The Ethereum development team has announced that the Phase 0 TestNet for its Ethereum 2.0 is now live. As such, the Ethereum community can start using the feature and staking their Ethers.

According to the blog post published by Ethereum, the launch of the phase zero feature is an essential step towards pushing the technology to another level.

Ethereum Launches Phase Zero TestNet

While Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum revealed that they would be moving to a proof of stake (PoS) protocol, the team has been working to make this a success over the last couple of months. The team has now announced the release of the phase zero feature, which is available for the community to test.

The phase zero feature is part of the Ethereum 2.0 platform currently under development. The overall objective according to the team is to work towards Ethereum 2.0, an ideal, scalable and a fully decentralized, permissionless platform for programmable money. Ethereum 2.0 would be an upgrade to the current proof-of-work powered network tagging better security, scalability, and decentralization with a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm.

To test out the new features, users can deposit 3.2 ETH from the Goerli test network and afterward become validators in the new system. Thus, they would participate in the PoS consensus and earn rewards for their deposits.

For each validator, both rewards and penalties would be applied based on their behavior within the ecosystem. The PoS protocol favors activeness. Thus, this ensures that the chain would still be active even when most of the validators are unavailable. However, validators that are continually offline would cause deposits to attract penalties, and the affected individuals would eventually lose funds in the process.

Scalability continues to be one of the biggest problems plaguing the Ethereum network. However, the developers are working on solving the issue on the Ethereum 2.0 blockchain. This new blockchain will come with shards. Thus, enabling the horizontal scalability of the network

Ethereum 2.0 TestNet Has Only One Client

In the spirit of transparency within its community, the Ethereum developers decided to share the features that would be available in this TestNet. Unlike Ethereum 1.0 that has Geth and Parity, the new version has only one client, the Prysm network.

In addition to this, the TestNet implements the v0.4 version of the official beacon chain specification which was developed by the Ethereum Research team although it is not possible to carry out simulation.

Besides, they revealed that this test won’t support smart contract or the EVM. The features for these functions would be available in phase 2 of the Ethereum 2.0 development as it is not designed to accommodate a large number of validators. While the TestNet is not a multi-client network, the team are working toward ensuring that it achieves that feat in the future.

Also, the TestNet doesn’t support beacon chain transfers or withdrawals at the moment. However, the team will add those features in later upgrades since they are not crucial in showcasing the primary functionalities of the beacon chain.

Furthermore, the team admits that it doesn’t have features such as super-optimal LMD GHOST fork-choice rule, attestation aggregation, and others that would enable the code to handle hundreds of thousands of validators at the TestNet phase.