Ethereum developers have recently launched a new test network called Holesky, which aims to enhance the testing capabilities of the largest smart-contracts blockchain. This new test network is designed to be twice as big as the main Ethereum network, at least in terms of one metric. The initial blocks of Holesky were made visible on Friday through a dedicated blockchain explorer on the website beaconcha.in.
The launch of Holesky was strategically timed to coincide with the first anniversary of Ethereum’s successful transition to a “proof-of-stake” blockchain, a significant milestone known as the “Merge.” This transition involved moving away from the original and more energy-intensive “proof-of-work” model used by Bitcoin.
Testnets, such as Holesky, are essentially replicas of a blockchain, in this case, Ethereum, specifically created for testing new applications and smart contracts in a low-risk environment. The Ethereum developers anticipate that Holesky will eventually replace the Goerli testnet, which is scheduled to be phased out in early 2024.
According to Parithosh Jayanthi, an Ethereum core developer, Holesky is expected to become the largest testnet for Ethereum, boasting 1.4 million validators. This significant increase in validators aims to address scalability issues faced by the mainnet, effectively doubling the number of validators compared to the Ethereum network. Some developers have expressed concerns about the smaller validator sets on testnets like Goerli and Sepolia.
By making Holesky larger, developers hope to test infrastructure and upgrades under more demanding conditions. The goal is to identify and resolve any scaling issues on the testnet before they occur on the main Ethereum chain. This proactive approach aims to prevent unforeseen problems from arising on the mainnet, ensuring a smoother experience for Ethereum users and developers alike.