Ethereum Holesky testnet launch flops, relaunch is expected in coming weeks
Ethereum’s Holesky testnet experienced an error that will require another launch attempt, community members and developers said on Sept. 15.
Ethereum researcher Diederik Loerakker, aka protolambda, wrote that one developer entered certain data in the wrong part of the network’s genesis files. He said:
“Someone put 0x686f77206d7563682069732074686520666973683f (“how much is the fish?”) as extra-data in the EL Holesky genesis.json, and not in the CL genesis.ssz.”
This resulted in a misconfiguration that caused the testnet to fail to launch, according to Loerakker. He added that other fork parameters are “rumored to mismatch” but did not provide further details of those issues.
Loerakker added that Holesky did not experience issues related to network size, something that was considered before launch. In August, developers determined that Holesky could handle 1.4 million validators. In response, they introduced a large amount of Holesky ETH, amounting to 1.6 billion tokens.
Relaunch expected in coming weeks
Though developers will soon relaunch Holesky, the exact date of that event is still unclear. Nethermind, an Ethereum research and engineering group, said developers will relaunch Holesky in one week. That seemingly places the next attempt on Sept. 22.
Meanwhile, Ethereum contributor and Sigma Prime member Michael Sproul has suggested in a GitHub pull request that Holesky should be relaunched on Sept. 28. That date is nearly two weeks later than the network’s first launch attempt.
Regardless of delays, the issue does not affect Ethereum’s mainnet, which is responsible for transactions with real value. Beaconchain.eth acknowledged this, writing that the Holesky launch “didn’t go as expected, but that’s what testnets are here for.”
According to Ethereum documentation, Holesky will supersede Ethereum’s Goerli testnet. Both testnets are intended for testing related to staking, validating, and core network upgrades. Another testnet called Sepolia, which is aimed at independent developers who want to test their own Ethereum-based apps, also exists.
Each of these testnets relies on special testnet ETH that is freely available through faucets and which generally has no real market value.
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