Altair, the first planned upgrade of the Beacon Chain, continues to make steady progress. Last week, we released Beacon Chain spec v1.1.0-alpha.6 -- Protostellar Evolution. While this is an alpha release, barring a security or practical engineering concern, the spec is unlikely to change from here on in.
Client teams are busy as they pass consensus test vectors and stand up short-lived testnets. Teams will make timeline decisions in the next few weeks as Altair code changes stablize and initial multi-client interop is performed.
If you want to learn more about the upgrades coming to the Beacon Chain in Altair, check out Vitalik's recent release of annotated Altair specs.
Rayonism wrap-up and Merge progress
The Rayonism hackathon wrapped up last week with the Nocturne testnet -- a multi-client Merge testnet consisting of 4 consensus-engines and 3 execution-engines for a total of 12 unique client pairs.
Dozens of nodes and thousands of validators built and secured a beacon chain that provided native support for a rich Ethereum application-layer with accounts, contracts, and user transactions.
🎉 Huge shoutout to all of the participating client teams and to protolambda and Mikhail for driving the effort 🎉
The Rayonism hackathon allowed teams to rapidly prototype core Merge designs and to better understand how this merged system will work in practice. All teams now have a deep familiarity with the structure of the Merge, and a clear visual on how their software will evolve in this coming year.
Client teams are now focused on this summer's two forks -- London and Altair -- while researchers are back to Merge spec refinements and testing. After the summer upgrades, teams will shift their focus to the Merge, and begin tackling the production engineering with an eye toward public testnets 🚀