use the Proof-of-Stake model.
The PoW algorithm, under which Ethereum was launched, is quite resource intensive and this transition to the PoS model has been expected for some time. Under the PoW system,a miner’s technical equipment solves complex math equations and a miner receives a reward in cryptocurrency form whenever they add a new verified block to the system.
The PoS system, on the other hand, selects the creator of a new block in advance based on their share of the total supply of cryptocurrency. The main idea behind PoS is to solve the problem of high energy consumption associated with PoW systems.
Ethereum 2.0 is a massive upgrade to the existing network aiming to make it more scalable and to provide greater security while remaining decentralised. The Ethereum team sought to fix issues arising from the original PoW protocol such as clogging on the network, insufficient disk space, and high energy consumption.
Ethereum 2.0 or Eth2 is coming through in a series of steps, the first of which was the development of the Beacon chain in 2020. The Beacon Chain is a PoS system that runs alongside the existing PoW and is being tested first.
The Ethereum blockchain needs thousands of users, otherwise called nodes, running Ethereum virtual machines which can execute smart contracts. With Ethereum 2.0, the network will achieve greater scalability, being able to support thousands of transactions per second and at a cheaper price. Sharding coupled with the implementation of the new PoS protocol is expected to increase the scale by adding more nodes to the network while not incurring the use of more power.
The Beacon chain also expected to provide better network security in order to boost the confidence of users. On top of this, the launch of a PoS system will help to boost the Ethereum blockchains drive towards greater sustainability as Eth2 will not require any mining. Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin even claimed that Ethereum’s consumption of energy will reduce by a factor of more than 1000.
Ethereum are encouraging developers to jump on the Kintsugi Testnet and to begin prototyping to bring to the surface any potential issues to enable incorporation in future client and specification versions.
To access Kintsugi, users must check out the Kintsugi landing page where they will find network settings, a faucet, a block explorer and a JSON-RPC endpoint, as well as up to date documentation on supported consensus-execution layer client combinations.Source