Kintsugi is a public testnet where people can experiment with Ethereum 2.0 before it is merged into proof of stake.
Testnet for Ethereum 2.0
Ethereum developer teams have been hard at work preparing Ethereum 2.0. This is a proof-of-stake platform designed to make blockchain transactions faster, cheaper and less energy-intensive.
But, while ETH2 isn’t quite ready yet, the first major testnet is. This way the public can see how the network will function in the near future.
Tim Beiko, who coordinates the core developers of Ethereum, today announced the Kintsugi testnet on the Ethereum Foundation blog. Kintsugi is a Japanese word for using gold to repair broken items without trying to hide the damage. The word evokes a sense of transparency.
Over the past few months, client teams have been working tirelessly to implement a new set of merge milestones. They are now live on a new testnet: Kintsugi 🍵!
Here’s how you can join the testnet and help with testing: https://t.co/ARDezguzXE 👀
Christmas came early🎄!
— Tim Beiko | timbeiko.eth 🍵 (@TimBeiko) Dec 20, 2021
The Ethereum network in its current state is a victim of its own success. After pioneering decentralized financial applications, NFTs, and even blockchain-based games, network transaction fees are putting some users off. Exchanging assets on a peer-to-peer basis or bidding for digital collectibles in the chain requires some of the network’s energy.
To push through transactions relatively quickly, people have to pay higher fees or wait until there is less activity on the blockchain.
From proof-of-work to proof-of-stake
Ethereum 2.0 solves that. The network is now a proof-of-work system, much like Bitcoin. The miners validate transactions. Now it is moving towards a proof-of-stake system that allows people to secure the network by locking some of their ETH in the protocol. While both miners and strikers get rewards, Ethereum’s proof-of-stake system also scales up the available space on the network.
Phase 0 of the upgrade went live last December with the launch of the Beacon Chain. This will eventually be used to bridge the current network to the new one. Billions of dollars in ETH have already been deployed for the new network.
In preparation for the merger, developers have introduced four short-lived test nets designed to simulate how the new network will operate. Kintsugi is designed not only for experienced developers, but for all members of the public.
“While customer development and UX are still being refined, we encourage the community to start using Kintsugi to get familiar with Ethereum.” According to Beiko.
Most hope that the testing process will go smoothly so that other test nets, such as Görli and Rinkeby, can be used to simulate the transition.
“Once these are upgraded and stable, the next step is to transition from Ethereum mainnet to proof-of-stake.” According to Beiko.