Ethereum is being completely renovated. In addition to Medalla, the Testnet Optimistic Ethereum is also live, which turns the blockchain interior on its head and puts scaling solutions through their paces.
The Ethereum network is gradually bursting at the seams. The rapid growth of the DeFi sector is increasingly testing the limits of the resilience of the Ethereum blockchain. While the total volume of tokens locked in DeFi applications (total value locked) was around 700 million US dollars at the beginning of the year, it is now over 11 billion US dollars.
DeFi is thus noticeably clogging the transaction channels and gradually increasing the corresponding fees. The total transaction fees for 2020 in the Ethereum network already amount to 354 million US dollars. For comparison: In the Bitcoin network, the fees so far add up to 157 million US dollars.
The rise in fees makes it abundantly clear: Ethereum has a scaling problem. In order to get this under control, developers are tinkering with different solution approaches that will be implemented in various multi-client testnet environments before the mainnet launch be played through.
One of them comes from the Plasmagroup, which recently ushered in the first phase of the Optimistic Ethereum test network. The team is developing a Layer 2 scaling compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) to process data and transactions faster.
The testnet goes through a total of four phases in which more and more mainnet conditions are simulated.
Synthetix will be the first early adopter to test the scaling solutions and provide 200,000 SNX as rewards for participating in the network. According to the development team, the testnet is open to public use, but it is still bug-prone and not suitable for processing contracts.
The official Testnet Medalla also reports progress on the way to the 2.0 version. According to beaconcha.in, the testnet environment currently has 63,290 validators, of which almost 2 million of the ether test token Görli ( GöETH) are staked.
Medalla, however, represents the last major testnet environment before Phase 0, which is to be introduced by the end of the year and in turn represents the actual beginning of Ethereum 2.0. Ethereum then goes through two further phases under the upgrade name Serenity, at the end of which all functions and updates such as the Proof of Stake consensus procedure, the beacon chain , sharding functions and the Ether 2 asset are fully transferred to the mainnet.
So the Ethereum developers have big plans. According to chief developer Vitalik Buterin, five to ten years could ultimately pass before the final version. As long as the DeFi market continues to inflate, and the opposite cannot currently be assumed, the transaction costs in the Ethereum network should remain at a consistently high level. The scaling solution of the Plasmagroup could actually bring light at the end of the tunnel.