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The main Ethereum 2.0 network is almost ready for launch. The testnet Medalla went online this Tuesday (4th), marking the final stage before the launch on the main network.

Medalla is the first community-focused testing network, in which the health of the network is in the hands of users, as opposed to previous test fields that were primarily focused on the developer. With Medalla now stable, the launch of Ethereum 2.0 is imminent, bringing long-awaited improvements to ETH, as well as alleviating growing concerns about high transaction fees.

The launch took a little over an hour to stabilize and allow the blocks to be completed. More than 20,000 validators are running nodes to support the Medalla test network, each with at least 32 ETH.

Medalla's nickname pays tribute to the original test network, Olympic, launched in May 2015.

An important part of the design for Eth1 and Eth2 is the diversity of customers that users can choose to connect to the Ethereum network. The requirement helps to create a diverse community of developers working with different coding languages, as well as reducing the risk of a single point of failure by restricting access to Ethereum for end users.

Medalla will be launched with the support of five customers and active validator node operators during launch will receive a unique non-fungible token (NFT) collectible for their support.

To function as designed, Ethereum 2.0 will require more than 16,000 unique validator nodes to support a fully decentralized network. The network operates using a "beacon chain" to group randomly chosen validators into 64 "shards" – blockchains that resemble the Eth1 implementation, each capable of processing transaction volumes roughly equivalent to the existing Eth1 chain, about 15 transactions per second.

The result is a transaction throughput of almost 1,000 transactions per second. The move should greatly reduce the cost of transactions on the network. The original Eth1 blockchain will eventually be integrated into Eth2 as a fragment, marrying what for a time will be distinct blockchain entities.

If Medalla remains stable over the next few weeks, the official launch of the main Eth2 network will not take long.

* Translated and republished with authorization from Decrypt.co

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