The latest Ethereum 2.0 testnet iteration, Altona, is scheduled to release on Monday, June 29.

As discussed in the Eth 2.0 developers call on June 25, the new testnet is “basically ready to go” and is only being delayed to ensure all developers are on hand during the launch.

Afri Schoedon, a developer who coordinated all previous testnet launches, explained that a minimum number of deposits was reached to jumpstart Altona. 

Irregularities in some deposits created “a situation where [...] we technically had a genesis event,” Schoedon said. The developers nevertheless agreed to delay the genesis to move it away from the weekend, where much fewer developers are on hand to fix any potential issue. 

Developers then agreed to coordinate outside the call to set a specific genesis time on Monday.

Getting closer to a final release

The Altona testnet is the first to use the updated 0.12 specification for Ethereum 2.0. Developers plan on making this the foundation for the first long-lived Eth 2.0 testnet available to the public.

Altona is still called a “devnet” by the developers, as it’s primarily meant to iron out the worst bugs. Previous networks often had fundamental issues in synchronizing, even leading to chain forks. 

But the team hopes that the new specification will be stable enough to be eventually opened for a truly public testnet, similar to the various parallel networks in Ethereum 1.0 like Goerli and Rinkeby. 

The development is on track to squeeze in earlier estimates for the 0.12 testnet, which tentatively targeted June. 

There are as of yet no indications of a mainnet release for Phase 0, the awaited introduction of staking on the Ethereum chain. But the Altona testnet is likely to be an important stepping stone toward that objective