A year after its historic ‘Merge’, Ethereum rolls out ‘Holesky’ Test Network

Leading blockchain network Ethereum hit the headlines recently after its developers rolled out a new testnet called Holesky which they claim would ramp up the ecosystem’s capability. Making the announcement on September 15, 2023, the developers stated that the upgrade would make the Ethereum network twice as big as the main network at least by one metric. 

One can get a look at the first blocks of Ethereum’s new test network through a blockchain explorer that was set up, especially for monitoring Holesky, and can be viewed online.

Ethereum, which powers even some of the Top 10 cryptocurrencies, selected September 15 as the launch date for Holesky as it coincides with the first anniversary of its ‘Merge’ upgrade. The ‘Merge’ upgrade marked Ethereum’s shift from the energy-intensive proof-of-work consensus algorithm to the proof-of-stake mechanism, which is a more environment-friendly consensus protocol. The upgrade which spanned over months enabled Ethereum to save massively on energy bills. Bitcoin is among the leading blockchains that continue to use the more energy-hungry proof-of-work consensus protocol. 

Testnets are defined as copies of a blockchain that are created only for testing new dApps and smart contracts in a low-stakes ecosystem. According to reports, Ethereum developers feel that Holesky has the potential to replace the Goerli testnet that is slated to be released in early 2024. 

Parithosh Jayanthi, Ethereum’s core developer, has said that Holesky may be the biggest test network for Ethereum. He said that the team expects the testnet to have around 1.4 million validators – twice that for Ethereum – who could address the scalability issues with the mainnet.

Sepolia and Goerli are other testnets rolled out by Ethereum and are validated by a smaller group of validators than the main blockchain. There’s a section of developers that feels that a smaller subset of validators could pose a problem in the future.  

By expanding the size of Holesky, Ethereum developers would be able to theoretically test the infra and upgrade under rigorous conditions. This means that tests that are conducted seamlessly on Holesky are less likely to encounter unforeseen glitches on the mainnet.

Talking about Holesky’s debut, Jayanthi said that the team didn’t want a scaling obstacle on the mainnet and hence, wanted to spot an issue on the testnet. For this purpose, the team had to ensure that the testnet was bigger than the main Ethereum blockchain.

Analysts who have been tracking the market said they are yet to see any impact of the announcement on the live cryptocurrency prices.

Ethereum is an open-source blockchain network that powers dApps, virtual machines, and, digital assets like cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The first time the world heard about Ethereum was in a whitepaper in 2013 that was penned by Vitalik Buterin, who went on to launch the platform along with two other co-founders. The platform’s native token, ETH, is among the most traded cryptocurrencies in the world.

Disclaimer: This article was created for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. An asset’s past performance does not predict its future returns. Before making an investment, please conduct your own research, as digital assets like cryptocurrencies are highly risky and volatile financial instruments.

Author: Puskar Pande

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