Ethereum is the 2nd largest Blockchain project by market-cap, as of August 2020 it is valued at over $44B. Currently, Ethereum uses a proof of work algorithm that uses computing power generated from graphic cards and ASIC miners. Proof of work is a very energy consuming way of verifying blocks, however it is very distributed throughout the world. Ethereum is changing its model to a proof of stake model, which is much more energy efficient.
In proof of stake models, you put aside a certain amount of your assets and run a computer program that verify's the integrity of the block being produced. In return, you are rewarded in ethereum for your efforts. While staking, your ethereum is locked, meaning you can't spend it. This helps with the overall stability of the network, making the locked up stakes un-spendable, contributing to increasing the value.
A launch date has yet to be set for implementing what is being called Ethereum 2.0. However it is being targeted for Q4 of 2020. We will inform you of our experiences and any relevant news regarding Ethereum, please follow us on our social media accounts for updated information.
As with previous Ethereum testnets, they are named after train stations throughout the world. Medalla is named after the Medalla Milagrosa train stop on the Buenos Aires, Argentina subway system. This will be our 4th Ethereum Test net, having participated in the Witti, Topaz and Onyx Test Nets.
We have set up our Ethereum 2.0 validator on a AMD Threadripper Windows box utilizing Hyper-V virtualization manager. We created a VM running Ubuntu 20.04 with 2 processors and 4 GB of RAM. We chose to run the Prysmatic Labs Prysm client utilizing their Docker Build. We are updated to the latest release. You run two different Docker images. One is called Beacon Chain, which synchronizes the blockchain and interacts with other clients. The second is a Validator image that has your keys that were issued by the Ethereum foundation launchpad .
We implemented 3 Validator accounts using the Goerli test Ethernet. In production, each client will require 32 Ethereum to be staked. Currently, there are almost 26,000 validators running with over 5800 pending activation.
Getting started was easy. Ethereum set up their launch pad and we used the Windows Client to create and download our public keys. Once saved to a file, we uploaded them to the Linux VM for use by the Prysm client. In all the process took about 10 minutes. Prysm wrote an application as part of their Validator to extract the keys into their client. It was seemless, and we launched our validator on August 3rd. It took almost 7 days for the Validator to activate and start attesting blocks. This is part of the Ethereum 2.0 spec that slowly puts Validators into production.
The Medalla Testnet has a very good explorer where it is easy to follow how things are going.
Beaconchain Explorer- Page that tracks all of the transactions as they occur. Our 3 Validators are at index 25742, 25743 and 25744.
Eth2 Stats Page- This gives a visualization of all the clients on the global network. Our Beacon Chain client stats can be seen, to the center right of the United States.
It is very early in the Testnet, but the early results are promising. We anticipate that a number of bugs will be found and fixed.
Several issues remain for us to see how they are sorted out.
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