Last Monday, Ethereum developer Tim Beiko announced that the Kintsugi test
network has gone live. With this, the Ethereum Foundation is well on track with
the rollout of the groundbreaking Ethereum 2.0 upgrade.
The upgrade to the Ethereum network should primarily provide a faster, cheaper,
more durable and scalable blockchain. However, it is a process of years, as there
are all small steps to be taken that will eventually make up ETH2.
Kintsugi is one of those steps.
We, as users of Ethereum, will not notice much of Kintsugi, but for programmers
this is a very useful development. They can now test and experiment with
Ethereum 2.0 before Proof-of-Stake is introduced.
What is Kintsugi?
Kintsugi is a testnet for Ethereum 2.0. The purpose of this testnet is to allow
developers to experiment with ETH2, without any potentially fatal consequences.
Developers can see how the real Ethereum network will function soon, and can
already test if everything works properly.
The Ethereum Foundation also recommends that projects do this, so that
potential problems with the network will quickly surface. The Kinstugi test
network is largely intended as a kind of dress rehearsal, so that all the bugs /
errors can still be corrected before the real Ethereum 2.0 launches.
It is therefore a very useful development for programmers, as it allows them to
test their software without any unpleasant consequences. This could prevent a
lot of expensive mistakes in the future, when ETH2 is actually launched. After all,
there is a lot of money circulating on the Ethereum blockchain, and a mistake can
quickly cost several million euros.
What are the next steps?
The Ethereum community now has the opportunity to experiment with a "post-
merge Ethereum," or an Ethereum 2.0 with Proof-of-Stake. In the process, people
are bound to encounter bugs and problems, about which the Ethereum
Foundation would like to receive feedback.
Once all feedback is incorporated into the client software and specifications, a
final number of test nets will be launched. At the same time, the Ethereum
Foundation will also start testing more and more.
Once all of this is complete, the transition from Ethereum's mainnet to a Proof-of-
stake consensus algorithm will actually begin. This consensus algorithm will
ensure that transactions are validated by stakers rather than miners.
Stakers is the deployment of coins to contribute to the network, while mining is
the deployment of computing power to contribute to the network. Both activities
yield rewards, but there is a big difference in energy consumption.
The Ethereum network will consume an estimated 99.95% less energy after the
transition to Proof-of-Stake. Also, transactions will be many times cheaper and
faster. Ethereum Foundation's vision is clearly focused on the future and global
use, and Kintsugi is yet another step in that direction.