The testnet is publicly accessible and NOT a simulation. We provide a cloud cluster of nodes that participate in consensus, but anyone can join the network and contribute.
The testnet is a single client 'Prysm network'. Unlike Ethereum 1.0, which has Geth and Parity, this network is entirely Prysm-only.
Staking of Goerli test ETH is included in the network. Users can utilise the deposit contract, run a validator client, and participate in consensus to earn rewards or penalties.
Features LibP2P by Protocol Labs for decentralised, peer-to-peer networking of nodes.
Implements v0.4 of the official beacon chain specification created by the Ethereum Research team (the latest version is v0.6).
The network does not include smart contract or EVM-related functionality. This is a part of Ethereum 2.0 Phase 2. The current testnet is only tasked with managing a registry of validators, allowing for Casper PoS and the advancement of the blockchain.
This is NOT a multi-client network, though this is the next step most ETH2 teams have in mind.
The testnet uses different configuration parameters than what we’d see on mainnet; that is, we support fewer shards, a smaller validator count, and different constants for the sake of simplicity.
The testnet does not contain beacon chain transfers or withdrawals, as those will come in later iterations and are not critical for showcasing the core functions of the beacon chain.
The testnet is not optimized for a large amount of validators to join. That is, we have not yet implemented a super-optimal LMD GHOST fork-choice rule or attestation aggregation, among other features, to make the code robust enough for hundreds of thousands of validators to join.