Ethereum 2.0: Prysmatic Labs explains Medalla Testnet failure

Piyasi Mitra
Piyasi Mitra is a journalist, features writer and copy editor who has worked with The Times of India and the ABP Group, and is currently exploring content creation in the digital space.
  • Prysmatic Labs has issued a fix for the bug that hit Ethereum 2.0’s Medalla Testnet last week
  • Prysmatic Labs team is now calling users to update their nodes to get the Testnet working again
  • Post the glitch, participation has already risen to 40% now, and the chain needs > 66% to finalize.

The biggest event this year for Ethereum enthusiasts would be the highly anticipated launch of Eth 2.0, tentatively slated for 2020 end. To work on this project,  Medalla Testnet- a multiclient network designed to implement Ethereum 2.0’s proof-of-stake blockchain upgrade-was launched last week. However, the test run by Prysmatic Labs failed due to a bug which hindered the node’s synchronisation.

How did the Testnet crash?

It all began when Cloudflare Roughtime, a third-party kit suddenly started malfunctioning, going out of action for a good four hours. Cloudflare is essentially a web infrastructure provider that Prysmatic uses to adjust inconsistencies in the clocks of users. The erroneous time portrayal led the network’s participants to process blocks incorrectly, and not receive rewards and transaction fees either. As a result, the number of people who were successfully validating blocks dropped from 75% to nearly 5%.

Fixing the bug for ETH 2.0

The upgrade to Ethereum 2.0 is aimed at evolving from the existing Proof-of-Work (PoW) network to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, and the launch scheduled by end of this year is expected to be phase 0 of a multiyear overhauls.  Medalla is the final Testnet before the launch of the Eth 2.0 network, and quite naturally, the bug has led to confusion and disappointment in crypto-verse.

Dispelling all worries, the Prysmatic Labs team has stated on twitter that it needs everyone’s support to get the Testnet back on track, and the best way to do that would be by updating nodes to add more healthy peers to the network.

Medalla Matters

As reported by CoinDesk, Medalla was one of many Ethereum 2.0 Testnets which appeared over 2019 and 2020. The biggest advantage Medalla offers is a public network where validators are not controlled by developer teams.  It was launched on August 4, 2020, and currently works with Teku from ConsenSys, Prysm from Prysmatic Labs, Nimbus from Status, Lodestar from ChainSafe Systems and Lighthouse from Sigma Prime. Medalla’s goal is to test the stability of the Ethereum 2.0 proof of stake chain under real conditions, which makes it like a “dress rehearsal” before the deployment of phase 0, as the core developer of the Ethereum, Danny Ryan explained.

Participation is now up by 40%

The Prysmatic website has issued a detailed clarification on fixing the bug and moving ahead with the latest developments.  Participation has now risen to 40% from 5%, and the chain needs > 66% to finalize. In a relief to all stakeholders, the Prysmatic Labs team also recommends ETH2 launch schedule to continue without delay.

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