Ethereum [ETH] 2.0 public test-net has been announced enabled with the staking of Ethereum under the new PoS protocol and implementation of sharding. This is significant progress towards the Ethereum 2.0 mission which is necessary to scale the Ethereum network and compete with the new age cryptocurrencies like EOS and Tron.
Staking or Forging of Ethereum on Proof of Stake (PoS) network would reward the stakeholders or nodes for validating transactions by holding Ethereum. They will be consequently rewarded or even penalized (if found guilty of fraud or underperformance) for validating the blocks on the network. It will act in a similar manner the miners currently operate, but without the extensive hardware and cost of electricity.
The Sapphire Testnet
This test-net is called the Sapphire Testnet which includes Casper Proof of Stake (PoS) and Sharding. The public test-net is currently made available through the Goerli Test-Net as the ‘Phase 0’ of the Ethereum 2.0 update. Preston Van Loon, the C0-founder of Prysmatic Labs working on the Ethereum 2.0 updated noted in the blog that:
Users can deposit 3.2 ETH from the Goerli test network to become validators in the new system, which participate in proof of stake consensus to earn returns on their deposit.
Moreover, it will implement sharding techniques to increase scalability. However, it will not include the smart contract feature of Ethereum just yet, which will be rolled out in Phase 2 of the update. The users can begin stakeholding on the test-net here. Loon added:
These shards are coordinated by one root chain, known as the beacon chain, which is what phase 0 of Ethereum 2.0 implements. Having shards allows for horizontal scalability of the system, as transactions can be processed in parallel compared to the current Ethereum proof of work chain.