Vitalik Buterin says ETH 2.0 is still on track, touting crucial multi-client testnet

With a newly launched multi-client testnet, Ethereum 2.0 is on track to meet its "Phase 0" pre-launch requirements,  Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said Monday.

Kicking off Coindesk’s Consensus: Distributed conference, Buterin discussed the latest progress. In particular, he highlighted the recent release of the first ETH 2.0 multi-client testnet.

The launch of the new network, dubbed "Schlesi," is a major milestone for ETH 2.0 development, since it is a hard pre-launch requirement that two or more compatible clients run a testnet together for at least two months. 

Right now, the Schlesi network features two clients – Lighthouse from Sigma Prime and Prysm from Prysmatic Labs. The Teku and Nimbus clients have also synced with Schlesi and will soon run their validators on the testnet. With four clients set to operate on the testnet, Schlesi is laying the ground for the official multi-client testnet that the Ethereum Foundation will deploy in the near future.  

Justin Drake, a researcher at the Ethereum Foundation, previously said that the team is hoping to release the Phase 0 mainnet before July 30, the 5th Anniversary of Ethereum 1.0. But with the launch schedule pushed repeatedly from the initial set date of January 3 to Q2, and now to Q3, it is unclear whether the project can follow through on the July timeframe. 

During his brief appearance at the virtual event, Buterin also pointed to a new demo of Optimistic Rollup from open finance protocol Synthetix and research group Optimism. The demo is meant to illustrate how much faster the Ethereum network could process transactions using the group's layer-two system. According to Optimism, the demo shows that it is possible to reduce oracle update latency by 37.5 times and transaction delay by 75 times.

Buterin said that the approach could theoretically scale the throughput of both the Ethereum 1.0 and 2.0 chains to over 1,000 transactions a second.

“There’s a lot of work on scalability. There’s also a lot of work on the cryptography and privacy that will make the technology possible to implement on the Ethereum public chain,” said Buterin. “It’s moving forward on all fronts.”