Ethereum launches Holesky, a new testnet to improve scalability  |  Editor Rachael Rajan

Published Sep 15, 2023 04:18PM ET

On Friday, Ethereum developers launched a new test network, Holesky, marking the first anniversary of Ethereum's transition from a proof-of-work model to a proof-of-stake blockchain, known as "The Merge." The launch of Holesky aims to enhance the smart-contract blockchain's testing capabilities by making it twice as large, at least on one metric, than the main network.

Holesky is expected to replace the Goerli testnet, which is scheduled for sunset in early 2024. As Ethereum's largest testnet, it is projected to have 1.4 million validators—double the 700,000 on Ethereum—to help address scalability problems with the mainnet.

The first blocks proposed on the new test network were visible via a new blockchain explorer set up specifically to monitor Holesky. At present, there are three test networks on Ethereum: Holesky, Goerli, and Sepolia.

Despite recent developments like Holesky and The Merge solving problems ranging from energy usage to scalability, concerns about the centralized nature of the network persist. According to co-founder Vitalik Buterin, for the blockchain to achieve high decentralization, people should be able to run nodes without high-end hardware.

Buterin has suggested statelessness as a potential solution, where data requirements are reduced close to zero, eliminating dependence on large providers. "Today, it takes hundreds of gigabytes of data to run a node. With stateless clients, you can run a node on basically zero," Buterin asserted.

Meanwhile, the cost of becoming a validator has raised concerns about staking taking place in centralized exchange pools. The staking feature introduced by The Merge has also drawn the attention of the Gensler-led Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to the network.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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